Today I will be talking about the difference between organic reach and paid reach on social media. First, I will assume that some of you who might read this post have not heard of the words “Organic” and “Paid” when it comes to social media and your audience. Let me break it down, your audience is “Organic” when you reach people within your sphere of influence on social media. These include your friends and followers alike, and then people you follow manually and maybe ask for a “follow back” (as done on Twitter). Basically, your organic reach covers users you have manually sought for by yourself. Paid reach is quite self explanatory; these are the users you have been able to reach with your products and services with the help of Ads on whatever social network you have chosen to carve your niche. I will try to explain in detail the difference between the two types of social media audience and how they affect your social media campaigns as a whole.
In previous posts I have talked about reaching out to your audience on social media, audience retention, and other allied matters. It is also important to know how your audience is selected and what actions you should avoid. Please note that this post is based on a lay man’s view (from practical experience) of how these things function. On Facebook, you can measure your organic reach on each post you put up, this helps you to see the number of people that have seen your post or taken action on them.
Now, most times the numbers can be quite disheartening, and you might feel discouraged that only a small number of people have seen your post, but don’t fret, keep posting consistently. The truth is organic numbers are good for your small business, and you can set a target for yourself, and work towards getting more people to see your posts. You can trace the people who have seen your posts, and you can also encourage them to show your products to other users.
A paid reach pushes your posts and your brand beyond your sphere of influence. Once you activate Ads features on either Twitter or Facebook, you can reach thousands of people with just one post. This is very necessary for your brand from time to time, as this will further enhance the online visibility of your business. On Facebook and Twitter and Google+, you can measure the number of people your Ads have reached, you can also see how many people have taken action on your posts. Now there are different types of paid Ads. Facebook offers a variety of ways to promote your business; you can promote your page, boost a post, promote a call to action, or promote your website. The central idea is to push your business to more users. On twitter, you can promote a tweet, a hashtag, or a website; it all depends on what you want to achieve. For Twitter, you can promote a tweet to get more followers; this helps you get more people to follow your account. Paid reach is quite great when you look at the numbers, but I feel it is only an option one should consider periodically.
Here’s the thing, on Twitter, once you set up an Ad, and maybe, your goal is to get more followers, you stand a chance of getting followed by accounts that have little or nothing to do with your business and what you offer. No doubt, everyone is going to see your numbers and go “wow he has a lot of followers”, but how many of these accounts will take action on your posts?
From experience, I gave come to realize that you get followed by a lot of temporarily inactive accounts, and this does little or nothing to help your business. On Facebook, you can boost a post to reach a wider audience, some might like your page, but not a lot will take more action on posts that will follow. It is thus very important to monitor your growth online.
Compare insights/analytics on your social media accounts to be sure what works and what doe not work. You should also pay attention to making your content appealing to whoever sees your posts. Make sure you streamline your audience, and work on users you know are more likely to take action on your posts.
In the end, I recommend a healthy mixture of organic and paid efforts to boost your online visibility to avoid getting frustrated midway. I wish you good luck.