What’s the difference between paid and organic social media?

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As a small business owner, you know how important social media is for reaching your target audience, building your brand, and boosting sales. However, navigating the complex world of social media marketing can be tricky, particularly when it comes to understanding the differences between organic social media and social media advertising. Here we’ll explore the key distinctions between these two approaches and help you identify the best strategies for your business.


Organic Social Media:

The term “organic social media” refers to any social media activity that is not sponsored by your brand. This includes all the content that you generate, such as posts, images, and videos, as well as the interactions you have with followers, such as likes, comments, and shares. Organic social media is an essential part of any social media strategy, as it allows you to build a loyal following and develop a strong online community for your brand. The benefits of organic social media include increased brand awareness, improved engagement with your followers, and the opportunity to establish your brand as an authority in your industry. This method requires additional hours creating content but does not require an ad budget.


Social Media Advertising:

Social media advertising, on the other hand, is a paid strategy. This generally means that less hours go into content creation, but an ad budget is required in order to post. This involves creating ads on social media platforms that target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Examples of social media advertising include sponsored posts, promoted tweets, and Facebook Ads. The advantages of social media advertising are that it allows you to reach a wider audience, generate leads, and drive conversions. Social media advertising is particularly useful for small businesses that are trying to make a big impact on a limited budget.


So how are they different?

The primary distinction between organic social media and social media advertising is the level of control you have over your content and audience. With organic social media, you have complete control over the content you generate and the interactions you have with your followers. However, you have limited control over who sees your content and how it is received. With social media advertising, you have more control over your audience and the outcomes of your campaigns, but less control over the content that your audience sees.

Another important difference is that organic social media is a long-term strategy, whereas social media advertising is a short-term strategy. Organic social media builds momentum over time and is intended to foster a strong sense of community that lasts for many years. Social media advertising, on the other hand, is intended to drive immediate results such as sales and conversions. Both strategies are important for small businesses but should be used in different ways to achieve different goals.


What’s best for my business?

This will depend on your goals. We generally recommend a combination of the two in order to get the best results. If your goal is to reach new customers quickly, then we would recommend a paid social media campaign. Many users visit a brand’s social media profiles as well to help them judge whether or not a business is legitimate, so it helps to have a healthy organic social media following to support your paid ads.

Both strategies are important for small businesses, but they should be used in different ways to achieve different goals. By understanding the differences between organic social media and social media advertising, small business owners can make more informed decisions about how to invest their time and resources for maximum impact.


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