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In the 2020s, most marketers have integrated digital and social ads into their media mixes. It’s generally accepted that the most effective ad strategies incorporate traditional and new media in concert. Unfortunately, many advertisers have not taken time to learn about the different platforms and channels available. They may feel like having a social budget and presence is enough to stay competitive in their categories. This is a missed opportunity, especially when it’s so easy to learn the basic info needed to launch a successful social campaign. Let’s look at the three main types of social ads, and where they may, or may not be, effective. 

Organic Posts

In the earliest days of social media advertising, a business would simply post on its page. This was before platforms had established their revenue models and set up mechanisms to sell and deploy ads. Despite that evolution, many businesses still think of organic posts as an effective means of social media advertising. Do organic posts have value? Sure, they help keep you connected to loyal followers and are great ways to relay timely information. Unfortunately, there are certain circumstances where they may do more harm than good. 

Social platforms (understandably) want businesses to pay for advertising. If their algorithms detect an organic post that appears to be nothing more than a free ad, they may bury it in followers’ feeds, effectively punishing a business for posting it. Make your organic posts more about things your business is doing than actual calls to action.

Boosted Posts

Boosted posts are a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, they will help you avoid getting buried by free self-promotion. On the other hand, they strip out some of the most compelling aspects of social media advertising. Boosted posts mostly just amplify your reach, making sure that your followers (and their followers, in turn) will see more of your posts. That’s helpful, but it doesn’t take full advantage of the targeted nature of true paid social.

Paid Social Media Advertising

If you invest in a paid social media advertising schedule on any of the major platforms, you will have access to incredibly detailed targeting tools. You can select to serve ads to specific audiences based on very precise demographic information. Unlike boosted or organic posts, you can control and pinpoint who sees your messaging.

Advertising needs vary from industry to industry. That said, most companies can derive significant benefits from a marketing strategy that includes traditional media, digital ads, organic social posts, and paid social.