Paid and organic social media both come with many benefits. Discover the differences between the two, how to use them and which one your business should prioritise in this comprehensive guide.

The popularity of social media is so widespread that it’s hard to imagine a single business not trying to utilise its marketing potential. The Retail Insights Network reports nearly a quarter of all UK shoppers will use social media to find or purchase a product.

But whether you’re a dental practice or a recruitment agency, figuring out which platforms to utilise with either paid, organic, or a mixture of both marketing strategies ought to be sitting on the top of your agenda. Here’s everything you need to know.

Paid social vs organic social

Organic social media

What is organic social media?

Organic social is free to post. Whether the content involves a photo, video, meme or story, your post will appear on the ‘Feeds’ to a percentage of the consumers who follow your business and/or use the platform.

The more these consumers share and engage with the post, the more it will show on other people’s ‘Feeds’ outside of your direct following. In other words, your ‘following’s following’. Not forgetting it can also appear to the people who follow the hashtags you attached within the post.

Interestingly, 58% of people say they visit a brand’s social pages before visiting the website. So it’s important to have a presence on social media. 

Why should I choose organic social?

Here are a few benefits of why your business should choose an organic social marketing strategy:

  • It’s free  
  • You can establish your brand identity and tone of voice
  • You can nurture a relationship with consumers on a large scale
  • You can build connections through informative, entertaining or inspiring content

Organic social is a proven method to keep your brand relevant. The more engaging your content, the better chance you have of building your following without the need for paid ads.

However, an organic social strategy demands time and creativity. To be successful, you require the capability of creating and distributing quality content consistently.

Why is organic social important for brand awareness for my dental practice?

Organic social media is an effective way for a dental practice to build brand awareness and connect with new and existing clients. It gives you a platform to share important updates and valuable content, including:

  • Seasonal practice opening times
  • Oral hygiene reminders and tips
  • Dental practice news
  • Meet the team posts to create a familiarity with your brand
  • Engage your target audience with polls and topical conversations
  • Sharing interesting blog posts

Paid social media

What is paid social media?

Unsurprisingly, paid social media is not free. Yes, you must pay a fee, but for that price, your paid social posts will appear in the ‘Feeds’ of whichever audience you wish to target.

Paid social is another form of advertising, where businesses pay the likes of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Tik Tok to share their posts across targeted users.  

Paid social guarantees your posts will get viewed. This is why ad spending on social media is predicted to hit over $173 million in 2022.

You can distinguish which audiences to target through certain features, such as location, age, interests and behaviours.

Why should I choose paid social?

Here are a few benefits of paid social and why it might appeal to your brand as a marketing strategy:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Find new followers
  • Promote new deals, events, products, discounts, etc.
  • Generate leads and conversions

Paid social is a quick and guaranteed way of getting your brand and what it offers out there to a new audience. The potential for paid social is astronomic, but it costs money each time. Paid social requires you to have a budget, plus you need an idea of how to use it and what is happening.

Will paid social generate leads for my dental practice?

Paid social is a proven method of generating leads for dental practices. It enables you to reach potential patients when they browse social channels and encourages them to book an appointment. However, the success of paid social for a dentist practice depends on its ability to create the right:

  • Strategy
  • Content
  • Graphics
  • Audience

The effectiveness of paid social also depends on your objectives as a dental practice and the type of service you’re looking to advertise. For example, paid social might be better suited for people looking for teeth whitening services, while PPC (Google Ads) could be better for capturing a local audience searching for a dental practice. Speak to a leading Birmingham healthcare digital marketing specialist if you need a hand making a decision.

Organic vs promoted posts

Both social media marketing channels have pros and cons, and the best method for you depends entirely on your business.

While paid social reaches a larger targeted audience, guarantees exposure and drives leads and conversions, organic social will raise brand awareness, build relationships, and offer customer service. Not to mention, it’s free.

