Your business is actively posting on social media. But do you understand the key differences between organic and paid posts?

Social media changes so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up with terminology and best practices. One of the biggest points of confusion that can be seen with business owners and marketers is the distinction and strategic balance between organic and paid social media. Understanding this is essential to creating a successful social media marketing strategy.  Organic and paid social media have distinct advantages but work best when implemented together. Every popular social media outlet has paid and organic elements.


Organic social media include posts that live on your company’s profile page and can be seen by your audience without paid promotion. Followers of your page may see updates within their feeds, but evidence shows that organic exposure is limited because of how top social networks prioritize users’ feeds based on past behavior and preferences. To use Facebook as an example, only about 2% of your followers may be exposed to your organic posts.


Paid social media is anything that is influenced by advertising dollars spent. If a post in your news feed includes a “Sponsored” or a “Promoted” tag, that is considered paid social. Paid social media includes boosted posts or ads that can be targeted by a variety of demographic and behavioral factors, depending on the industry.

Why do you need both?

Organic and paid social media—you shouldn’t have one without the other. A solid organic strategy improves your online presence and reputation, and a paid strategy increases your brand’s reach and awareness to targeted audiences. Managing both aspects of social media takes time and planning, but the results of a well-executed campaign are worth the effort. No time to handle it on your own? We’ve got you covered.