Facebook: The difference between organic and paid

Have you ever wondered what the difference between organic and paid Facebook marketing tactics are? There are some common mistakes many businesses make with their social media, and we're often faced with questions on organic vs. paid. So we've decided to answer them all here for anyone considering social media in their digital strategy.

Organic posting

Organic reach refers to the number of people who see your social media posts in their Newsfeed without you spending any money. That doesn’t mean that everyone who hits that “Like” button will see your content though. According to Facebook, less than 1% of your audience will see your organic content. That’s not to say it has no value; its role just needs to shift more towards engaging your current audience as much as possible.

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Organic marketing on Facebook is perfect for building brand awareness and if you post valuable content regularly, you will grow your audience engagement. It’s best to treat each post as an asset that will increase your brand’s values in the eyes of your current followers. You can increase your organic content’s exposure through boosted posts to make sure you reach an even larger audience. More on this below.

Content
From single photos to whole albums, snappy statuses to long-form copy, you have plenty of choice when it comes to your organic Facebook content. With so few people seeing these organic posts, how can you make the most of them? That’s easy: test, test, and test some more.

Experiment with video, try out Facebook Polls, and encourage your followers to use the reactions to tell you how they feel. Organic content is all about sparking interest, encouraging conversation, and boosting your brand. Test everything from post types, the time of day you post, and amount of times you post per week to see what works for you.

Boosted posts
Boosted posts are a good “middle ground” between organic posts and paid social. Boosted posts see a small budget allocated to an organic post to help reach more people.

When targeting audiences, your options aren’t as extensive compared to paid social posts, however you will still have the ability to reach existing and new audiences. Boosted posts are a great way to increase your reach and test the water. They also help you highlight key posts such as offers and boost the reach of this content.

Paid Posts

Paid reach is the number of people who see a paid for post from your Page. Paid marketing provides businesses the opportunity to advertise on Facebook, paying per impression (the number of times people see your post) or per click (the number of times they click the Call To Action or CTA).

Different to organic, paid tactics are used as a ‘push’ marketing method with aims to capture the audience’s attention at the right time during their shopping experience and encourage them to complete an action. These actions could include buying a product, signing up to a newsletter, or completing a form on your website.

Paid ads will reach a larger audience than organic and boosted posts as you can include targeting parameters to help you reach the right people. Paired with the right wording, the right image, and enough budget, paid Facebook posts can help you achieve your online goals.

Targeting
Unlike organic, paid social content is not visible on your profile Page – and your audience won’t see it organically in their Newsfeeds - as it’s managed through Facebook Ads Manager. This allows you to use additional targeting and optimisation tools.

These tools allow you to reach specific audience groups based on a number of things such as their interests and behaviors, the actions they take on your website, and even allow you to track and collect conversions from your website.

Paid ads will reach a larger audience than organic and Boosted posts as you can include targeting parameters to help you reach the right people. Paired with the right wording, the right image and enough budget, paid ads will help you achieve your online goals.

Content
In terms of the content, paid ads can look a little different to your organic posts. The copy is generally shorter, more to the point, and includes a strong call-to-action such as ‘Buy Now’, ‘Learn More’ or ‘Sign Up’, for example.

That’s not to say longer posts don’t work. Much like with your organic posts, run tests – you can run spilt tests through Facebook Ads Manager – to find out what works best for your audience. You should also test the images, landing pages, and CTAs on your ads.

So when we get asked about organic vs paid, what do we normally say? We’d recommend combining the two. The most effective social media marketing strategies use both organic and paid Facebook to reach their goals. Want to find out more?

Contact us today about how we can work together to bring your Facebook marketing to life.

Posted by:

Ebony Morrison

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