Social media marketing has come a long way in the last several years and has changed the way many businesses think about marketing in general. For some marketers, social followers have replaced email addresses, posts and tweets have replaced promotional emails, and likes have replaced email opens. Virtually every successful business today has not only a social media presence, but a clearly defined social media strategy.
Most of these strategies revolve around posting consistent content. But it’s more than just posting promotions and offers. A successful social strategy will include various types of non-promotional content for various types of goals. Posting about a charitable cause associates your brand with feelings of goodwill. Posting about trendy topics makes your brand seem relevant. Posting useful tips without a sales pitch makes your business come off as genuinely helpful. Posting humorous or “feel-good” content associates your business with positive emotions, and so on.
But more importantly, these types of non-promotional posts are accomplishing two other goals. First, they’re encouraging social sharing, which grows your following even more. Secondly, they’re creating top-of-mind awareness for your brand. People will get used to seeing your content and your business name, logo, and USP. As a result, when they have a problem that your business fixes, they’ll be more likely to think of you first.
All of those social media concepts revolve around organic activity. However, the major social media platforms today have also developed robust paid advertising systems. The most game-changing of these has been the concept of social “native advertising”. Native advertising refers to advertisements that have the appearance of organic content with the exception of a tiny one-word disclaimer somewhere designating it as “sponsored” or an “advertisement”.
This new form of paid social media advertising has proven to be remarkably effective because social media consumers are already in the habit of looking at, consuming, and engaging with anything that looks like an organic post in their social feeds. In addition to this, the line between organic posts and paid native ads have become increasingly blurred as these native ads act and function just like organic content (they can be shared, liked, etc.) and businesses now have the ability to pay to promote an organic post to give it further reach.
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