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Organic vs Paid Social Media Posts

Zach Lemmer
April 23, 2019

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Social media is a great resource for all businesses because it allows them to not only get their messaging directly in front of their target market, but they're also able to engage with prospects and get immediate feedback. However, in today's social media landscape, a business page's organic posts are often overlooked or ignored due to the sheer amount of over saturation in a person's newsfeed. 

That being said, if you want to use social media posts as a catalyst for business growth, it's important to understand the differences between organic and boosted posts. 

Terminology: Organic vs. Boosted vs. Advertisement

Before we dive any further, it's imperative to understand some digital marketing lingo.

What are organic posts? When referring to social media posts, the term "organic" means that the post was published without having spent any money.

The term "reach" is referring to how many people saw the post or rather how many times that post appeared in a users feed or stream. 

Organic posts, typically, reach fewer people than a paid advertisement partly due to Facebook's algorithm. Since no one but Facebook really knows what pieces help increase post views in the algorithm's eye many businesses turn to boosting posts or creating ads to ensure they hit their target impressions. Reaching more people is extremely valuable, and therefore the reason why businesses pay for this benefit. Now you might be thinking, wait, I thought we were talking about organic vs boosted posts, why is there mention of advertisement? 

Let's take Facebook for example, anytime you "boost" a post, what you're doing is paying Facebook to show your content more often, and to more people (not just to your followers, but to any people that Facebook thinks is relevant based on past behavior)You're essentially turning that organic content into an advertisement which is why you will almost always have better results when you boost a post. This option is now available on Instagram and LinkedIn as well as Facebook for businesses to easily add a paid aspect to their post and ensure the number of people viewing their content increases. 

The real trick for social media reach is using both organic posts AND paid posts to maximize your reach. These days less and less people see organic posts because their newsfeeds are so flooded with content, that it's hard to get noticed. But that doesn't mean you should stop producing organic posts. You should be producing  organic content regularly, and boosting the organic posts that are performing the best. Regularly posting organic content is also beneficial because social media is often where people turn to first for updates on your business, or to ask questions. 

Just be sure your messaging stays consistent. You want to achieve synergy between paid and organic posts, not confuse people.

So when should you sprinkle in advertising in your social media campaign? Let's take a look at the major platforms, what strategies work for each, and why.


Facebook is a great platform for businesses to build a following of current and potential customers because it is the most widely used platform available. Therefore, you have greater potential to capture a larger reach here. It allows business pages to publicize their offerings, and keep their fan base up to date with events, special offers, and inform people of any changes to their business model or hours of operation. 

Advertising on Facebook can be very impactful for generating leads. It tracks the activity of users, and uses that data to connect you with qualified prospects, making finding your target market a breeze. 


Instagram is a massive platform, and is great for marketing because it has so many tools for messaging. The most notable tool is hashtags. People use hashtags to search for specific information, and businesses should take advantage of this by using those hashtags to get their messaging in front of those prospects. The hard part is understanding who your customers are and what they are hashtagging in order for them to find your posts. 

Advertising on Instagram is also worth while because of its large audience and multiple ad formats. Since Facebook purchased Instagram, you can now run Instagram ads from within your Facebook Ads Manager portal. Including photo, video, carousels, canvas story ads, and story ads. Each offering a great user experience due to their dynamic engagement methods and smooth integration into feeds and stories. For more detailed information about when to use Instagram ads instead of Facebook ads, read "Facebook Ads vs. Instagram Ads: When to Use Each."


Twitter is a platform with a growing audience. Because of its 280 character limit per post, you have to be concise and intentional. For this reason, It can be more challenging to engage with people as a business because your content has to be enticing enough to grab someone's attention and not scroll past. Much like Instagram, it's important to utilize hashtags to reach a wider audience. 

Advertising on Twitter is great if your audience lives in this space, however, the analytics and targeting are not as complex as Facebook and Instagram. 


LinkedIn is specifically designed for businesses and professionals to connect and interact making it very different from the other social media platforms. People usually visit LinkedIn to highlight their job experience and professional thoughts, making it the best platform for B2B marketing. LinkedIn also offers Business Pages that allow businesses to share information to customers or prospects within this platform. 

Because of its emphasis on B2B interaction, advertising on LinkedIn is an excellent method for prospecting and recruiting. With tools like LinkedIn Marketing Solutions you can easily start a direct message thread with prospects. Making these tools extremely valuable to business owners, because it allows you to add that personal touch to your salesmanship. 

There are also traditional text ads as well as display ads available within LinkedIn. The benefit of advertising on LinkedIn is the demographic data points available because of how individuals fill out their LinkedIn profile. You can choose to target a specific industry, job title, or even education level to determine who will see your ad. 


Even if you don't have the budget to put money into your social media campaigns right now, simply interacting with your followers organically can make a significant impact on your bottom line. It also allows you to identify what people engage with, what you should probably do more of, and you can also see whats not working and should be avoided. We offer a free social media evaluation for those businesses wondering if they are properly utilizing social media or could be doing more.

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