So, if you’re interested in implementing both social media strategies at once, here are a few tips on how to use each one in tandem:

How to grow your social media organically

  1. Limit your promotions

Save the sales speak for your paid ads. Focus on valuable content for your consumer. This is your chance to get inside your consumer’s heads to give them what they want. Think of what will engage them and capture their interest.

  • Show some personality

In the same vein as limiting your promotions and adding value to your content for your consumer, take the chance to show some personality. There’s nothing more people like on social than personality. This principle should exist for your brand too. What makes you unique and better than the rest? Channel this sentiment with your organic content.

  • Repurpose and update

How can you bolster your brand? Repurpose your content or update when necessary. For example, you might have some quality video content on your website that you can quickly edit to repurpose with a different message. Your content should showcase who you are and what you do.

How to run a paid social media campaign

  1. Time to target

While your organic content is nurturing relationships and maintaining brand awareness, use what you paid for to get some fresh eyes and ears on your brand. Paid social targeting will enable you to focus on specific demographics for individuals, including age, location, language, interests and demographics. If you’re a B2B business, you can also target fellow businesses and business owners.

  • Short and sweet

Remember, your paid social ads will appear in the ‘Feeds’ of people who don’t recognise your brand. Keeping it concise and to the point should render a better chance of engagement. The average attention span of a social media feed scroller is shockingly short, so your ad must pop to cut through the noise. 

  • Call to action

Based on the two former points, paid social is your opportunity to introduce some direct CTAs. Now you have your target demographic and concise content in place, it’s time to drive sales and conversions with direct calls to action. 

Which channels should I concentrate on?

As you already know, there are various social media channels available for free that all contain different audience types for specific forms of content.

While TikTok provides a younger audience with short video clips, LinkedIn accommodates career professionals with written content accompanied by imagery.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is – “what platform is my target audience using?”

The ultimate goal is to generate leads and enhance the user experience. So, if you’re speaking to the wrong audience, you’ll waste valuable time and resources.

How much does paid social cost?


LinkedIn is your go-to professional network and is ideal for B2B brands. It also boasts the highest educational ranking of all the platforms, while its ad revenue exceeded $1 billion in 2021

The minimum cost of a LinkedIn ad is $10 per day, with an average ad price of $5.26 per click, $6.59 per 1000 impressions, and $0.80 per send.


Facebook remains a powerhouse on the social media marketing stage and the number one for marketers worldwide.

The average CPC on Facebook is cheaper than on LinkedIn at $0.97, but it depends on your industry, campaign objectives, and other factors.


Instagram is growing as one of the most popular social media platforms with 2 billion users reported in 2022. Where image and video-based content rules, influencers can generate huge success for brands, plus you have the Instagram Shopping feature.

Instagram paid social costs between $0.20 and $6.70 on average, depending on the bidding model. CPC is between $0.20 and $2.00 with CPM at $6.70.


Twitter is a mixed bag for brands and consumers, incorporating all aspects of marketing and business. Promoted tweets cost between $0.50 to $2.00 per action, with promoted accounts rising to $4.00 per follow.


TikTok has become a juggernaut on the social media marketing scene, with its enormous and rapid-growing fan base. Although it’s mostly comprised of young consumers and small influencers at the moment, experts predict widespread adoption over the coming years.

TikTok ads start at $10 per CPM with a minimum of $500 on a campaign.

Paid social vs organic social: The verdict?

While social media has the potential to boost business sales and brand awareness, deciding whether to invest in paid or organic first depends on your business intentions.

If you’re wishing to appeal to a younger audience, then investing in paid ads for TikTok is a no brainer. However, if you’re business appeals to an older dynamic, then Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn will provide more promise. 

Your decision also depends on your audience’s type of occupation.

At Amay Digital, we offer specialist social media management services in the medical industry, from social media strategy planning to content delivery. We can help you get more from your paid and organic social. 

Contact us today, and we can begin putting a social media strategy in place for your business.