Paid or organic social media? Which one is better?
Rebecca McIntyre
Head of Operations
6 Jul 21

If you’re currently weighing options for your social media content, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to say that one isn’t exactly better than the other one. You’re most probably going to benefit more if you combine the two.

Paid and organic social are different types of tools for different goals. So you won’t really get much if you favour one more than the other. The best way to go about these two is to take a holistic approach. Understand the role of each one to balance awareness with conversion.

Today, both organic and paid social landscapes are constantly evolving. New networks such as Tiktok and Clubhouse keep popping up and increase user participation and real-time content. Existing networks such as Facebook and Twitter enhance their platforms and products to keep up with the competition.

The first era of social media was about engagement. We gave physical stores and large companies a “human” element, where consumers can interact and say their suggestions and concerns. Today, the new era is about acquisition and conversion. Social commerce is now a thing, and with today’s climate, it even grew exponentially. More and more people are using social media to complete a purchase.

Social media is no longer just about conversation and content. It’s now a platform to get new customers and take care of existing ones. And using organic and paid social media can do just that. So how do you leverage these two tools in your business?

Difference between Organic and Paid Social Media

First, let’s clarify the difference between the two.

Organic social media are the free tools and content (posts, memes, gifs, blogs, photos, videos, stories, myday) that you can use and share with your audience. You use them to build a social community and there is no charge for publishing or posting them.

On the other hand, paid social media is, from the name itself, paying to display your posts whether it be an image, video, carousel or simply a text to social network users based on their user profile e.g demographic. They can come in as advertisements or sponsored messages. The cost of which will depend on the type of ad you planned, for example, if it’s cost per click (CPC) or based on the duration of the ad.

Do people really buy from social media offers?

Well, the short answer is yes.

You might be thinking that paying for something that you can get for free is a scam. Well, it’s not.

According to Crowdtap research, 64% of 3,000 individuals surveyed use social media to get ideas for what they’d like to buy in the future. This is being driven by businesses targeting consumers on social media with personalised offers and deals. 46% of people are already using social media when thinking about making a purchase. Another 40% of users decide what to buy based on what they see on social media sites like reviews and how the business responds to suggestions.  And this trend is unlikely to stop anytime soon. It’s expected that buying through social media will become the norm in the future.

Organic vs Paid

Now, just because there are stats to prove that paid social media work doesn’t mean organic social media is useless. As they say, to each his own.

With organic social media, you can:

  • Establish and expand your brand’s visibility in places where consumers currently spend their time.
  • Maintain and engage with existing customers.
  • Impress new customers by showing what you can offer.

However, organic social media also has its disadvantages. The downside of going organic for your social media strategy is that it’s slower to give the results that you want. You’ll need to be patient if you’re going to go with this. And while it’s free, it still takes a lot of experiment and experience to get things right.

On the other hand, with a paid social media strategy, you can:

  • Widen your reach and target more people.
  • Get the chance to engage with your ideal customers more effectively.
  • Meet your business objectives more quickly.

That said, it does require a budget. As such, you’re paying to get the results you want, and you’ll need to monitor those ads to make the most out of them.

All in all, we can say that organic social media is good for engagement and relationship building while paid social media improves your visibility and your chances of conversion.

The key takeaway

As we’ve said, organic and paid social media are two tools that you can use to enhance your business. One is not necessarily better than the other. To make the most out of these tools, it’s better if you combine them both in your strategy. Use organic social to engage and build a great relationship with new and existing customers, and use paid social when you want to attract new eyes and encourage conversion.

At BoomNow, we can easily plan and integrate your paid and organic social marketing efforts. As such, if you have no idea where to start, just send us a message. We’d love to help you make the most out of these two strategies.