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The Myth of Organic Social Media Marketing

Do you prefer to listen rather than read? Check out our podcast episode breaking down the concepts in this article. Spotify: Apple: Everyone loves a Cinderella story. A musician that started at the bottom and became an icon. A brand that bootstrapped their way from a lonely garage to billboards on Times Square. Rags to riches and all by themselves. The purest form of the American dream. Does it sound like a fairytale? That’s because it is…most of the time.

There’s a reason that the entertainment industry is always spinning the narratives of their biggest stars and purposefully obfuscating the truth behind their success. Because the truth destroys the mythos. It makes these people/projects unremarkable and in some cases contemptible. The magician's tricks are revealed and the show is ruined.

The same is true in the world of organic social media marketing.

Haters will say we’re just jealous of their amazing networking abilities. We say they are mad that we’re bursting the bubble on their disingenuous tactics that purposely mislead people. You can decide for yourself which you think is the case.

Does Organic Social Media Marketing Work?

Short answer: Yes. It really does.

Organic social media marketing has been working since the very beginnings of social media as a phenomenon and remains the bedrock of brand building in 2023. There is simply no better way to build a community around a brand and provide consistent valuable messaging than organic social media. It allows brands to show authenticity and personality in ways that no other medium can match. Period.

The Biggest Myth of Organic Social Media Marketing: It’s Free.

Is it free to use social media? Yes, of course.

Is organic social media marketing free? Never.

The on-going conversation around “paid vs organic” had led to a widely held misconception that organic strategies don’t require paid elements.

If you’re a marketer reading this you’re probably thinking, “ well Duhhh,” but for the uninitiated in our dark arts this is a real problem in the marketplace.

The Truth: Organic social media marketing is still a paid program.

Time is money and the simple action of continually producing “free” content for social media marketing is already a paid exercise. If you want to take an organic social media marketing strategy seriously then you will need to deploy a team of creators (or at the very least one full time person) to keep up with demand and see results.

The current national average base salary for a social media manager in the USA at the time of this article’s publication is $70,000 according to builtin.

Maybe you’re a solo-preneur and you’re going to run all of your organic social media marketing by yourself to keep costs down. That’s fine but get ready to spend a lot of your precious work hours each week on managing those accounts if you expect to see any meaningful results.

Myth #2 - Paid Social Media Marketing is More Expensive Than Organic.

The title “paid” seems to imply that it’s more expensive but I want you to consider this:

You’re in a grocery store and you’re choosing between the raw organic produce and the non-organic produce. Which is more expensive? Which is better for you long term? Now apply that to social media marketing.

The Truth: Studies have proven that paid social media marketing efforts generate business results faster, more reliably, and in a way that’s easier to measure. The ability to target a specific audience you want to reach and leverage spend to ensure that your messaging appears to them is something you can’t do with organic. When done correctly, the speed of ROI with paid tactics can easily outpace raw organic. Making it the less expensive option, all things considered.

In reality, you can ignore organic social media marketing completely and still generate revenue but it is at your own long term risk. As stated above, organic is the bedrock of brand building.

Myth #3 - Paid & Organic Marketing Strategies Operate Independently

The Truth: The most optimal social media marketing strategy in 2023 is a hybrid and integrated one. You benefit from the best parts of both options and mitigate the downsides of each at the same time.

The Hybrid Strategy

#1 - Understand and define the role that each part plays in your strategy.

By segmenting the different benefits of both you can better create goals that are unique to your business mission. You can’t measure them the same way. It’s not unison. It’s harmony.

Your organic content is built around community and the role your brand plays within it. The content needs to have standalone value by itself for your audience. Entertaining, educational, inspiring, etc. It should be worth sharing and it should encourage your audience to remain connected with your brand. Top of algorithm = Top of mind.

Your paid content has a direct action goal. Take your audience’s behavior and move it somewhere you want it to go. Website traffic, direct messages, contact info collection, awareness to people that have not heard of your brand.

#2 - The Paid to Organic Pipeline

Consider running a portion of your paid spend toward inviting new audience members to view your organic content. Take a great organic post and boost it/create an ad to show the kind of value you are providing. Online users are typically not scrolling their social media accounts looking for ads (disappointing, I know) they are looking for some form of instant value.

Paid tactics will also provide you with deeper demographic insights of the audience you are attracting to your organic presence. Use this data to develop better organic media. Creating unique valuable content is not easy. You’ve invested significant resources into it. Now advertise for your investment.

#3 - The Organic to Paid Pipeline

While the previous pipeline is growing your organic audience through paid tactics, this next pipeline is retargeting that new “organic” audience with paid ads around specific business goals. The target audience is now familiar with your brand and your valuable organic content has created rapport with these potential customers.

Even if they are not currently ready to buy, you’ve positioned your brand as a top option and communicated deeply why you are the best choice for their needs.

This way you can optimize ROAS because you are not pitching a cold audience. A/B testing is more efficient because you have a deeper understanding of the viewership. CAC decreases because your organic content is doing the heavy lifting when it comes to communicating your unique value proposition communication. You don’t need to rely solely on repeat ad impressions and your ad creative is further niched down to reach your specific audience. The more high-value organic content you produce, the more effective this strategy becomes.

Wrapping Up

Organic and paid social media marketing strategies work together as part of a larger whole. A social synergy. By utilizing the strengths of both you can get the absolute most out of your social media marketing efforts.

Social media remains the top-performing platform for brand development. If you are in need of a secret weapon to give your brand the back up that it needs, consider reaching out to us at 6Fi. Here at 6Fi we craft high-quality content designed to perform in both paid and organic scenarios. We’re experts at running social media marketing campaigns built around creative solutions for B2C, B2B, and DTC brands.


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