July 8, 2020Paid Social
Integrating Paid and Organic Social Strategy to Supercharge Sales
When Facebook first updated its platform to allow paid advertising, it produced a visible shift in how brands approached social media. Over time, reaching new audiences through only organic (non-paid) posts became increasingly difficult as Facebook’s algorithm prioritized social interactions between friends, personalizing each news-feed with posts that users were most likely to interact with.
With these changes, it has become more challenging for brand content to appear naturally within the feed and produce high-levels of engagement, even if a user is an active follower of that brand. As of 2019, reach for brand-specific Facebook posts decreased — with an average of only 5.5% of brand followers viewing a single post . The decline in reach was even more noticeable for brands with a larger following.
During a time where social distancing is the norm, digital viewing habits have increased across all channels. Canadians consume more media now in 2020, watching an average of 10 hours and 24 minutes daily in total, with digital (social and digital media) accounting for more than half of the time (53.3%). 
For marketers to genuinely grow their social channels as well as use these channels to drive conversions, investments need go beyond simply boosting organic posts, to developing a distinct strategy for paid-social advertising.
Think Of Organic As a Testing Ground Among Your Most Loyal Fans
Instead of relying on purely organic content, the most successful brands are best at leveraging increased demand by building a distinct media ecosystem that incorporates authentic organic content and sales-focused paid promotion. By actively listening to their audience, though comments, sentiments, and reaction to organic posting, brands can adapt paid content to offer relevant and helpful pieces of information that remain authentic to the core brand narrative.
Most successes come from strong content that resonates well with your audience and has been honed in via a paid strategy. A paid strategy introduces new ways to target users with similar interests as your current fans, while offering a unique opportunity to experiment and measure the efficiency of new forms of content and audiences, as well as introducing new delivery formats. Paid ads enable brands to targeting specific behaviours (purchases, on-site activity, video viewing, etc.) that let you to reach customers beyond those that share a basic affinity with current fans
Making Use Of The Data That You Already Own
Unlike a social strategy that favours an organic-only approach, with paid social it's possible to calculate how ads impact real business objectives. For businesses to better understand their customer journey, Facebook offers highly intuitive solutions like the Facebook pixel. The pixel is a small piece of code that you place on the web pages that matter to your business. From understanding which customers are viewing product pages, adding a specific item to a cart, all the way through to the point of purchase. It helps brands collect data like which conversions (eg. purchases, sign ups, etc.) came from ads, and allows you to build a targeted audience list for future ads, to find loyal customers and users that are similar to loyal customers.
With seventeen standard events that can be tracked by the pixel and the ability to create custom events, you can also set more advanced parameters to further enhance efficiency. For example, if you’re curious about how many purchases are over a set dollar amount or which products an average customer is more inclined to purchase, you can set parameters to track this information and optimize ad spend towards outcomes that are most profitable for your business.
Transferable Insights For Real Business Results
The power of this insight can translate across every marketing channel that your business operates on. You can find specific insights on which types content resonates best with each of your key audiences, discover which site metrics are most likely to indicate future purchases, as well as discovering new opportunities for targeting or delivery that can be transferred to traditional marketing channels.
By using both paid and organic social ads to understand the customer journey for your business, you can tailor upcoming marketing campaigns across every channel, to have the strongest possible impact on future business performance.
The last few months have highlighted more than ever the importance of a strong digital strategy that reaches customers at the right time. Instead of choosing between the paid or organic social posting, consider how each supports the other. The best brands actively listen to their audience, continually test content, and adapt their product and messaging to continue to grow and reach new potential customers.