There are two main types of owned content: organic and paid. This blog will walk you through the difference between the two, their benefits, and why it is so important to utilize both tactics. Keep reading to learn how your law firm can improve your overall social media strategy.
Organic social media is “free content (posts, photos, video, memes, Stories, etc.) that all users, including businesses and brands, share with each other on their feeds.” On social media platforms, users follow who they are most interested in keeping up with and want to see organic social posts from. Users chose to follow your law firm to gain something from your content whether that be educational, information, or entertainment.
It is important to remember that your organic posts shouldn’t feel like advertisements. They should express an authentic side of your law firm by highlighting your values and culture. A social media account is an opportunity to build a community and a relationship with your followers. There are a variety of different types of posts you can use to gain and maintain viewers’ attention. For example, useful legal tips, basic legal information, and industry updates. For more ideas, read CoSchedules blog post for 52 Effective Social Media Post Ideas to Fill Your Calendar.
In this blog, I will be using Instagram as the example platform, but all the concepts and suggestions I describe are applicable to all social media platforms.
Diagram of Organic Post (Instagram)
- The paragraph below the text.
- Limited to 2,200 characters.
- Include either within or at the end of your caption.
- Connects those who may be interested in the topic of your post with a way to find it when they search for a keyword or particular hashtag. It helps to draw attention to your posts and encourage interaction.
- Allow you to pin a specific account onto your post so that they are alerted you posted it and promoted their relation to your post.
- Using tags can relate well-known accounts to your post, hopefully drawing the attention of the account and its followers.
- Similar to hashtags, entering a location associates your post to that specific place so if anyone is looking up that place in the future, your post will appear in relation to it.
Here is a convincing list of ways building a strong account can benefit your law firm:
- Create Brand Awareness
- There has been a large increase in social media usage over the past few years. Having a strong social presence will allow you to increase your brand recognition across multiple platforms.
- Engage Your Target Audience
- One of the great things about social media is it is a two-way communication platform. Your law firm’s followers can connect with you by engaging with posts or your profile. Responding to engagement restores followers’ trust in your firm by showing that you are reliable and actively supporting those turning to you.
- Attract Prospective Clients
- Creating a thorough social media content strategy will increase users’ exposure to your brand helping to attract new clients.
- Improve Your SEO Efforts
- Increasing your social media presence can leverage your ranking on search engine results pages (SERP).
Of course, there are some downsides to only using organic social posts to advertise your brand. The main social media platforms used across the globe on a daily basis have a ranking algorithm. This algorithm organizes the content on users’ feeds depending on the post’s relevance rather than the time it was shared. It is “a way of sorting posts in a users’ feed based on relevancy instead of publishing time.” Based on this ranking strategy, only a small percentage of your followers will see your organic posts.
Paid social media is content a brand pays platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Tiktok, etc. to advertise to a specific target audience that is most likely to be interested in the product or service. One of the main differences between organic and paid content is paid ads have a CTA (Call To Action). The ad promotes a product or service it wants its viewers to interact with to ultimately convert them into customers or clients. The CTA appears as a button underneath the image being used for the ad.
Paid advertisements are created through each social media platform’s ads manager. The manager platforms make it easy to optimize your campaign by setting a target audience, location settings, timeline, and much more. These optimizations allow your firm to minimize the cost and increase the effectiveness of your paid ads.
Diagram of Paid Post/Ad (Instagram)
- Primary text
- The paragraph below the advertisement.
- CTA (Call To Action)
- A marketing term that refers to the next step a marketer wants its audience or reader to take.
- The element that transfers viewers to a new page where a conversion can be made and more information is provided.
- “Sponsored” Label
- Label added under the profile name to alert consumers that is a paid advertisement.
Compared to traditional advertising, paid social media advertising is a more effective strategy to broaden the success of your law firm.
- Ways digital ads are more effective than traditional advertising:
- Less expensive than radio, local TV, print, or direct mail
- Flexibility – changes can be easily made to digital ad campaigns as you learn more about your target audience
- Generates dialog as a two-way conversation
- Automatically generates data and analytics to reference for campaign improvements
- Allows you to better target relevant audiences
Paid advertisements have to follow strict content guidelines. These rules are described in the ads managers’ guidelines and can include limitations on imagery, text, and language to protect the users on individual social media platforms. It can be challenging to get your desired message across to your viewers while staying within the outlined ad restrictions.
Another disadvantage of only focusing on using paid social media content is that it lacks the trustworthy and reliable traits of organic social posts. Consumers want to feel heard and recognized by the brands they follow. Being shown constant advertisements that are just pushing products and services to social media users can deter them from considering your firm.
Why You Need To Do Both
Both organic and paid social media content have their advantages and disadvantages, but they work really well together. By establishing a strong organic profile first, your law firm can increase your brand presence, support existing clients, and promote an authentic side of your firm and what you stand for. This free strategy is a slower process that takes time to grow, but adding paid advertising once you have an established base and brand awareness will allow you to connect with future clients faster.
With your organic social posts built up, your firm can start to release paid ads to accurately target the audience you want to view all your content. Once their attention is captured by an advertisement, the thoughtfully developed organic social posts on your profile will push them to convert.
It can be intimidating as you begin to navigate the social media landscape. Don’t let this undertaking stop you from elevating the success of your law firm. With the help of Élan Legal Media’s social media marketing team, together we can grow your digital presence stress-free. If you are interested in learning more about the services we offer, click learn more to visit our website.