Organic social media vs paid: the difference | Digital Dot

Organic social media vs paid: the difference

Social media is bigger than ever before. Between January 2021 and January 2022, social media users grew to 4.6 billion worldwide [1]. That is a 10% increase! As the social media environment changes, so does marketing. Brands are finding that their old techniques do not work as well as they used to. It is hard to keep up with algorithm changes and new trends. The choice between paid and social media advertising is complex. Both methods have different strengths and weaknesses. At Digital Dot NYC, we believe combining both can help achieve the best results. We have consulted our digital marketing experts to explain the pros and cons of organic social media vs paid.

The lowdown on organic content

Organic social media content is all free content. It includes all free posts, images, videos, stories, shorts, etc., that businesses or individuals share on their profiles. The issue with organic content is its lack of broad reach. Statistics show that organic content reach has been declining [2]. Everyone is competing for the same spotlight. It is more complicated than ever to reach your audience. Only a percentage of your followers will see it, and a smaller percentage of their followers. Other people who do not follow you might see it from hashtags or searches. However, this is the only way to reach new people without spending money.

woman hunched over a mobile phone
As more people are using social media for different purposes, it is becoming difficult to organically reach your intended audience.

Posting organic content has many benefits

While reach is declining, organic social media still has its place in the digital world. Any social media marketing agency NYC has will tell you this. To start with, organic content is cost-effective by nature. It is a great way to capture the interest of your audience while on a small budget. Social media has become a place for people to learn, have fun, escape and connect with brands and individuals. If you catch their attention, your audience will appreciate organic content. Some examples of organic, engaging posts include:

  • Guides and tutorials
  • Real reviews and testimonials
  • Posts that introduce your team to your audience
  • Actual use cases of your product/service in daily life

These kinds of posts help create a natural environment. They build your brand in the minds of your customers. Organic content allows you to build lasting relationships with clients. If you look at things from a long-term perspective, organic content is the way to go.

There is a negative side to organic social media

First of all, it is time intensive. To maintain a presence on social media, you must consistently interact with your audience.  This can be a real burden for your schedule, especially if you do not have an ad agency to help. However, some tools can help you manage time more efficiently. For example, you could create a social media calendar. It is an easy way to organize and track posts.

Another negative aspect is the changing algorithms. Lines of code decide the relevance of your posts. Sometimes this has bad results. If you do not know how to use algorithms to your advantage, you could fail to reach your targets. Facebook had a major overhaul back in 2018 that upset many. It seems like they are due for another one soon. In a leak from June, Facebook will change its game plan sometime soon [3].

Everything you’ve wanted to know about paid content

Paid content means paying to promote your posts on different platforms. It can be used to boost the reach of your content. With paid content, you target users likely to be interested in your brand. There are many different types of paid content on social media, but the main ones are:

  • traditional ads – new content made solely for advertising
  • boost for existing content – you can pay to “boost” your organic content

After you draw in new customers, you need a way to retain them. This can be done through organic content, unique services, good products, etc. Consistent branding and design matter too. As a leading web design company New York, we cannot stress this enough.

a woman standing behind a camera
The organic social media vs paid debate is complex, but no one can deny the impact of a well-shot traditional advertisement.

Learn about the pros of paid social media content

The main benefit of paid content is the ability to reach new people. Organic posts depend on algorithms, whereas paid have no such limits. Moreover, targeted ads will ensure your posts reach a receptive audience. Ads can be tailored in several different ways. Age, gender, and likes are just some of the factors. Ads can be cost-effective too. A lot of social platforms use pay per click. This means that you only pay when someone engages with your content. Also, most sites implement spending caps. This way, you will never go over your budget. You can also use paid content for retargeting your existing audience.

Explore the negatives of bought posts

One of the most significant issues is getting the targeting right. Often, brands waste ads on people who are unlikely to buy their products. It does not help that competition is enormous. In this market, it can be hard to reach your target audience. A solution is to create compelling content that will draw people in.

Additionally, the ROI might not be evident immediately. To analyze the impact of paid content, you will have to monitor it for months. Most platforms provide analytics, so it is easy to track performance. Once you have a good grasp of it, tweak your posts and evaluate the results.

a woman adjusting a phone behind a ring light while creating organic social media vs paid content
Paid influencer content can help you reach a wider audience who would not see your content otherwise.

Organic social media vs paid – how to decide what is best?

In conclusion, both types of content play an important role in digital marketing. When deciding on organic social media vs paid, you need to consider your goals. Paid social media helps test different types of content, boost popular organic content, retarget organic users, and direct users to other parts of the funnel. Organic social media helps build a brand and voice, while both can drive conversions and support business goals. The best approach will be the one tailored to your specific needs.



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