Paid vs. Organic Social Media: Is One Better Than the Other?

Are you weighing your options between organic vs. paid social media? Is one better than the other? Whether you run your own social media accounts or are posting for clients it can be a struggle to determine when to put money behind posts and when to simply post organically. Each approach has its own benefits and understanding these are essential to creating a successful social media strategy. Although, there may be no official science behind paid and organic social media, I am here to tell you why a little bit of both is best for your business.

Organic vs. Paid

First, let me briefly explain the difference between organic and paid social media. Organic refers to anything you post without paying to have it promoted. Naturally, a majority of your social media content will be organic. On the other hand, paid social media is the exact opposite. Whenever you pay to have a post promoted, boosted, or advertised, it is considered paid social media. So, is one better than the other?

The Value of Organic Social Media

The truth about organic social media is it should be a foundational component of your social media strategy, but due to ranking algorithms you will only be able to reach about 6 percent of your followers. So, for every 100 followers you may have, only about 6 people will see your organic post. This declining percentage is why each and every post should be meaningful, personal, and well thought out.

Despite the small reach, posting organically is the best way to build your brands personality and personally connect with your customers. It has many benefits such as:

  1. Building meaningful relationships through informative, entertaining, and inspiring content
  3. Engaging and interacting with customers through comments, messages, and sharing
  5. Supporting your customers with any complaints or concerns they have
  7. Staying relevant in the ever-changing world of social media

Organic posts are best once you have developed healthy social media presence. If you are new to social media and just beginning, this is where paid advertising will come in handy.

The Value of Paid Social Media

Unlike organic social media, with paid social media your posts are guaranteed to be seen because it breaks through algorithms and shows it to your chosen audience. In fact, using paid social media is one of the most effective ways to target new audiences and convert them to customers. Brands can use paid social media to:

  1. Raise brand awareness and attract new followers
  3. Promote deals, sales, events, new products, etc.
  5. Generate Leads
  7. Drive conversions and reach business goals (such as e-commerce sales)

The true beauty of many social media platforms is you can put as little or as much money into promoting and advertising posts as you’d like. It is a great idea when beginning a new business, to use paid social media to gain followers and build your online brand image.

A Balancing Act

Overall, there are different benefits to both paid and organic social media. And both are necessary when it comes to having an effective marketing strategy. If you have a big sale coming up and you want a large audience to know about it don’t be afraid to boost you post. If you have a brand update or want to show off pictures of your new office space, choose the organic route. Like I mentioned in my opening paragraph, there is no exact science on when you should use paid vs organic, so take time to figure out what works best for your brand.

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