If you aren’t doing any social media marketing for your business in 2019, you’re missing the boat. Social media in general—and Facebook specifically—is the ideal place to build and promote your brand and connect with your target audience. Did you know that every 20 minutes on Facebook, one million links are shared, 4.86 million photos are posted, and there are over 763,000 status updates? Yeah, that’s a lot of information going back and forth—information your business can capitalize on if you do it correctly.
One of the big questions we hear from clients when it comes to Facebook marketing is whether they can get away with free marketing (what we refer to as organic) or if it’s worth it to pay for marketing in the form of sponsored posts and boosts. If this question has crossed your mind as well, we’re here to help!
Organic vs Paid
Knowing the difference between organic and paid is the first step to this answer. Organic is what comes up in your news feed naturally and it’s free to post this content. You can do status updates for your business, share pictures, and post announcements to your heart’s content and it won’t cost you a dime.
Paid content is marked as ‘sponsored’ and is created through Facebook’s advertising platform. While it will cost you money, it also allows you to reach a much larger and more targeted audience.
Benefits of Organic
Organic Facebook marketing is never wasted. Even if your posts aren’t seen by a lot of people, you’re still increasing your online presence and community involvement. You’re also building and strengthening client relationships if you interact with them, establish credibility, and promote your brand. You can also provide customer support through chat bots or by responding to any feedback left by those you do business with.
Organic Reach on Facebook
So how many people are really seeing your stuff on Facebook if you aren’t paying for ads? With the big algorithm change in 2018, that number is considerably less than it was only a year ago. Facebook states that the new change means the consumer will see less public content-like posts from businesses, brands, and media in favor of ‘meaningful conversations’. That means if you can get people to comment and share your stuff, you’ll reach more of them.
However, you can also take advantage of this updated algorithm if you know how to utilize Facebook’s new features. Features like events, Facebook Live, Facebook Stories, and 3D photos are great places to start as the platform will be likely to promote them and any features they release in the future. You should also consider posting more native video (native means you upload it to Facebook rather than posting a link) and respond to comments as much as possible to start a ‘conversation’ that will lead to more views.
Benefits of Paid Marketing
If you want to take your Facebook marketing to the next level, you need to consider paying for the ad platform. Not only will this help you overcome the algorithm change and get more reach, but it will also help you engage all of your followers, assist in growing your audience, and increase your web traffic, event attendance, and product sales. With their ad network, you can target potential customers based on income, relationship status, interests, life events, age, gender, location, and more. There aren’t many other marketing sources that can compete with that! You can also see real-time results and tweak management of your campaign based on the response you’re getting.
So Which is Right for You?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Deciding whether to do organic or paid marketing on Facebook is based on your business, your ideal customers, your budget, and your goals. Consider how much of a budget and how much manpower you have to put into your Facebook marketing. If the answer is, “I have $100 a month and I manage everything on my own,” you may not be ready for a Facebook campaign. However, if you have a few hundred bucks a month and someone to help you out with your social, you might be a good candidate.
Your goals for social media are also an important part of this decision. If you just want to strengthen your brand and online presence, you might be able to get away with organic efforts. If your goal is to reach new people, drive more customers to your website, and increase sales, however, you should definitely look at the paid options.
Choosing organic vs paid marketing on Facebook is a choice that each business owner needs to make for him or herself and it heavily depends on your resources and goals. We’ve touched on just a few reasons why you may choose one over the other, but there are plenty of other details to consider. If you’d like to chat further, we’re always available for a consultation.