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3 considerations for organic, paid social from Wendy’s and other brands

Whether you’re an established brand like Wendy’s or a young D2C building an audience, understanding the right mix between organic and paid social is key. Beyond that, marketers need to understand the nuances between TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, and they need to have comprehensive targeting approaches.

Here are three takeaways from our recent “Attention! Streaming and the New Digital Ad Economy” summit.

1. The line between organic and paid content has blurred

Organic content can have paid boosts, and paid content can come from organic posts. I think paid is planned paid, and organic has opportunistic pay that could go along with it,” said Jimmy Bennett, vice president and global head of brand engagements and partnerships at Wendy’s.

Spot & Tango, a D2C pet food company, takes a similar approach. “If organic is working well, then should we put some paid behind it,” said Jacqueline Lin, vice president of growth at Spot & Tango. “And sometimes organic-feeling ads are very effective in converting.”

2. Organic and paid serve different purposes for established and younger brands

For Wendy’s, organic is a “dialogue” with consumers. “If you’re establishing a friendship, if you have a relationship, if you have a connection with those consumers, it makes it so much easier for the paid side where we’re able to push our business pieces to really resonate,” Bennett said.

For Spot & Tango, which doesn’t have the advantage of half a century of brand recognition, paid content offers that initial point of contact with consumers. Organic content can then focus on keeping customers engaged and buying.

3. You can apply learnings from TikTok across social video platforms

“We’re seeing that the same kind of short-form video that’s performing on TikTok typically resonates well on Facebook Reels and even YouTube Shorts. The formula is the same for all channels,” said Lin.

While cross-posting simplifies content creation and often pays off, do keep in mind that TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube all have different audiences and algorithms. TikTok skews younger than the other platforms, especially Facebook, and exists purely for the purpose of scrolling through video, while Reels and Shorts users have additional content options within the platform.

Apply general learnings across platforms, but be sure to track specific nuances.

Keep in mind: You don’t want to rely on one data source. Social media marketers found themselves in uncertain waters when AppTrackingTransparency shook up their ability to target consumers. In order to prevent chaos as a result of data loss, marketers should diversify their KPI mix.

Watch the whole webinar.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.