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Keep it Real on Social Media

Paid ads and promoted posts are valuable tools, and we employ them, but tell our clients up front that we emphasize organic engagement. There’s a reason they call it “social” media.

Everyone is on social media. Recent studies show that there are well over 5 billion users of social media worldwide, and the average user visits almost 7 different networks each month. They’re on Facebook, scrolling Instagram, watching YouTube videos, and more. While trends come and go, and Facebook becomes “Meta,” Twitter becomes “X,” and platforms change their focus and tweak algorithms with glee, social media is a part of our lives, and your presence there needs to be an integral piece of any marketing strategy.

While most of these channels employ some sort of “pay-to-play” strategy for businesses, they also reward true, authentic content. Paid ads and promoted posts are valuable tools, and we employ them, but tell our clients up front that we emphasize organic engagement. We would rather have 100 fans and followers who routinely like, share, and comment than 1,000 who follow our page but never interact.

There’s a reason they call it “social” media.

Here are a few key benefits of creating organic social media to drive engagement with your brand:

Genuine connection to your audience. Get to know who’s following you, who’s interacting with your posts, and engage with them. You develop a relationship and foster a conversation.

It’s cost effective. You don’t need to invest any dollars into your organic posts for them to be seen! Just follow best practices for posting, make quality content, and post regularly for your content to reach people.

Fosters brand awareness. With any marketing strategy, it’s always a good idea to be consistently visible for your audience. The more aware they are of your brand, your values, and your products or services, the more likely they’ll be to choose you when they need what you offer.

Good organic social media content will always have the possibility of going viral. While social media platforms are making that more difficult these days, virality is always on the table and can bring exponential growth to your organization. Brands like Wendy’s and Merriam-Webster do a great job of asking questions, creating topical posts, and replying to comments, and their posts are often shared and reposted.

Establishes authority in your niche. Use your social media to demonstrate your expertise and relevance in your industry. You’ll gain the trust and respect of both your audience and your competitors.

 It’s effective in the long term. With consistency and creativity, you can build an engaged audience that steadily keeps growing. Your regular posts create a legacy presence, build stronger loyalty, drive customer engagement and retention, and encourage sustainable growth.

Now that the beauty of organic social media has been shown, it’s important to consider paid social as well. While paid social media undoubtedly holds its own advantages, relying solely on paid posts can limit the authenticity and engagement potential of your strategy. This sentiment is reinforced by Meta’s recent introduction of a paid subscription model for ad-free Facebook access in the European Union, EEA, and Switzerland. “X” is also encouraging ad-free subscriptions. Should this model expand to the US, it could potentially render a portion of Facebook users unable to view paid social media content. However, organically posted content would still reach these users, emphasizing the enduring importance and effectiveness of organic social media engagement in reaching and connecting with audiences.

When you browse your feed on your preferred channel, how many ads do you see that are completely irrelevant to your interests? You want to know what your friends are doing, and all you see are ads for furniture. You’ve just seen breaking news, and your social media “news” feed is full of information about diet pills. When you rely solely on paid ads, your content gets mixed in with those timeline-fillers. They’re a great method for introducing a brand, or jump-starting a struggling brand. Ads are fantastic for promoting new products and events.

Your first step towards building engagement – which is, after all, the name of the game – is to keep it real.

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