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In the ever-evolving realm of social media marketing, understanding the intricacies of organic algorithms is essential for businesses striving to make a meaningful online impact. This article aims to provide a simplified breakdown of how organic social media algorithms work, highlighting the differences in reach, impressions, and engagement compared to paid social activities. Additionally, we’ll explore what a brand’s organic strategy should look like in comparison to their paid strategy and identify content themes and differences that guide the choice between organic and paid social activity.
How Organic Social Media Algorithms Work
Organic social media algorithms are the invisible forces that determine the visibility of your content to your audience. These algorithms vary across different social platforms, but they share common principles:
Content Relevance: Algorithms prioritise content that is relevant and valuable to the user. Factors like post type, keywords, and user engagement play a role in determining relevance.
Engagement Metrics: Social media platforms reward content that generates engagement. Likes, comments, shares, and clicks indicate that your content is resonating with your audience.
Recency: Fresh content is favoured. Posts that are recent and up-to-date are more likely to appear in users’ feeds.
Relationships: Algorithms consider the user’s relationship with the content creator. If a user regularly engages with a particular brand or individual, their content is more likely to be shown.
Understanding the Difference: Reach, Impressions, Engagement
Reach: Reach is the number of unique users who have seen your content. It measures the potential audience size your content could reach. In organic reach, the algorithm determines who sees your content based on their interests and behaviour.
Impressions: Impressions count every time your content is displayed, including multiple views by the same user. It’s a measure of how often your content is displayed on users’ screens.
Engagement: Engagement metrics (likes, comments, shares, clicks) quantify how users
interact with your content. Engagement indicates that your content is resonating with your audience and can increase its reach.
Brand Organic Strategy vs. Paid Strategy
Organic Strategy: Organic social media efforts focus on building a strong online presence and fostering genuine connections with your audience. The primary goals include brand awareness, community building, and establishing credibility.
Content Themes: Organic content should align with your brand’s values and resonate with your target audience. Share informative, entertaining, and relatable content that encourages interaction. Stories, behind-the-scenes glimpses, user- generated content, and informative posts are effective for organic strategies.
Paid Strategy: Paid social media activities involve allocating a budget to boost content’s visibility and reach. Paid strategies are often used to achieve specific objectives, such as driving website traffic, lead generation, or product promotion.
Content Themes: Paid content should align with your marketing objectives. This may include promotional posts, product showcases, and calls to action. Paid strategies are particularly effective for reaching a wider but targeted audience.
When to Choose Organic vs. Paid Social Activity
Choose Organic When:
● You want to build long-term relationships with your audience.
● You aim to create brand awareness and credibility.
● Your goal is to engage and nurture your existing community.
● You have limited budget constraints.
Choose Paid When:
● You have specific conversion goals, such as sales or lead generation.
● You want to reach a broader or highly targeted audience quickly.
● You’re launching a new product or running time-sensitive promotions.
● You have a budget allocated for advertising.
Organic social media algorithms are the gatekeepers of online visibility, and understanding their workings is crucial for businesses striving for success in the digital landscape. A well-balanced approach that combines an effective organic strategy with targeted paid activities can help brands maximise their reach, engagement, and impact on social media platforms. By tailoring content themes and strategies to their unique objectives, businesses can navigate the dynamic world of social media marketing with confidence and creativity.
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