Organic vs. Paid Social Media Marketing

paid vs organic social media marketing

If you’re venturing into the world of social media for the first time, you’ve probably come across the terms organic social media and paid social media. And if you’re unfamiliar with the terms, it can be very overwhelming.  

This post will give you insight into both approaches to social media marketing and help you decide how you can use them for your business. Ideally, paid and organic social media are two different beasts, that should be used for different goals. While the best social media strategy incorporates both types of marketing, you will need to decide where you spend most of your time and resources. For that, you need to know the pros and cons of both types of social media marketing, which we will get into here.

What Is Organic Social Media?

Organic social media marketing refers to any free content that all users can share. Businesses, brands, and individuals can all create organic social media content. It can include text-only posts, photos, videos, memes, and much more. 

Brands that post organically can usually expect three different groups of people to see the posts. These include, a percentage of your followers (which is also called “organic reach”), your followers’ followers (if your post is shared), and people following any hashtags you use.

Organic posting is easy and is in fact the best way to nurture a relationship with your customers. This type of approach is excellent if you want to:

  • Establish your brand personality and voice
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Support and retain existing customers
  • Engage customers at every stage of the buying journey

And of course, the greatest upside of organic posting is that it is entirely free! Coming up with the ideas and creating the actual content will cost you time, but not money.

There is one major downside to organic social media marketing, which you’ve probably heard about. The ranking algorithms all platforms use mean that only a small percentage of your followers will see these posts. For example, a Facebook post’s average organic reach is about 5.5% of a brand’s follower count. And typically, the larger the following, the lower this gets.

Don’t panic if you have lower reach than you would have expected, it is just a fact of the industry for the last few years. This is largely because social media platforms are reaching saturation and attention spans are shortening. Ultimately, this has made it harder than ever to get your content seen not only by your own audience but by new people as well. Luckily, this is precisely where paid social media marketing comes into play!

What Is Paid Social Media?

To put it simply, paid social media is essentially just another term for advertising. It is when businesses pay social media platforms in order to have their content shared with specific new audiences who could be interested in the product or service. Typically, this is done in two ways. Businesses can either “boost” their organic posts, or they can create new, unique advertisements.

In today’s market, paid social media is the best way for businesses to target new audiences and convert them into customers. This approach is excellent if you want to:

  • Target your ideal customers
  • Raise brand awareness and attract new customers
  • Promote your newest sale, event, product, or service
  • Drive leads and conversions
  • Reach business goals faster

Perhaps the greatest benefit of paid social media marketing is that you can target a very specific demographic. You can create audiences that are segmented by location, age, and even occupation. Plus, you can create multiple audiences that might enjoy specific types of content.

A lot of people think that paid social media is out of reach for small businesses, but this isn’t the case. Most social media platforms charge on a pay-per-click basis, meaning you only have to pay when users interact directly with your content. You can also easily set limits on how much you want to spend, so you never go over budget.

The Best Approach Is a Combination of Organic and Paid Social Media Marketing

A common misconception is that it is nearly impossible to create a presence on social media for smaller brands. In reality, consumers today are making it easier than ever for smaller brands to compete against large corporations. Their desire for transparency, authenticity, and personal connection and direct contact with companies is often better met by smaller companies.

Social media is a great way to give customers a place where they feel like they are a part of a community. You can establish the feeling of being a part of a community with organic social media and then reinforce it through paid social media. The question of organic vs. paid social media is really quite unrealistic. Today, the strategy that will pay off is one that combines both approaches in a way that makes each stronger.

Do Both With 98 Buck Social

Whether you need help with one social media approach or both, 98 Buck Social is here for you. We have packages for organic social media content as well as paid social media ads, so you can combine both to achieve the best results for your business. Our team of savvy content curators will help you establish your brand online, leading to increased brand awareness and trust.

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Have any questions?

We have answers.

Can you help me grow Instagram followers?

We partner with Socialboost to help build Instagram followers. Click the link below to enroll. Plans start at $59/mo.

What photos or videos do you use?

By default, we can use the photos you have on your website as well as utilizing the plethora of photos available to us within our royalty free library.

If you have photos or videos for us to use, depending on your subscription, we welcome you to upload them into a Google Drive folder and share that link with us!

Looking for custom videos?  Some of our plans include videos or you can add them to any plan starting at $98/mo!

How do you mimic my branding colors and style?

As mentioned above, depending on your plan, we can use whatever you’d like to provide us! If not, we’ll resort to using your website or our royalty free library.

That being said, we can come up with custom graphics that suit your branding style as an add-on to your posting subscription.

$98/month for 3 custom graphics each week
$148/month for 5 custom graphics each week

Note: The cost of custom graphics is on top of your monthly subscription cost

What is content review & approval?

Content review and approval is where your social media content creator sends you a weeks worth of posts, prior to their designated publication time the following week.

This way, you will have the chance to give us feedback on each post in case you’d like us to make a minor edit.

Note: One round of editing per post permitted, depending on your plan.

What are the results I can expect from your posting services?

The idea behind consistent posting onto your social media pages is to keep them active with content that promotes your business solutions, educates your audience to showcase your expertise and to also keep things lighthearted, it’s social media after all!

There’s nothing worse for a business than to earn someone looking into what you do, only for them to see a barren social media page. To them, it may appear that you are out of business or potentially a scam.

We are often asked about growing followers and generating sales or leads. These are great goals to have but please understand that those goals are better obtained through paid advertising campaigns.

For more information on paid advertising, please visit our paid advertising services.

Do you use a posting scheduler and how do you get access to my business pages?

We are fortunate to be partnered with to utilize their excellent scheduling platform.

By signing up for our content services, we will set you up with your own Cloud Campaign workspace depending on your plan.

During onboarding we request admin access to your social accounts using a secure platform. This allows us to manage the occasional disconnect when the platforms push out updates.

Furthermore, with your own workspace you are welcome to view and edit content at your leisure!

Why do my posts say “Posted by Cloud Campaign”

We use Cloud Campaign, which is a 3rd party app, to scale social media management and posting. When a post says “Posted by Cloud Campaign”, it is only the admins of your company page that can see this and not your followers.