Organic and Paid Social: Why Your Brand needs Both

Social media is any business’ best friend. It’s fun, easy to use, highly interactive, and (for the most part) it’s free! Here at Wise-Up we continually witness first-hand how imperative it is for brands to have an active social media presence (ours included).

If you’re not taking advantage of social within your digital marketing strategy, you’re undermining the most inexpensive and effective way to reach your desired audience. 

Social media is the new-age ecosystem for discovery. Now it’s nearly as common – or even more common – for consumers to learn about brands through social as it is through TV or radio ads. In fact, 55% of consumers learn about new brands on social.

Despite its undeniable potential, organic social media has recently been suffering a universal decline in reach (this refers to the number of unique users who see your content without paid promotion on social media platforms).

So with organic social media being on the decline, does this mean social media still holds power?

Read below for our thoughts on organic social media, paid social media and how your brand can leverage both to master the dynamic, new-age social media space!

Organic Social Media – The Ins and Outs

Organic social media is a term that pertains to the use of free social media tools to advertise your brand/business, and whilst it is useful in its own right, it has recently been suffering a decline in its reach. This decline has been widespread across all channels and industries, particularly platforms that fall under Meta’s ecosystem. You may have even recognised this decline on your own personal socials, following the social and creator boom during the pandemic.

This is largely due to the algorithmic changes implemented by social media platforms, which prioritise content based on factors such as engagement levels and relevance. As a result, brands and businesses must now work harder to ensure that their content is high quality and engaging in order to maintain visibility on social media platforms and reach their desired audience.

For instance, Instagram’s reach is currently down 32% from last year sitting at just 9.34% and engagement sitting at around 4.2%.

Despite this challenge it is imperative that businesses continue investing in their social media strategy as it remains a crucial aspect of digital marketing that assists in maintaining a strong online presence and brand identity.

At Wise-Up we still recommend all our clients to leverage our organic social media services as through a consistent organic social media presence, businesses can still build and strengthen their online community.  

Why is this presence necessary? Social media:

  • Increases brand awareness and discoverability ~ in 2023, platforms are becoming more and more integrated with e-commerce experiences. In fact 83% of Instagram users are claiming they’ve discovered new products, just through using the platform. 
  • Makes your brand more human ~ as humans we respond well to things that we can resonate with and relate to. One of the primary benefits of social media is the ability to be transparent about your brand and experiences – because authenticity builds trust and trust builds marketing receptiveness and drives new business.
  • Allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader ~ consumers are becoming more and more critical and are expecting brands to be out-putting insights and information on their specific niche. No matter what industry you’re in, social media is the perfect space to establish your brand as a thought-leader and become the go-to source of information or inspiration for your target audience.

Although the immediate benefits of organic social media may be on a decline, it’s important to note that paid social media is still very much thriving and is an option every business that wants to achieve social media success, should seriously consider.

Paid Social Media – How’s it Different?

Paid social media is currently the second biggest market in digital ads, not to mention its ad impressions are up 30% from 2022. But what makes the abilities of organic and paid media inherently different from each other?

Whilst organic media is imperative in cultivating trust with your target consumers and stimulating brand loyalty, paid media ultimately allows for the specific targeting of ideal customers, who actually have an interest in your product or service. This increased autonomy in who sees your content, also means you have the ability to reach a larger audience and increase the driving of leads and conversions.

Paid media’s optimised targeting capabilities affords almost immediate results, and a higher ROI (return on investment) when executed correctly. Thanks to social media’s new network ranking algorithm, it’s imperative to invest in some form of paid social media if you want to ascend the new found limitations of organic social media. As we like to say, you need to pay to play. 😉

For more on Paid Social media and ascertaining your businesses’ objective, check out our two recent blogs.

Paid Social Media Objectives and Metrics to measure that align to your business goals!

Paid Social Media: What’s the Objective for your business? 

Why you need both – the Hybrid Approach to Social

Integrating both paid and organic social media strategies is an optimal marketing mix, that will assist in maximising reach, engagement, conversions, and overall return on investment. Creating a cohesive social media marketing plan that incorporates both paid and organic strategies can optimise a business’s success on digital platforms as you’re essentially getting  ‘the best of both worlds’.

Organic social media strategy has the capability to nurture your relationship with your customers or audience. Whereas paid social media strategy is how you connect with new customers, audience members, and hit your business goals quicker.

Ultimately both are necessary to build a highly credible and successful social presence and brand. In saying that this isn’t a magic formula if your foundations aren’t up to scratch. It’s crucial for businesses to understand their audience, ideal customer and to craft content that resonates with their specific audiences.


Although organic social media is experiencing a decline, this however does not render it a useless service. In conjunction with a paid social media strategy, it has the potential to work wonders with any business, and here at Wise-up we have seen exactly that with our clients

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