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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hudleston

Organic Social vs Paid Social

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

Your business is actively posting on social media. But do you understand the key differences between organic and paid posts?

Social media changes so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up with terminology and best practices. One of the biggest points of confusion that can be seen with business owners and marketers is the distinction and strategic balance between organic and paid social media. Understanding this is essential to creating a successful social media marketing strategy.

Strategies used to purely be about engagement and creating a more genuine and personal presence online. However, now that social media is used for the full consumer journey, including customer acquisition, remarketing and retention, it is about finding a balance between the two.

What is Organic Social?

Organic social refers to any social media activity without a paid promotion. It uses free social media tools to build and engage with an online following. This includes posting status updates, links, and images with captions for your audience. The purpose of organic social media is to build a community of loyal followers and customers by posting relevant content and interacting with those who interact with your brand. If you want to show customers your true values and culture, while also learning about the values of your customers, organic social media marketing is the best way to do so​.

Unfortunately, organic reach continues to diminish across social platforms, which now means it's increasingly important to invest in paid social opportunities to reach a broader audience.

Benefits of organic social:

  • Organic social boosts validity

  • Organic social media is the only way to truly connect with potential customers once they're followers

  • Organic social media is cost-effective and a long-term solution

  • If you don't start your organic growth now, you'll always be behind

What is Paid Social?

Paid social, is identified as paying for social media platforms to display advertisements or sponsored messages to users of the social network based on user profiles and characteristics, with each one of these advertisements or sponsored messages incurring a cost, depending on the type of ad served. For example, pay-per-click (PPC) ads incur a cost each time your ad is clicked by a user.

Benefits of paid social:

  • Increases your reach

  • Suits any budget

  • Maximises content marketing effectiveness

  • Get more market insight

Why do you need both?

Organic and paid social media—you shouldn’t have one without the other. A solid organic strategy improves your online presence and reputation, and a paid strategy increases your brand’s reach and awareness to targeted audiences. Managing both aspects of social media takes time and planning, but the results of a well-executed campaign are worth the effort.


Thanks for reading my Avem blog! If you need any help with your social media or content marketing, get in touch! You can call us on 01423 714984 or drop us an email:

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