How Important is Organic Social Media for your E-Commerce Brand?

November 22, 2022
by Alyssa von Bornhoft

One of the biggest social media myths is that only paid ads will help boost your follower base and grow your business. Paid ads do allow your business to reach – and convert – your targeted audiences quickly. But, a marketing strategy built on paid efforts alone will be missing the connection you need to build credibility and create long-lasting relationships with your existing customers – who, by the way, make up 65% of a company’s business. If consumers only see ads from your e-commerce business, they might lose interest or trust in your brand. With 82% of companies agreeing that retention is cheaper than acquisition, it only makes sense to include organic social media in your marketing strategy, right?

What is Organic Social Media?

Organic social media marketing uses the free tools and services offered by social media platforms. And, it allows you to share your e-commerce brand’s content without any paid promotions or sponsorships. You can do this by sharing any free content on your e-commerce brand’s social media profile. This includes anything from posts with status updates, reviews, links and images, to stories and videos. All of which may be seen by your followers, followers of users sharing your posts and users following hashtags you might use.

The goal of organic social media marketing is to post consistent, relevant content. This will increase engagement with your e-commerce business, build a community of loyal followers, and interact with them directly. Interestingly, 78% of consumers want brands to use social to help people connect with each other. It’s also a great way to establish your personality and use your brand’s voice to showcase who you are and what you do. 

The Foundation of Your Advertising Strategy

Organic social media content is the foundation for your advertising strategy. It’s vital in increasing brand awareness, boosting user engagement and, ultimately, building consumer loyalty. According to one of the first to ever pursue a PhD predicting how people use social media, Matthew Kobach, “people overestimate organic social media’s ability to drive direct sales, and underestimate its ability to build a lasting brand.”

Facebook introduced paid advertising in 2012, and it didn’t take long for other social media platforms to follow suit. You would actually have a hard time finding a social media platform now that doesn’t operate on a pay-to-play model. With paid advertising as the only source of revenue for most social media platforms, organic social media has been declining. It often takes a back seat to e-commerce brands who are willing to pay to have their content seen. Not to mention that on Facebook, the average reach of an organic post is only around 5.2% of an e-commerce brand’s follower base. That means only about one in every 19 followers will see an e-commerce brand’s non-promoted content. With statistics like that, it’s not uncommon for e-commerce businesses to undervalue the importance of organic social media marketing. 

Why That’s a Big Mistake

For all intents and purposes, let’s take a look at the fastest-growing social network, TikTok. The average organic reach on TikTok is around 118% for e-commerce brands. They have shared new data showing just how much e-commerce brands can benefit from increasing organic content:

  • Organic content is more likeable after users view a paid ad, resulting in a 20% increase in brand affinity.
  • TikTok saw an 18% increase in users who say a brand’s organic content is more relevant after seeing a paid ad first.
  • Organic content can increase brand recall by as much as 27% if it’s seen before a paid ad.

What’s more, LinkedIn also found that page followers are 61% more likely to convert when they are exposed to both organic content and paid ads, compared to those who only see paid ads.

Paid ads are important to your e-commerce brand, but consistent, creative organic social media is crucial to branding success. It strengthens your e-commerce brand’s presence while building trust among your customers – resulting in higher consumer returns. You may feel pressured by competitors to run paid social ads, but not all social media posts should be paid. It’s important to understand that organic social media content is an integral element of your marketing and branding efforts. 

The Advantages of Organic Social Media Marketing

Organic Social Boosts Your Brand’s Credibility 

When users are interested in paid ads that they see on social media, their next step might include a visit to the brand’s social media profile. By complementing paid ads with organic content, users will be more inclined to engage with – and follow – your brand. Relevant organic content also helps with work-of-mouth marketing. Why is that important?

  • 90% of social media users say they believe brand recommendations from friends
  • 81% say they’re influenced by what their friends share on social media
  • 71% say they are more likely to make a purchase if they’ve been referred to a particular profile.  

Organic Social Media allows You to Connect with Your Followers

Organic social media marketing is a great way for your e-commerce brand to learn from your followers –and vice versa – by posting and sharing anything that may be relevant. Additionally, if any potential customers find your brand through paid ads and have questions, they can connect with you directly through your social media profile. One study found that 69% of Americans said that communicating with a brand directly on social media increased their overall trust in that brand. Opening the lines of communication with your consumers allows you to create authentic relationships with your followers. It also presents an opportunity to tailor your products and services based on your consumers’ needs.

Organic Social Media Marketing is Cost Effective 

Organic social media content is an extremely cost-effective way of building and maintaining an online presence. In the US, it’s expected that advertisers will spend $56 billion promoting products and services on social networks this year. Don’t forget, paid social ad spend can provide insights about your target audience. This will help you better align your organic messaging with their interests and needs.

The goal of organic social media marketing is to build the foundation for long-term success by cultivating your e-commerce brand’s identity, engaging with your followers and adding value to your consumers’ use of your services. By using the tools available, and our help, the possibilities are endless. Growing your organic marketing presence on social media will ultimately result in increased brand awareness, loyalty and connectivity with your followers.

About the author: Alyssa has spent the majority of her career specializing in the Accounting sector of Affiliate Marketing. With a persistent urge to learn new things, Alyssa returned to McGill University in Montreal, Canada in her 30s to study Public Relations and Communications Management where she discovered a passion for writing – and she hasn’t looked back!

Her interests include adventuring in the great outdoors, cooking up a storm, and not sitting still. She aspires to take a million pictures of her Siberian Husky/Saint Bernard mix, Jax, and is probably getting pretty close.

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