Before there was Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many other social media networks where users generate millions of organic social media posts, there was a man with a code: Morse code.
That’s right, you can thank Samuel Morse for the start of what would one day lead to one of the main channels used by businesses to connect with their customers (and attract new clients).
Although Morse wasn’t the brains behind the genesis of social media, he did get the ball rolling by pushing the world to embrace digital communication.
In fact, it’s so popular that today 57.6% of people log into at least one social network daily, which is why it’s so critical for businesses to include organic social media outreach as part of their digital marketing strategy.
What is organic social media?
According to Hootsuite, organic social media refers to the free content that all users, including businesses and brands, share with each other on their feeds.
To give you an idea of the kinds of organic social media on a day to day basis includes:
- Text updates
To put it simply: When you are a business, organic social media posts are the ones that you can create and share for free.
Paid vs. organic social media
The best social media strategies include a hybrid mix of paid and organic social media posts. To know when to use organic vs. paid content for your company, you first need to understand the difference.
Organic social content
To really make the most of your organic social media posts, share more than just your company’s latest deals, opportunities, and updates. Although these are important, it’s called “social” media for a reason. Your followers will engage more actively with your company if you nurture their connection with you.
Engaging with organic social media happens more frequently than one generally thinks, and that can most of the time be from not understanding what it is.
Paid social content
Paid social media, although it’s content that is created for your company the same way organic content is, this content has a budget that’s used to pay platforms to promote the content as an advertisement. This content tends to have much more planning involved.
For instance, when creating paid ads on Facebook, you have to do a bit more planning to be successful, which includes mapping out:
- Target audience
- Location range
- Length for the ad to run
- Format (text, graphic, gallery, video, etc.)
Marketers often choose to deploy paid ads to promote a specific product, campaign, or service line because it is a better way of ensuring target audiences will see their posts.
Sometimes, paid social media ads will have a more “business-sounding” tone. They are also usually labeled as “sponsored” content, so users know the post is being promoted and isn’t organic.
Organic social media content is typically more entertaining or engaging; however, this doesn’t mean these posts also include CTAs. They will, but they have a less “salesy” feel when they do.
Choosing where to share organic social media posts
Social media gives the idea that any platform you use will benefit your business so long as you’re pushing out content. The key to knowing the best platform and what to use what platform for is knowing your target audience and the platform’s audience.
From there, you have to ask yourself how these audiences work together. Are they similar? Will you actually be able to make an impact with what you want? Based on those things, you can decipher if using organic social media will work for you or if you should focus on paid ads.
Example of how, when, and why you should customize your social content
If your business markets to a middle-aged demographic (such as people over 40), you might want to see where your target audience is active. Generally speaking, social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram lean towards users in younger demographic buckets. If your main users aren’t active on those channels, you might want to reach your audience elsewhere.
Once you know which platforms your critical audiences use, you can better understand what type of organic social media content will work best for engagement with your users. Organic posts on Twitter is one of the most common practices.
Think of each Twitter post as a 140 character elevator pitch of your company. You’re taking your brand and trying to sell your service or product in the least amount of words possible. In a busy environment like Twitter, long-winded posts get lost. If you choose to use the channel for multi-part messaging, do so in a way that their users expect, like a thread.
No matter where you’re posting, taking the time to remember how users engage with content on that channel pays off. You’ll find it’s easier to fascinate your audience with this extra customization.
If you are looking for inspiration, businesses like Wendy’s and Nyx Cosmetics do a great job with sticking to their brand voice while tweaking their content based on each platform’s different types of user engagement.
3 tips on what you should post and when you should post it
Once you can gauge how, when, and where to use organic social media, you can try out these best practices to help grow your audience.
Focus your efforts on the right places
Most businesses will assume that they need to have a presence on everything from Facebook to Pinterest, but that’s not necessarily the case. Your audience may not use every social media platform, so why put energy into distributing messages on every channel if you won’t reach your targets? Instead, use that extra time to further customize your organic social media posts on the platforms where your followers engage with your company.
Optimize your social media profiles
When posting, use these factors to decide which images you use, what keywords you include, and how you phrase your call-to-action. This applies to any and all social media platforms:
- Keyword-rich “about” descriptions
- Trackable links
Pick the best time to post
You can try a few different tactics to figure out the best time to post your organic social media content. One option is to track engagement on your own by testing different periods of the week and times of day to see what works best.
You can also use a tool—like Hubspot, Sprout social, or something similar. These options include a feature that will recommend different time posting options based on how your followers engage with your account.
If you follow these best practices when creating a social strategy, you’ll be on your way to developing the best organic social media content to help your business reach its goals.