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If you’re looking to gain a new understanding of social media, then you need to understand the difference between organic and paid social media. But don’t worry – we’ll explain everything you need to know, plus how to blend the two!

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

To put it simply, organic social media is any content (photos, videos, posts and more) that you normally put up on social media. These will show up to your followers and people who follow hashtags you’ve used in each post. This is the aspect of social media that you’re probably the most familiar with!

Paid social refers to any posts with a paid promotion – aka advertisements! These ads go beyond your followers and are displayed to people far beyond your normal reach. You will need to pay for these posts to be displayed, and the amount will depend on how many days you want your ad to last, how many users you’re targeting, and more.

Which one is better?

The short answer? One isn’t better than the other.

The long answer? It’s a good idea to use a blend of organic and paid socials!

Organic social media is great for establishing your business’ social media presence. Posting daily organic posts is essential for getting followers, spreading the word about your products or services, and showing your business’ personality.

However, it does have some downsides if you’re really looking to find new customers and followers! Only a percentage of your followers will usually see your post. That’s because social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are run by algorithms – so not everything you post will show up on your followers’ feeds.

Hootsuite actually estimates that the average organic reach for a Facebook post is about 5.5% – meaning that only 5.5% of your followers will usually see your organic posts. That’s not great! So that’s where paid social comes in.

Paid social media posts can be promoted to a huge number of people, potentially exposing your business to thousands of new customers! Typically you will choose what sort of person you’d like to target (e.g. age, general location, interests etc) and how long your ad will be displayed. If you have the right targets, this can be a hugely successful technique.

However, as the name suggests, you do need to spend some cash with paid ads. It’s also helpful to have some knowledge about paid social before spending all of your marketing budget on them!

How to blend the two approaches

We think that the best social media campaigns use a solid blend of the two approaches. For example, if an organic post has done really well with your audience, you can choose to boost or promote it so that even more people will see it!

You can also look at the analytics of your followers who normally see your organic posts. If you have a business account on Instagram, for example, you can look at the age, general location and gender of your followers. This is really useful information to have, because when you create your paid posts, you can target people who are similar to your followers – this makes your paid social posts much more likely to be a success!

Are you interested in trying paid social posts? We’d be more than happy to help – just send us a message!