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Organic VS Paid Social Media Marketing: Explained

16 September 2022

There are two different ways to market your brand on social media, you can either use an organic or paid approach. Within this blog, you’ll discover the difference between the two approaches, the advantages and disadvantages, and the positives of analysing your content. This will help you see which approach is better suited for your brand.

What’s the difference?
Organic Social Media Marketing: 

This involves using the free social media tools available, for example, posts, photos, videos, memes, stories, etc. This enables your brand to build a social community and allows your business to interact with them. A brand could also schedule posts with free software, such as Buffer or Hootsuite. This will save you time to focus on interacting with your following base and taking good quality content.

Paid Social Media:

This is what it sounds like, your brand will pay for adverts. This mainly involves promoted posts, adverts, and campaigns that have been created to increase a business's social followers. As well as this, paying influencers to promote a product or your brand.

The usual social media platform will use a specific way to measure how high they should price content:

Equation: CPM = cost/impressions x 1000.

To help you see both sides of the options here are a few pros and cons for each…

Organic: Pros and Cons


  • Build a relationship with the targeted community for free
  • Increases your following and loyal following base
  • Helps project your brand's voice, personality, and overall message
  • More website clicks
  • It's all FREE


  • Time-consuming
  • It may take longer to achieve the wanted results
  • Your content is displayed to your following base, people who don’t follow your brand have less chance of seeing your content
Paid: Pros and Cons


  • Helps you grow your business and brand awareness
  • Allows you to aim content at your target demographic and psychographic 
  • Fast results
  • Increase of clicks and audience reached, pushing traffic to your site
  • Supports organic content


  • Return on investment is NOT guaranteed 
  • Money is required
  • Although it requires less time posting, you have to use more time analysing to see what works
Analysing KPIs

KPI = Key Performance Indicators 

Both organic and paid efforts need to be analysed and tracked to see what is successful or if you need to revisit your current strategy. If you are using an organic strategy, and it is successful, you might need to take the next step and invest in paid social media marketing strategies. 


Reach references the number of different indicators that highlight your brand's audience size, and what kind of audiences have seen your posted content. There are multiple Reach KPIs, these are:

  • The number of followers
  • The number of impressions your post has
  • The amount of web traffic your post has generated


Similar to reach, engagement has a wide variety of parts to help a business. When analysing, you can discover how many people are interacting with the post, further suggesting if this type of content is the correct style for your brand. If it's not, back to the drawing board.

The main thing to understand is that by using either of these methods, your brand can only get you so far to be a success. Many businesses find using a mixture of both, organic and paid social media marketing to aid their brand, with a little more emphasis on another method than another. The organic strategy could be beneficial for small businesses, due to the lack of funding for paid advertising. Whereas, larger companies are likely to have the money to invest in advertising through social media. All in all, if used right you can push your brand to the next level using either organic or paid social media marketing.

For more information on how to support your brand's social media marketing strategy, head over to our website today.