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Organic vs Paid Social Media

Last updated: 07.11.2022
Author: Marija

Over the past few years, social media marketing has evolved significantly, and businesses can no longer afford to overlook social media channels. That said, when crafting your strategy, how do you decide whether to pay for social media ads or strive to place your content in front of your target customers organically? Read on to find out how organic vs paid social media compare and which one would cater better to your marketing strategy. 

What Is Organic Social Media?

Organic social media is the use of free tools provided by each social network to build a community and interact with it, sharing posts and responding to customer comments. For example, using Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule and publish tweets on Twitter is organic. Organic social media takes advantage of the relevant platform’s built-in tools for users to create content, interact with each other, and build relationships. 

Pros of Organic Social Media Posts

Organic social allows you to build relationships with your online followers without spending any money. This type of interaction can be very beneficial in developing brand loyalty and creating a strong base of engaged followers. 

Then, since organic social posts are essentially free, you have leeway for experimentation. You can try out different types of content and social media to your heart’s content until you find what resonates with your audience. 

Organic Social Media Post Cons

However, organic social marketing also has its limitations. Without the boost that comes from paid promotion, your message may only reach a small number of people. Then, all this experimentation is time-consuming, meaning, that while free in terms of money, it will cost you time better spent on more efficient marketing pursuits. 

What Is Paid Social Media?

Paid social media is a form of advertising that involves paying to display adverts or sponsored messages to users of social networking sites. It is an effective way to reach out to potential customers on social networking sites, as it allows businesses to target their ads to users with specific interests and demographics. 

Pros of Paid Social Media Marketing 

The biggest advantage is that you can also target a direct demographic, ensuring the high efficiency of your marketing efforts. This is particularly true if you work with reliable advertising agencies that can craft ads that maximize ROI. And while it’s not free, paid social media advertising is still budget-friendly, since charges are usually accumulated on a pay-per-click basis. 

Paid Social Ad Cons 

The most obvious disadvantage is that paid social ads are not free, and while they might target the right audience, results are not guaranteed. Then, there is the whole promotional posts fatigue among social media users, with lots of them simply ignoring promotional content while scrolling down their newsfeed. 

Paid vs Organic Social Media Strategy

With more than half of internet users relying on social media to research products, having a pitch-perfect social media strategy is no longer optional. So, let’s see what you need to take into account when deciding whether to bet on paid or organic ads

  • Your target audience — think about whether you are trying to reach the people already into your brand or a wide audience that needs to know you. The organic approach is best used for a target audience that is already following you or consists of existing clients. You will pop up on their screens organically because they have interacted with you. If you are interested in those that haven’t yet heard of your company or are not taking an active interest, paid advertising on social media is your answer. 
  • Your budget and your time — naturally, this is a major consideration that will determine your choice. If you are tight on funds but have time to spend, experiment with organic posts until you find what works. If, however, you can afford to spend money on social media posts but your time is precious, bet on a paid social strategy

Organic vs Paid Social Media — The Best of Both Worlds 

As you have seen, both paid and organic posts on social media serve slightly different purposes. So, the best option is to combine the two — the gist is using paid social marketing to target the right audience and gain new followers, while organic posts enable you to build upon existing relationships and reinforce your brand’s image. Naturally, if you are not sure how to blend the two and create a well-rounded plan for social boosting, established social media marketing firms and companies can consult you or even make one for you, ensuring your budget is spent efficiently.       

Wrapping it Up

So, which is better? In truth, both have their pros and cons. So, rather than choosing between organic vs paid social media, the best approach is a hybrid of both  — by using a mix of an organic and paid media strategy on social platforms, you can reach new audiences while also continuing to cultivate your existing fanbase. This will help you to create a more sustainable and successful social media presence overall.

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