Organic Vs Paid: The Power of Social Media


Close up of social media apps Instagram, Facebook, Linked in and X on a mobile phone screen

In a digital age where hashtags and likes wield an unmatched influence, social media platforms have gone beyond being used for social interactions, and cat memes.

They have evolved into an incredibly powerful tool for businesses, big and small, to elevate their brands, engage with customers, and drive tangible results.

If you’re a small to medium-sized business wondering if diving into the world of social media marketing is right for you, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article we look at both organic and paid social media strategies, highlighting their benefits and how an integrated approach could help you transform your marketing efforts.

What is Organic Social Media? 

Organic social media can be seen as the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing.

It involves creating and sharing content across various social media platforms without directly paying for it to be seen.

Organic social media posts are shown in platform feeds, to users who like or follow your brand’s social media pages.

Posting organically allows you to foster a genuine connection with your audience, spark conversations with real-time engagement, and build brand loyalty.

It’s a strategy that requires a deep understanding of your target demographic, their interests, and the ability to speak their language. 

What are the benefits of using Organic Social Media?

Whilst it may seem simple, organic social media isn’t just about posting the occasional photo or sharing a link to your product or service.

It’s about crafting a narrative, sharing your brand story, and establishing an emotional relationship with your audience.

Top Tip

When creating posts for social media, you really want to consider what type of content will resonate with your audience, and what would make them connect with your brand on a personal, more human level.

Its these personal interactions, which are more likely to influence decision making and buying power.

Essentially, it’s a cost-effective way to showcase your brand’s personality, demonstrate expertise, and engage in meaningful conversations.

It’s also important to highlight that some of these conversations may also fall into the realm, of customer care and support.

Users are increasingly engaging with brands on social media when they need support and a quick response.

What is Paid Social Media? 

Laptop in a digital marketing agency displaying a facebook ads page

Paid social media takes your content and strategically places it in front of a highly targeted audience.

It’s like sending out a tailored invitation to a select group of individuals who are most likely to be interested in what you offer.

Through paid social media campaigns, you can leverage advanced targeting options to reach the right people at the right time. 

What are the benefits of using Paid Social Media? 

Paid social media campaigns provide instant visibility and quick results as you’re not reliant on the organic algorithm for your brand to be seen.

Whether you’re aiming to increase website visits, boost conversions, or drive downloads, paid social media can deliver measurable outcomes and a proven return on investment.

The ability to fine-tune your audience parameters means you’re not throwing money into the abyss; you’re investing it where it counts.

Moreover, paid social media complements your organic efforts by amplifying your message and giving it a broader reach. 

Organic vs Paid Social Media: Combining the power of two strategies

Whilst independently both paid and organic social media strategies have a range of benefits, they work better when combined together.

A holistic approach means aligning your strategies, using the insights gathered from your organic interactions to refine your paid campaigns, and vice versa.

It’s a yin-yang dynamic that leverages the strengths of each strategy to achieve a synergy that propels your brand forward. 

Why is having a social media strategy important?

A team in a digital marketing agency holding a meeting about social media strategy

Whilst starting social media marketing without a strategy is possible, to ensure social media success, strategy is a necessity.  

A social media strategy provides direction, purpose, and structure to your online efforts.

It’s about understanding your goals, identifying your target audience, selecting the right platforms, and crafting a content plan that aligns with your brand identity.

A well-defined strategy ensures that your efforts aren’t scattered but are channelled towards achieving tangible results

What social media platforms should your business be using?

When developing an effective social media strategy, you should focus your efforts on the social media channels that are best suited to your brand and the target audience you are looking to reach.

Consider choosing the platforms where you’re target audience are most likely to spend their free time.

If your target audience is young, you might consider using Instagram and TikTok.

If your target audience is more business focused than consumer, you might consider using LinkedIn and Facebook.

What are the benefits of using a marketing agency for Social Media Management?

Whilst you might use social media in your personal life but using it for business is a whole other kettle of fish.

Successfully marketing your business on social media takes planning, goal setting, testing, creativity and an exact idea of how you want your brand to be represented online.

When you partner with a digital marketing agency that specialises in social media management, you can save time, make the most of your budget, and ensure your marketing is as effective as possible.

Looking for advice on how to choose the right marketing agency to partner with?

Check out our article 15 considerations when choosing a Marketing Agency.


  1. How can a small or medium-sized business effectively measure the ROI of organic vs. paid social media strategies to determine which is more beneficial for their specific needs?

    To measure the ROI of organic vs. paid social media strategies, businesses can track metrics like engagement rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall website traffic originating from social media. Tools like Google Analytics and social media platform insights provide valuable data. Comparing these metrics between organic and paid efforts can help identify which strategy yields better returns relative to investment.
  2. What are some specific examples of successful organic and paid social media campaigns, and what tactics were used to achieve their success?

    Our social media campaigns for GladePark Investments, successful in Q3 2023, strategically employed paid and organic approaches to boost brand visibility and generate inquiries. Paid campaigns highlighted the benefits of investment opportunities, attracting 114,127 clicks through ads tailored to audience interests. Organically, we engaged 6,600 visitors with content like FAQs, testimonials, relevant articles, and educational pieces on geographical locations of interest, showcasing the importance of compelling content and active audience interaction to drive success.

    You can read the full case study here

  3. How often should a business reassess its social media strategy to stay current with algorithm changes and emerging trends in both organic and paid social media?

    Businesses should regularly review their social media strategy—ideally monthly or quarterly—to adapt to platform algorithm changes and evolving user behaviors. Staying informed on social media trends and platform updates is crucial for maintaining an effective presence. Adjusting strategies based on performance analytics and emerging best practices can help businesses stay competitive and relevant.

Your digital marketing agency in Essex

As a marketing agency, with over 26 years of experience, we understand social media marketing like the back of our hand.

We’ve weathered algorithm changes, witnessed trends come and go, and navigated the ever-evolving digital landscape, to develop long-term sustainable strategies that deliver results.

Partnering with us means you’ll have a dedicated team who understands your brand, and audience, creating tailored strategies that align with your business goals.

We can also help you with your wider marketing strategy as we also specialise in Google Ads, SEO, content marketing and email marketing.

Plus, our expertise extends beyond local boundaries; whether you’re a local gem in Essex or a global player, we’ve got the knowledge and tools to elevate your brand on any scale. 

Contact us today to find out how we can help you take your business to a new level.

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