The great thing about determining the difference between organic and paid social media is that there is only one factor that differentiates the two, one is free and one is paid. They’re both just as effective in their own individual way. Below you will find everything you need to know about the two types of social media advertising. 


Organic social media are posts that are free, these can be social media posts, stories, videos, photos etc. It is the foundation of social media for a lot of brands as it’s the best first step to connecting with your audience. 

  • Your post will be engaged with by those who already follow you
  • Your followers can interact with a post (like, comment, share) and then others may see it too

You may be wondering, why post organic content when you can pay and have it reach exactly who you want it to reach? Well, it’s simple, if you want to keep your followers engaged and reach out to them, organic achieves this. Not only does it save you money, but you can interact with your followers on a personal level. 

You want your social media page to be filled with content, but you don’t want it flooded with paid posts. When someone new comes to your brand’s page, they’ll see all the organic posts which essentially form the brand’s personality, and this will give any new potential followers an insight into who you are as a brand. 

However, there is a downside to organic social media, the risk that your content might get lost within the thousands being produced each day, so only a small percentage of your followers will see the post. Platforms are now prioritising content that comes across as ‘meaningful’ or if it is considered ‘responsible’ which basically means that it’s harder than ever for your content to reach your followers and new ones too. 

Paid social media 

When it comes to paid social media, it is as simple as paying platforms to advertise your posts. In order to take real advantage of this option, you can choose specifically who you want the ad to reach, by breaking it down to occupation, location, education etc. You can bring organic ads into this, where you can boost an organic post to reach a further amount of people. 

Paid social gives you a guarantee that whatever you post, it will be seen. It is definitely a little more complex and complicated than organic, but the results make up for it. 91% of marketers who used paid ads said that they were satisfied with the return, so it is worth it. 

What can I use paid ads for?

  • Reach new customers
  • Bring awareness to your brand
  • Drive sales

If you have targets that are based around those above, then paid ads are definitely worth the investment. 

The downside to paid social is that it takes training to get the most out of it. You have to learn how to use analytics tools so you can determine how well your campaign is running. You also have to ensure you have the funds to execute these campaigns, as it can become costly.

Overall, you don’t have to choose one or the other, you can use both paid and organic to boost your brand or if you are wanting to post an informative piece of content, both work effectively regardless. It’s just important to take into consideration the strategies or objectives that you have in place and decide which option (paid or social) is going to benefit you the most and which is going to be the most time-effective choice.  


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