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Blogs by Madeleine Helme

Madeleine Helme

| 3 min read

Organic vs. Paid Social Media

By Madeleine Helme

Organic vs. Paid Social Media
Organic vs. Paid Social Media

Social media is a great, versatile marketing strategy for any business. Brands big and small can benefit from it because you can use social media to promote your brand without spending a penny. Then again, if you want to invest more in it for bigger results, you can with paid social media.

If you’re planning your social media strategy, here are the differences between organic and paid social media to help you decide which is best for your business.

Organic social media

It doesn’t cost anything to create a Twitter account or set up a company page on Facebook. And it doesn’t cost anything to post from those profiles. This is organic social media. All the aspects of social media that you can do for your brand without paying for it.

So, you can;

  • post updates about your company,
  • share links to your blog and website,
  • Share articles from other sources your audience might like,
  • post content to entertain your audience,
  • ·nd interact with other people’s content and comments.
Facebook post
A Facebook post we posted in February 2020

The obvious advantage of this is that it’s free. Even if you’re a start-up with a shoestring budget, you can get on social media and start gaining exposure for your brand. It does have its limitations compared to paid social, though, as you are relying on the organic reach of your content. But you can still reach a wide audience if you put the work in and build up your following over time.

Here are a few tips for expanding your reach through organic social media:

  • Post/share interesting and engaging content
  • Be consistently active
  • Interact with the content of other users
  • Invite your Facebook friends to like your page
  • Share links to your profile on other platforms

Paid social media

Paid social media, as the name suggests, involves spending money to boost your efforts on social platforms. If you’ve ever seen a Facebook post that shows the word ‘sponsored’, then you’ve seen paid social media content. Spending money on your social media content can help you get it seen by more people and by the right audience. It can also get more people to click through to your website or landing page.

This mostly involves creating social media ads. Each social network has its own advertising platform that individuals or businesses can use. You can create a text ad, video ad, or image ad to promote your brand and its products or services. There are lots of targeting options that ensure your content gets seen by the right people. Social media ads often operate on a pay-per-click basis, meaning you only pay when someone clicks on or engages with your ad.

Example of Paid Social Advert
Example of a sponsored advert from The Athletic sports blog

Combining paid and organic social media

If you don’t have much of a marketing budget, then starting out with organic social media is fine. But if you’re willing to spend a little, then the best strategy is to combine both organic and paid social media.

If a page only posts ads and sponsored content, users are likely to be put off by the overly salesy nature. Following a consistent organic content strategy backed up by occasional ads and boosted posts is an effective way to maximise your reach and engagement levels on social media.

If you need help with the strategy for your social media, organic or paid (or both!), then get in touch with us to find out more about our social media services.