Organic vs. Paid Social Media: Harnessing the Power of Both


Let's face it; social media isn't going anywhere. It's become an integral part of our lives, both personal and professional. As a business owner, you know you need to be on social media, but you may not be sure whether you should focus on organic or paid social media or use a combination of both. With so many different options, it can be difficult to know where to start – or how to maximize your efforts. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the benefits of organic vs. paid social media and how you can harness the power of both. 

What is Organic Social Media? 

Organic social media refers to the content you create and share on social media platforms without paying for promotion or advertising. This includes posts (anything from blogs and images to videos and infographics) on your company's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram profiles and any other content-sharing network.  

Organic social media is a great way to build customer relationships and engagement. When done right, it can also help you boost your brand awareness and reach new audiences. 

What is Paid Social Media? 

Paid social media, on the other hand, refers to the content you promote on social media platforms using paid ads. This can be a great way to boost your content to reach a larger audience and achieve specific goals, such as increasing website traffic or generating leads. Paid social media can be an effective way to supplement your organic efforts – or even reach new audiences you wouldn't otherwise be able to connect with. 

For example, let's say you have a blog that you want to promote on Facebook. You can create an ad campaign specifically for that blog post and target it to people who are likely interested in its content. Or, let's say you want to run a LinkedIn ad campaign targeting human resources professionals in the United States. You can do that with paid social media as well. 

A Business owner checking how her paid social media is doing on her laptop.

What are the Benefits of Using Organic vs. Paid Social Media vs. Both?  

Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages when it comes to marketing. Here's a closer look at some of the pros and cons of organic vs. paid social media:  

Benefits of Using Organic Social Media:  

Disadvantages of Using Organic Social Media:

Benefits of Using Paid Social Media:  

Disadvantages of Using Paid Social Media:  

As you can see, both organic and paid social media have a lot to offer. So, which is better? And how do you decide which one is right for your business? The answer, of course, is that it depends on your goals and resources. Organic social media may be a better option if you're trying to build brand awareness over time. However, paid social media may be a better option if you're looking for quick results and are willing to spend money on promotions.  

The best option is usually to use both organic and paid social media together. You can get the best of both worlds by using organic social media to build relationships with your audience and paid social media to reach a larger audience. Remember: make sure you're strategic about using each type of social media and don't overdo it with the paid promotion. 

social media tool kit

Developing a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy That Combines Both Tactics

Organic vs. paid social media have their own unique benefits. But when used together as part of a comprehensive social media strategy, they can complement each other perfectly and help you achieve even better results. When combining them, however, it's essential to have a plan in place. You need to know what kind of content you want to create and whom you want to target with your content. Once you have a plan, you can start creating content and running ads to help you achieve your goals.  

Here are some tips on how to combine both tactics: 

  1. Use organic social media to build relationships with potential and current customers by sharing high-quality content that provides value. Make sure to include links back to your website so that you can drive traffic and generate leads.  
  2. Once you've established a strong foundation, use paid social media to quickly reach a larger, targeted audience with targeted advertisements. Try running ads that offer discounts or coupons to encourage customers to purchase on your website.  
  3. Know what you want to achieve with social media, and ensure your organic and paid efforts align with your goals. Try using different types of content on your organic and paid social media channels. 
  4. “Boost” popular organic posts to better ensure that they're seen by even more people outside your current followers' list.  
  5. Create lookalike audiences on Facebook based on people who have visited your website or purchased from you in the past. This allows you to precisely target new prospects similar to traditional customers by serving them paid advertisements on Facebook and Instagram. 
  6. Try different tactics and see what works best for your business. Experiment with different promotional strategies, and track your results to continue improving your strategy.  

With these tips in mind, you're on your way to harnessing the power of both organic and paid social media! 

The Bottom Line 

Suppose you want to create an effective social media strategy for your business. In that case, it's essential to understand the difference between organic vs. paid social media —as well as the benefits of using both. By combining high-quality organic content with targeted paid advertisements, you can harness the power of both types of social media to generate leads, drive sales, and grow your business. 

Here at Viral Solutions, we specialize in helping businesses harness the power of both types of social media. Our team will help you create a strategy that uses paid and organic social media to reach your target audience and drive sales. Contact us today for more information! 


At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing YOU succeed. It is our goal to grow your business with proven digital marketing strategies that will help your business for the long haul.

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Filed Under: Content Creation, Social Media

About Lauren Zylyk

During her time working for Walt Disney World, Lauren quickly grew a social media presence on platforms, mainly through Instagram. With a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing paired with her passion for marketing, Lauren grew her audience even more by creating a blog and through use of other social media platforms. She loves the impact that social media has and how quickly it can get information around worldwide.
When she is not busy keeping up with the latest trends online, she can be found baking cookies in the kitchen, watching hockey, or at the gym. She loves hot yoga and trying out any new dessert recipe. She can’t cook, but she can sure bake!