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Facebook Marketing: Blurring the Lines Between Paid and Organic Media

organic_vs_paid_insideThis is a tale of two worlds: paid and organic.

You community managers know what I’m talking about — we love engagement, conversations and relationships. Paid is about leads, conversions, $$$. We’re just different. But guess what? The times they are a-changin’. You can’t have one without the other anymore, and definitely not on Facebook.

In case you’re wondering who I’m standing next to in this picture, her name is Danie Pote and she runs all of our paid media — very well, I might add. Community managers, myself included, have all felt the effects of Facebook’s declining organic reach. It’s clear that we have to start paying to play, and relying on paid media experts like Danie much more. The two worlds no longer exist separately, and it’s time to break bread over Facebook. But don’t worry CM’s, your job isn’t going anywhere. Your paid media needs you just as much as you need them and here’s why.

Why Your Paid Expert & Community Manager Should Work Together

Danie and I have different areas of expertise. Danie understands a very important part of the funnel. She’s an expert at driving quality leads to our sales team, and I’m an expert at knowing our audience. I know what our audience wants, needs, and likes. Why do these two teams live separately?

Truthfully, they shouldn’t. And on Facebook, they don’t. Facebook’s Promoted Post format sits equally in both worlds, marrying their strategies, content, and target audiences.

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The best ad campaigns are seamlessly integrated into the organic News Feed, and the person who knows best what that feed should look like is the community manager. Make sure you’re enabling your paid expert’s strategy, because their efforts will, in turn, enable you.

How Community Managers Can Help Paid Media Experts Gain Context

1) A Deep Understanding of the Audience

Nobody knows your audience better than your Community Manager. A good Community Manager knows everything from which type of Facebook posts their audience gravitates toward (find out in our Facebook Page Report if you’re still in the dark) to what that audience is consuming beyond Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Community Managers get an all-encompassing view of who is attracted to your content and what they like. After all, making your paid media look organic is the ultimate win for Facebook Ads. Just ask Facebook Ads expert, Mari Smith, who recommends making your ads, “… friendly and personable. Once these posts appear in the News Feed, your paid content will seamlessly integrate with posts that your target audience shares.” The Community Manager’s understanding of audience is crucial to paid experts who are trying to seamlessly blend in their ads.

2) Expertise in Your Content Performance

Nobody knows your brand’s content and content performance better than the Community Manager. Trust me, I’m analyzing our reports on a daily basis, trying to figure out which headlines, blog posts, even which kind of photo receives the most engagement and clicks. On Facebook, this knowledge is crucial when deciding which type of ad to run. Should you be posting links, photos, or videos? Your Community Manager could probably tell you. This is the type of knowledge that a paid expert like Danie could benefit from, and of course, test. Curious how these paid content types are performing? That’s where our Facebook Insights with Ads report comes in. Check out this  section that breaks down which content receives which interactions:

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3) Audience Advocacy

Okay, this isn’t a secret, but sometimes, people don’t like ads. Certainly there are some people, or *ahem* trolls *ahem*, who nitpick at ads for no reason other than the fact that they are ads. However, as a Community Manager, I have to exercise  sensitivity. Some ads are just plain spammy and nobody likes those. People will unlike pages, hide posts, report spam, leave nasty comments, etc. Community Managers are the first touchpoint for both positive and negative feedback, and it’s no different for ads. Paid media is a busy medium. There’s a lot going on, there are a lot of campaigns, and certainly not enough time in the day to keep a 24/7 watch on each and every one. That’s where the Community Manager comes in. Not only can you keep your paid expert up to date on what’s working, but also keep them on their toes about what’s not working. And don’t go to them without some data to back it up — show them this chart, highlighting peaks in negative actions.  Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 5.25.41 PM

I’ve talked a lot about what organic can do for paid, but not much the other way around. Truthfully, as Facebook’s organic reach declines, there’s less and less that Facebook marketers can do on their own organically, but that doesn’t mean this is a one way street. Granted, your organic reach is dwindling down to less than 10%, but ads do bring in more fans, so that number is always growing — and so is your reach! If your Facebook marketing is going to survive, it’s important that your teams, organic and paid, work together.

To learn more about the full Facebook Insights with Ads Report, click the link below:

Facebook Insights with Ads

Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.

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