< back to Social

Organic vs. Paid Social

Organic vs. Paid Social is always a hotly discussed topic, especially as many people don’t fully understand the differences between the two. In this blog, we’ll be looking at the differences between organic and paid social media, as well as looking at how the two work together to get you the best results possible.

Organic Social

Everyone should know this. Organic social is the free content (videos, photos, posts, memes, stories etc.) that all users share with each other on their feeds, this includes businesses too. Brands and businesses should be using organic social to establish their personality and voice, engage customers at every point of their journey, build relationships and support customers, which is why organic social media is one of the main foundations of every digital marketing strategy today.

Your organic social is seen by your followers, your follower’s followers (if they share or interact with your post) and any people who follow hashtags that you use. These rules apply to all social media including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and even TikTok.

However, as is the rule with all digital marketing, there is a downside to organic social media. Due to all of the major social media platforms we mentioned above using ranking algorithms, only a small percentage of your followers will see your posts. With factors such as platform saturation and shorter attention spans, declining organic reach from social media is something that social media marketers have had to accept. Essentially, it’s harder than ever to get your posts seen by your own followers as well as potential new followers and audiences. But, this is where paid social media comes in.

Paid Social

Yes, paid social media is different to organic social media. That’s always the first question we get asked. Paid social media is when brands pay money to any of the main platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and TikTok to have their content shared with specific targeted audiences, who are likely to be interested in that brand/product. This can be achieved through “boosting” your existing organic content, or by creating and designing unique advertisements. One of the best ways for brands to target new audiences on social media and convert them to customers is through paid social media.

There are a lot of different goals that can be achieved through paid social media including; increasing brand awareness, increasing likes and followers, promoting the newest deals or products, generating leads, driving conversions and sending traffic to your website. Due to the versatility of paid social media, we would always encourage running paid social in line with your organic social media.

Which Should You Be Running?

Everyone always wants to know whether they should be running organic or paid or both in terms of social media. The main factor to consider in terms of paid social media is a budget – if you have no budget to run paid ads, it should not be part of your strategy, yet. This is the best time to focus on organic social media to help grow your brand. If you do have a budget to run paid social media, then we would recommend you do that. The two work best together, and it’s important to utilise the fact that social media is such a huge part of daily life for most people and you need to be taking advantage of it. There’s also no reason you should be running paid social only. You need to build trust with your followers and audiences, you won’t be able to do that by just showing up in paid ads and having no organic presence for people to look through. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes – would you buy from a page where you saw an ad, but hadn’t posted anything organically since 2018? Unlikely.

And there we have it. To quickly wrap that all up, social media is a vital part of your digital marketing strategy, but it’s important to know where you should be showing up for your audience and customers. If you have the budget to allow it, make sure you’re taking advantage of paid and organic social media. If you don’t quite have the budget yet, make sure you’re still maintaining an organic presence to help give you a head start when you are ready for paid social advertising. 

If you need more help with social media marketing, whether paid or organic, contact us at Colewood to see how we could help.

Want to grow online?