Your Guide to Paid vs. Organic Social Media Marketing

It’s no secret that social media marketing is now an important part of any digital marketing plan. It’s not surprising at all seeing as how there are over 2.26 billion users on Facebook, 1.9 billion on YouTube, 1 billion on Instagram, and millions on other individual platforms.

The goal of marketing, after all, is to go where the people are. But what is social media marketing?

To put it simply, it’s using a platform’s functions for marketing purposes. It can either be organic or paid, each of which serves different purposes.

What’s the difference between an organic post and a paid post? Which type should you include in your marketing strategy? Learn all about them below.

1. Organic vs. Paid Social Media Marketing

Both organic and paid social media marketing involves the creation of posts. How does an organic post differ from a paid post?

Well, an obvious difference is that you pay money for a paid post. The amount you pay depends on the platform and its payment scheme, but that’s the gist of it.

That aside, let’s see their two major differences to better understand them.


When you post organic content, your audience is your followers. It will show up in their feed, which then allows them to interact with it.

You can reach new people when they like and/or share your post. Your post will then show up in the feed of their friends and followers.

On the other hand, paid content can appear in the feed of people who aren’t following you yet. If they’re a part of the demographics you’re targeting, they’ll likely see your post as an ad.

This is a good way to reach new people without waiting for the results of your organic content.


Your content strategy will rely on which audience you want to target.

For instance, you only need to reinforce your brand to your existing audience. You can drop the sales talk and focus on building your personality.

Encouraging conversations and connecting with your followers should be a part of your strategy.

With paid social media marketing, you have to be more assertive to capture the fleeting attention of your audience. You also need to know how to target the right audience, too, so you can maximize the amount you pay for it.

For paid posts, you need to incorporate shorter content, CTAs, and lots of testing into your strategy.

2. Advantages of Organic Social Media Marketing

Did you know that around 58% of consumers visit a brand’s social media account before its website? You have to make that visit count if you want to see your conversion rates increasing.

Think of what they’ll see when they visit your profile. It will be full of your organic posts. Use that to let both the visiting and existing audience know you more.

Brand Awareness

Remember that you show up in the feed of your followers every time you post, which means you build their awareness of your brand each time. Posting organic content increases their exposure to your brand.

However, make sure you have a good digital marketing strategy that includes posting good content. Each post you make should make for a positive experience for your followers. This way, you’ll maximize building upon their awareness and loyalty.

Brand Personality

Posting content is the best way to show your brand personality. Your followers will get a better idea of what you are as a brand, what you represent, and what value you can give them.

If you do it right, your audience will get to know you better through your organic posts. And if they’re liking what they’re seeing, they’re more likely to support you. You’ll gain their trust and loyalty, as a result.

Connecting with the Audience

Do you want to increase your engagement with your audience? You can do that via organic posts, which you can use for interesting content that sparks conversations. People will do it naturally as long as the subject is interesting enough.

You can also encourage them to like and comment by using a CTA. Note that while it’s possible to do with paid content, it’s rare for people to interact with an ad except to click it.

3. Advantages of Paid Social Media Marketing

You’re paying a certain amount with paid content, so you have to make the most out of it. You must have a well-researched marketing strategy to make every cent count. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to enjoy the following benefits.

Targeting and Retargeting

Social media ads are effective because you’re able to target the users that fit your ideal consumer. It isn’t like showing an ad on television, wherein everyone watching can see the ad. There’s no targeting, but you’re paying for it anyway.

Marketing today isn’t about casting a wider net. It’s about targeting the people who are more likely to buy your product so that you get the most value out of your ads.

It also allows you to retarget those who have already expressed their interest in your product but decided against buying it at the end. With retargeting, you can persuade them to take another step forward.

Increase in Leads and Conversions

Because of targeting, it’s more likely that you’ll get leads using paid social content. In turn, you also get an increase in conversion rate.

Don’t expect ads to work on their own, though. You have to make sure the right people see the right message to better your chances.

Call-to-Actions (CTA)

With paid ads, you can use CTA buttons to redirect them to another site. You can use it to lead them to a landing page on your website, a product page, or a form.

Some examples that advertisers use include:

  • Contact Now
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up for a Newsletter
  • Buy Now

You can get creative with this CTA button, which is only available for paid posts.

Which One is Better?

To take advantage of both benefits of organic and paid social media marketing, it’s a good idea to include both in your overall digital marketing strategy. Reach out to a new audience while building your brand with your current followers.

As to which social media is the best for marketing, that depends on which one best fits your brand. Take a look at our guide discussing Facebook’s benefits for businesses to see if it fits.