Social Media & Marketing

Organic vs Paid Social Media

social media_paid_organic

Organic and paid social are different beasts best harnessed for different goals. If you’re new to paid social, 2020 is an interesting time to get started. Confinement during the pandemic has got people using social media so much more.

Weighing up the options between organic vs paid social media? Our recommendation would be to do a bit of both. We do feel it pays off to know the pros and cons of each. Let’s take a look at the differences.

What is Organic Social Media?

Organic is a term that in this case means unpaid. Basically, anything you post on social media without paying is an organic post.

The purpose of organic social media is to build a community of local followers and customer through posting relevant content and interacting with those who interact with your business.

What is Paid Social Media?

Paid social media is another word for advertising. It’s when businesses pays money to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc, in order to have their content shared with specific new audiences who are likely to be interested, either through boosting their organic content or designing unique advertisements.

Examples of paid social media advertising would include Facebook Ads, influencer-generated content, or sponsored Instagram posts. These will be randomly shown within your news feed and will contain a CTA (call-to-action) to click, which when clicked uses your paid budget.

Looking for a Social Media Strategy?

An organic social media strategy nurtures your relationship with your customers.

It helps to:

  • Establish and grow your brands presence where people are already spending their time
  • Support and retain existing customers
  • Convert new customers by showing them what you’re all about

Organic social media is often slower to reach business goals, whilst its technically free, it does take time, experimenting and experience to get it right. Organic social media gives you a presence, a voice and a shop window.

A paid social media strategy is how you connect with new customers or audience members. It helps you:

  • Reach a larger number of people
  • Target your ideal customer more precisely
  • Hit your business goals faster

That said, it requires a budget, and its own form of expertise. Those paid ads don’t monitor themselves!


One tip for paid social media advertising is testing. Basically, it is not putting your eggs in one basket. Use your budget across a range of campaigns, testing different interests, different designs, find out what works and what doesn’t.

A mistake, we commonly see with social media advertising is that if an organic post on your Facebook page doesn’t generate any clicks, shares, or sales, amplifying the post with an ad isn’t likely to fix the problem. An ad will simply amplify what’s already broken with your messaging and your sales process.

Do you use paid or organic social media? Comment below on your preference and experience!

Whether you’re looking to use social media to build brand awareness, send quality website traffic, generate leads or drive sales, we tailor our process to meet your needs.

As with everything, one size rarely fits all, so our Social Media services puts the focus clearly on what matters most to you.  It can be designed for you can keep in total control of your various networks or you can give us complete control.

Please give us a call on 01745 535 068 or visit

Callie James, Managing Director, ie instinct

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