Social Media – Organic and Paid

Wait…. WHAT? There’s More Than One Type of Social Media?

What’s The Difference?

How Do I Know What I Need?

Can I Have Both?

Should I Have Both?

What is Social Media? Let’s Start with that Question First

so·cial me·di·a

/ˌsōSHəl ˈmēdēə/
noun – websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

From Wikipedia :

“Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.”

Pretty straight forward, right?

So, briefly – before we go any further – The simple difference is this: Organic social media is posted for free. Paid social media is shared with Ad Spend behind it to help you reach a larger audience. Organic social posts show up in the feeds of people that follow you already (which by the way, is really why you need Social Media Engagement – just sayin, but we’ll get to that on another page). Paid social posts will show up in the feeds of whichever audience you decide to target.


I know, there is just so much info – it’s an overload on the brain for sure, so let me ‘splain myself Lucy! Let’s start with the usual assumed version of social media, shall we? That would be good old fashioned Organic – and it is called that because that is exactly how it grows, organically. You create it, post it, share it, nurture it, engage it and watch it grow……. slowly, yes – but also steadily and more importantly it grows STRONG from the all natural approach. The contacts/followers/audience that you gain from this growth becomes loyal and steadfast, they share your posts and help you grow. This audience gets to know you and your business, they become your peeps and there is something invaluable and heartwarming about that! And the best thing about Organic Social Media – It’s FREE to post! So yeah, there’s a balance thing going on here for sure…. slow growing, time consuming, a lot of work to get it done, BUT – you don’t have to pay for what you post and you build a worthwhile following – there’s gold in that – you just have to be PATIENT – and by patient, I mean – NOT expecting growth within a 2 week time span.

So now you want to know if you need Organic Social Media – posting on all the platforms, getting to know the public, sharing silly memes and pictures of your dogs or cats and your outing to the park or the yummy sushi you just had with the occasional sprinkle of a “Hey – look at my business, it’s awesome, here’s why you need me! ” and a “Yo, here’s an awesome giveaway that will direct you back to my website, give me your email address and let me know if I can contact you in the future” posts.

YES, the answer to that is YES!

Why? Because, we are a digital world with the majority (and I mean BILLIONS) of people online at all times. We are on our phones, on our laptops, on our desktops and tablets and even our watches, it is INSANE, but this is the world we live in, and this is how we get seen, heard, followed, loved. This is how we grow our audience and our client base. Sick of reading and just want to get to the details and pricing of how WGSD can help? Here’s where to go for that (Or …. you can stick around for more Yada Yada Yada about Paid Social Media Marketing – it’s a Page Turner, I promise!

Sound Like Too Much To Handle Alone? Let WGSD Handle it For You!

Organic vs Paid – What’s the Difference?

And now on to the details of the Magical Unicorn of Paid Advertising. It is exactly what it says it is – you pay for your posts. You still have to create the posts, come up with the content and the graphics, and then make sure your ad is approved by the Social Media Powers that Be. Once approved you set up a plan or a campaign and pay a set amount for that campaign to run for a set amount of time. Why choose Paid over Organic? Well, it’s not so much about choosing one or the other, it’s more about prioritizing according to your main goals and your time and budget limitations. In a perfect world, you would actually choose BOTH for optimization and client conversions.

Paid social media can target your audience super quick and super specific and grow it very quickly. You definitely get a quick response and you know your ads are seen by EXACTLY who needs to see them. Paid promotion helps to connect you with people that are already interested in your business or niche but may not be following you yet. For example, if you’re a specialty sock retailer, taking advantage of paid ads on social media means that designer sock fans (identified by their online activity) are more likely to see your ad than someone who only wears white tube socks on the daily. This can drive an increase of traffic to your social media accounts and website. Paid promotion can also reach new customers and provide them with an incentive to take action. With ad buys and strategic marketing, your customer base can grow exponentially. You can also use these ads to re-target down the road for additional sales.

If your main goal is sales & conversions and getting clients from a cold audience to a hot audience in your funnel – Paid Ads are for you! If you are more of a business whose sales really rely on community and brand awareness and long term growth, either start with Organic OR consider the Hybrid Combo Approach (That is really the best option for anyone, but everyone has a different end game in site). You can still get traffic going to your website and your offers via Organic, you need to remember though that it won’t happen overnight. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve for whatever your choice is. Some key things to remember –

Paid and organic social media work best when done together (remember – peanut butter & jelly). It’s difficult to get great results from only one method – versatility is key.

Begin with an Organic Social Media Strategy: Post consistently and frequently, interact and engage with followers, invite people to your page, follow other business pages, comment on other peoples pages & posts – this all builds community and you get remembered as someone who is engaged, involved and helpful.

Next: Add in a Paid Social Media Strategy to increase those followers and engagement – Research Research Research – research your target demographic and remember that testing your ads is actually super important – one word or graphic can actually make a HUGE difference in the success of an ad – you’d be surprised for sure! Test the duration/run time of the ads, test the posting times of the ads, copy and target different segments and audiences to find the best fit. Again, and always worth repeating – stay consistent with your postings and engagement.

So who wins the race? In this case it’s the combined team efforts of the Tortoise AND the Hare

Sound Like Too Much To Handle Alone? Let WGSD Handle it For You!

Not Sure What You Need?

Not sure where to begin?  Still confused and don’t really know what you need or why?  Let us help you!