Last updated: May 27, 2022

Paid Social vs Organic Social: Which Is Best For You?

Growth Marketing
Social Ads

Social media marketing has significantly evolved over the last two decades. Both organic and paid social media content continue to evolve with each passing day. Platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram constantly develop algorithms to make their sites better for users and advertisers. They continuously improve their ad strategies to target both mobile and desktop users.

The ultimate goal for brands is to generate profits. Social media makes this possible for both small and big brands. Businesses can adopt either organic or paid marketing strategies to acquire and retain customers.

Social commerce has grown rapidly ever since the pandemic started. In fact, the social commerce opportunity is expected to nearly triple to $1.2 trillion by 2025. Such projections require brands and business owners to consider the benefits of paid social vs. organic social marketing.

Organic social media is highly competitive. On the other hand, paid marketing requires a social media budget to spend on advertising. So where does this leave your brand? When developing your social media strategy, you should weigh the benefits of paid vs. organic social media marketing.


How Do Paid Social and Organic Social Compare?

Organic social content and paid social content will both show up in social media feeds. The main difference between organic and paid social media marketing is that organic content is free to post, whereas paid content requires a brand to spend money to reach a larger audience.

Organic social media uses free tools to build and interact with audiences on social networks. Here, your posts generally reach your followers and the people they choose to share your content with.

Paid social media displays advertisements for your target audience at a cost. These ads may be in the form of pictures, videos, or text. When running a paid ad campaign on social media, you can target your audience based on its interests, demographics, or location. 

Cost-per-click (CPC) advertising is a popular method under the paid social media business model. Brands pay for every click on their ads.

Organic and paid social media both have their own advantages and disadvantages. As a brand, you need to look at the pros and cons of both strategies to determine what will work best for you.


Advantages of Paid Promotions on Social Media Platforms 

Connect With Potential Customers in Your Target Audience

Paid social campaigns can give you complete control over who sees and interacts with your ads. Social platforms offer targeting parameters that focus on variables beyond basic user demographics. You can filter your ads using psychographic factors like personality types, hobbies, behaviors, and interests. 

Using paid promotions on social media enables you to reach prospects outside your loyal customer circle. Paid social allows you to isolate relevant data regarding your customers to create a tailored marketing strategy. Still, ad analytics offer critical insights into what’s working and how your ads are performing on different social media platforms.

Grow Your Social Media Presence 

Social media advertising is an effective way to boost brand awareness. Without it, it may be nearly impossible for people to find out about your company, especially when you are just starting out. Competition may be stiff within your niche.

But with paid promotions on social media networks, people will notice your brand. Paid media campaigns position brands in front of their target audience. Your brand gains social exposure, and more people become interested in what you have to offer. This may translate to inquiries, purchases, referrals, or new followers.


Advantages of Organic Posts

Keep in Touch With Loyal Customers

Organic social media content is an excellent way to build a community and foster brand loyalty. With organic posts, you can interact with loyal customers who’ve followed your business account to keep track of your products, your services, and the brand’s social media activity.

Social media offers brands the perfect forum for ongoing customer service. An active and well-maintained business profile gives loyal customers a legitimate place to post compliments, concerns, or complaints. By dedicating your time and resources to consistently responding to customer queries, you can create a positive online reputation and build customer relationships.

Drive Conversions 

As with any online or offline business, you need to show your potential and returning customers why your business is the right choice for them. They need to know that your pet supplies or beauty products are what they need.

With organic posts, the audience will probably find your page, peruse through it, and hit the follow or like button. When you get followers from organic posts, they may be like-minded individuals who share your company’s values. Such a community can easily convert into new customers and also refer their friends or family members.

Leverage Your Existing Social Network 

When it comes to organic vs. paid social media marketing, you should ask yourself whether you want to reach new or existing customers. Organic marketing is an ideal way to reach your existing social network. When you post a video or picture, your followers will likely see it and interact with the post.

Organic social media posts make it easier for brands to reach customers who are already following them. You can develop free campaigns using custom hashtags and encourage your existing network to participate and win prizes. This encourages user-generated content that may lessen the need for paid ads.


Refine Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Thanks to social media, small companies, and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands can compete with large brands. Shoppers can find products online through organic and paid social media content and build relationships with businesses.

The right balance between paid and organic social marketing is a factor that every brand needs to consider when coming up with its social strategy. Remember, social media is an ideal channel for communicating with your target audience and creating brand awareness.

Not sure whether you should use organic or paid social posts? Confused about how to target and track the performance of your paid or organic strategy? GrowthHit is here to answer any questions you may have about paid social vs. organic social media strategies. Get in touch with us today to find out what would work best for your brand.

Jim Huffman

Founder & CEO GrowthHit. Startup mentor at Techstars, General Assembly, and Sephora Accelerator. Author of The Growth Marketer’s Playbook #1

The #1 Newsletter for Growth Marketers & CEOs

The best kept secrets in growth. Every Thursday you’ll get:

  • 3 must-read articles
  • 1 podcast episode
  • Sneak peek at our startup studio

    Join the 5,000+ subscribers
    This is more useful than my MBA program
    It helped me get a raise!
    It just makes me feel smarter.

    Learn How 17 High Growth Brands Get Customers to Say

    ...“Shut Up And Take my Money” (INCLUDES EXAMPLES)