There are two schools of thought starting to emerge around how best to implement social media marketing now that paid media has become pivotal to running a successful Facebook Page. And the increasing acceptance of promoted tweets and the advent of sponsored posts on Instagram are reinforcing this emerging split.
Each philosophy has its own merits, and each can achieve good results depending on how well it is executed.
Social Media Marketing Philosophy One
This involves posting frequently to any given platform (once a day to Facebook, a couple of times a day to Instagram, multiple times a day to Twitter) with minimal paid media spend behind any piece of content in order to encourage interaction and create reach organically.
It relies on the frequent generation of creative content that is interesting, informative and/or entertaining, but relies less on hitting the mark every single time as there is more room for error. This has always been my approach and it has served me extremely well.
Social Media Marketing Philosophy Two
This involves dropping the post frequency significantly (every few days on Facebook or Instagram, one or two tweets per day) but amplifying each piece of content more using paid media to generate reach.
It removes the demands of having to create good content on a daily basis but, arguably, necessitates content being spot on every single time; something that is very difficult to achieve.
With both approaches, content quality is paramount. No amount of paid media or post frequency will achieve results with poor content. Equally, philosophy two does not necessarily mean putting less money into paid social; it’s simply the case that the budget is utilised in a different way.
Philosophy one seeks to create ongoing, frequent interactions among its communities. Philosophy two seeks to generate short, sharp bursts of interactions. But the sum of those interactions, and the reach, may well be equal to one another.
Personally, I would argue that philosophy one is inherently more social. It’s more about galvanising a community, about loyalty and about advocacy. But it also has limitations where short-term campaigns are concerned, when it’s important to generate large reach quickly.
To be absolutely clear, I’m not saying one philosophy is right and one is wrong. And which you choose can depend on your objectives, your resources and your audience.
But broadly speaking, where do you stand on this? Does your head and your heart tell you organic or paid?
UPDATE: On the back of this post I carried out some research into how Page administrators are using Facebook post boosting. You can read about the results of that research here.