Understanding Organic vs. Paid Social Media

Organic Social Posting vs. Paid Social Advertising

To pay, or not to pay? That is the fundamental question most businesses must answer when developing their social media strategy. 

Organic posts and paid advertising each have their strengths and weaknesses. Keep reading to learn when you should use one vs. the other and how you can develop a winning social media plan!


Organic Content

Brand Development and Cost-Effectiveness

Organic posts are the building blocks for any social media marketing strategy. They provide a cost-effective way to expand your brand´s reach exactly where your customers are spending their time online.

Organic content consists of posts that your business can share for free such as photos, videos, stories, and the like. These posts stay on your profile page indefinitely with the only exception being “stories” when not added to your “highlights.” 

The audience for this type of content is limited to the people following your page along with their network (provided your followers engage with your content).  As such, your audience in this case is likely expecting your content already. That is to say, organic posts serve as one of the most cost-effective and least invasive methods available to develop a deeper relationship with your existing patients.

Despite the low financial entry barrier, an organic content strategy takes a lot of time, effort, and trial and error to be successful. What’s more, algorithm updates have shrunk organic reach over the years and this trend is only set to continue in the near future. 

With this in mind, it is becoming more unrealistic to rely on organic content alone to reach new audiences. However, Social Media Advertising can bridge the gap. 

Social Media Advertising

Reach New Horizons

With Social Media Advertising, businesses are able to pay money to social media platforms in order to tap into entirely new audiences that are more likely to be interested in their product or service.

 Unlike the organic posts that stay on your page, paid social posts will show up on your targeted audience’s feeds and stories for as long as your campaign is running. This means paid posts are by nature temporary but in turn, they provide a faster and more direct way to reach new patients when compared to organic posts.

Targeting and Data

While organic posts have a predetermined audience that´s well-defined (followers and their network), paid social targeting allows businesses to use ad parameters such as location, demographics, and behaviors to pinpoint who they want their content to show up to.

This ability combined with budget flexibility makes social ads a powerful and scalable way to promote offers and events, generate customer leads, and consequently boost revenue growth.

Equally important, paid social provides more detailed data on the type of traffic your content is reaching. This allows your business to learn who your audience is and adjust your targeting and content for better campaign performance.

The Verdict

While very different in nature, organic posts (cost-effective but time-consuming) and paid social advertising (quick but requires a financial investment upfront) work best together. In tandem, they are the ideal option for achieving social media success. 

If you have any questions about organic or paid social media efforts or your practice is in need of social media profile management support please reach out to the Sesame team!


—Jonathan Giraldo, SEO Specialist, Sesame Communications

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Sesame is an industry leader in integrated, cloud-based marketing and patient-engagement solution designed exclusively for your practice. We know that effective patient communication is vital to the success of your practice and the efficiency of your team. With Sesame, you can take your practice to the next level, allowing you to concentrate on what’s really important – your patients!