Organic vs Paid Social Media Advertising | Spectrum Net Designs

Understand the Difference Between Organic Posting and Paid Advertising

What is Organic Social Media

Organic social media is the free content (posts, photos, videos, memes, stories, etc.) that users, including company’s and brands, share with their following base on their feeds.

As a brand, when you post organically to your account, you can expect the people to see your posts are:

  • A percentage of your followers (your organic reach)
  • Your followers’ followers (if people choose to share your post)
  • people following the hashtags you use in your posts

It sounds simple but the reason organic social media is considered the foundation of every digital marketing strategy today is because it’s the best way to nurture the connections with your customers at scale.

Brands will use organic social media to:

  • Establish their personality and voice
  • Build rapport by sharing information, entertaining, and/or inspiring content
  • Support customer base with customer service

Example of Organic Posts

Examples of organic posts are those that live on your Facebook Timeline & Instagram accounts. They will be shown to your friends, friend’s friends (if liked, commented or shared only) & people who follow the hashtags you use.

Check out Tips for Clean, Professional Instagram Aesthetic for more information on how to boost the aesthetic of your business social accounts! 

Organic vs Paid Social Media Advertising
Organic vs Paid Social Media Advertising

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What is Paid Social Media

Paid social media is just another word for advertising. Its when brands pay money to run advertising campaigns on social platform such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, etc. The campaigns will be highly targeted and shared to an audience that will likely be interested in what they’re promoting. You can tell a paid ad by it saying sponsored under the company name. 

The uncertainty of 2020 has rebounded paid social media by not only increasing users time on the platforms, but they are also now, more than ever, shopping online via ecommerce or social media stores. This makes your ads seem like a more natural part of the scrolling social media experience, especially when your ads a thoroughly thought out and designed with purpose.

B2C companies are not the only industry focusing on the raising popularity of social media advertising. More so than organic posting, paid social media advertising is the best way for brands to tap into new audiences and convert those individuals into customers. Businesses use paid social advertising to:

  • Raise brand awareness and attract a new audience
  • Promote new deals, content, events, etc.
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Drive conversions

Example of Paid Ads

Examples of paid advertising posts look like the ones below. Note that it shows the company or business who is promoting the opportunity & it says ‘sponsored’ under the name. These posts will be shown to a selected audience based on their online interests, behaviors & demographic targeting wherever they are spending their time- Facebook, Instagram, or the Audience Network sites. You can create static images, videos, slideshows & carousels. 

Check out Guide to Facebook Ads Manager for more information on how to get started with your own Facebook Ads! 

Organic vs Paid Social Media Advertising
Organic vs Paid Social Media Advertising

Organic vs Paid Social Media Advertising

Both the organic and paid social strategies have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s quickly look at some of them.

An organic social media strategy will nurture the relationships with your customers or audience. Organic social media will:

  • Establish and grow your brand’s presence where people are already spending their time
  • Retain and support your existing customers
  • Create conversions with new customers by showing them what you represent

Organic will be a slower process to reach your business goals and while technically it is free, it takes time and experimentation/experience to get it right. But do not underestimate the power of utilizing both organic PLUS paid social media.

A paid social media strategy is how you will connect with new customers and/or audience. Paid social media will:

  • Reach a larger number of people
  • Target your ideal customers for accurately
  • Reach your business objectives faster

With that being said, it requires a budget, some experience creating ads and assigning targeting to your campaigns as well as monitoring and adjusting.

What About Boosting a Post?!

A boosted Facebook post is a post to your page’s timeline that you can apply money towards to boost it to an audience of your choosing. This is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook. Boosted posts are different from Facebook paid ads because they are not created in Ads Manager and don’t have the added customized features that come with Facebook Ads Manager.

Once you boost a post, it will show up in your audience’s Facebook feed as an ad. You can also select Instagram as an ad placement for your boosted post. You can choose a post that already is on your page’s timeline by assigning a couple of things:

Who you want to reach: pick a target audience that you want to show your post to.

Your max budget: you’ll tell Facebook how much you want to spend over the lifetime of your campaign.

How long you want to run you ad: once you click boost and your ad is approved, people in your target audience will see your ad in their feed for the duration you’ve selected.

Let's Bring it All Together!

As a marketing company, we have come across individuals who confuse an organic post, paid post & boosted post. It’s important to understand the difference between organic vs paid social media advertising since they all solve different objectives & business goals. We hope by reading this you have a better understand of the differences between the three.

Organic post– is a free post that lives on your Facebook timeline and will be shown to your friends on their feed. People can interact with this by liking, commenting, or sharing.

Paid Ad– is a paid ad with a duration over a period of time with a goal in mind for traffic, leads, conversions, brand awareness, etc. This will be shared on your social platform on your choosing- Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.

Boosted post– is a paid Facebook post that you can assign an audience to and show it show on their feed for a duration of time.

If you are looking to incorporate any of these into your current marketing strategy OR you have a current social media marketing strategy in which you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for reach out to Spectrum Net Designs today!