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Survey Shows Most Marketers Use Mix of Paid and Organic Social Media

organic-social-mediaIf you often have trouble deciding whether paid social media is more valuable than organic social media, you’ll be glad to know you don’t have to choose between them. In fact, according to a recent survey by Clutch, 86 percent of B2B and B2C marketers use both paid and organic social media. Here’s what else you need to know about the findings of this survey.

Paid vs Organic Social Media

Though most marketers use a good mix of both these options, it appears that organic social media is slightly more popular. In particular, of the 304 survey respondents – all of whom work at companies with more than 100 employees – 39 percent said they use mostly organic social media, with a little paid social mixed in. By contrast, only 11 percent use mostly paid social with some organic mixed in. And about 35 percent said they use an equal mix of both.

Of course, there are some companies that only use one or the other, with organic social media winning out here, too. About 13 percent of respondents said they use only organic social media, and just 1 percent said they use only paid.

Despite this tiny percentage of people who only use paid social, 59 percent said they think paid is more effective than organic social media. According to Clutch, the reason for this belief is likely that it’s easier to measure results from a paid campaign than an organic one. After all, you can look at click-through and conversion rates to determine how effective your paid campaign is. Of course, most people realize this and see the benefits of both organic and paid social, which is why they include both in their mix.

Preferred Paid Social Media Platforms

Just as with most other social media marketing surveys, Facebook tops this one as the preferred option for paid social. More specifically, two-thirds of the marketers surveyed opt for Facebook first when creating a paid social media campaign.

The next most popular platform is YouTube, followed very closely by Twitter and LinkedIn, since each had the vote of about one-third of survey respondents. Next is Instagram, with about one-quarter of the respondents using this app for paid social.

Google+ and Pinterest were the only other social media platforms to capture at least 15 percent of this survey’s votes. Rounding out the bottom 9 percent of paid social options in this survey are Reddit, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, and Vimeo.

Why You Need Both Paid and Organic Social Media

The majority of B2B and B2C marketers use both paid and organic social media because the two marketing methods complement each other. If you use just organic social media, you have content for your audience to read so you increase your credibility and brand awareness. But you might have trouble getting enough visibility for that content, which is where paid social media comes in, since you can get more content views and eventually more website clicks.

On the other hand, if you only use paid social, you’ll get lots of visibility on the social platform you’re using, but when people click on your profile, they’ll be taken to a virtual ghost town if you don’t have much recent content posted. At that point, you have very little chance of keeping your audience’s attention since they know nothing about your brand.

Essentially, as Clutch points out, organic social is meant to increase audience engagement, while paid social media can increase the conversion rate. Most companies need both, so mixing paid and organic social media methods makes sense.

Do you use both paid and organic social for your company, or just one? How effective has your chosen method been?