Digital Marketing

Social Media Advertising vs. Organic Growth

Anastasia Michael
7th November 2023
3 minute read

Social media remains a cornerstone for businesses looking to connect with their audience.

Two fundamental approaches to building a presence on social platforms are social media advertising and organic growth strategies. However, determining which avenue best suits your business can be complex. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between these approaches and provide insights to help you make an informed choice.
Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising involves paying to promote your content or products on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. This method allows businesses to reach a broader, targeted audience quickly. It can be an effective way to kickstart brand visibility, generate leads, and drive sales. However, it comes at a cost.


Pros of Social Media Advertising:

1. Immediate Results: Advertising on social media delivers quick results in terms of reach and engagement.

2. Precise Targeting: You can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviours, ensuring your message reaches the right audience.

3. Data-Driven Insights: Advertising platforms provide detailed analytics to measure the success of your campaigns.

4. Brand Exposure: It can be particularly effective for small businesses looking to make their presence known.


The Power of Organic Growth

On the other hand, organic growth involves building your social media presence naturally, without paid promotion. It requires consistent effort in creating and curating content that resonates with your target audience. While it may take longer to see tangible results, organic growth strategies offer unique advantages.

Pros of Organic Growth:

1. Cost-Effective: Organic growth doesn’t rely on advertising budgets, making it a cost-effective long-term strategy.
2. Authenticity: Building your audience organically fosters a more authentic relationship with your followers.
3. Community Building: It allows you to foster a community around your brand, encouraging engagement and loyalty.
4. Long-Term Sustainability: Organic growth contributes to sustained visibility and reputation.

Choosing the Right Path for Your Business

The decision between social media advertising and organic growth depends on various factors, including your business goals, budget, and target audience. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

1. Define Your Goals: Social media advertising may be the right choice if you need immediate results, such as sales or leads. Organic growth is a better fit if your primary goal is to build a long-lasting online presence and community.

2. Know Your Budget: Consider your financial resources. Social media advertising requires a budget, while organic growth relies on time and effort.

3. Audience Analysis: Understand your target audience’s preferences. Some audiences may respond better to organic, authentic content, while others may engage with paid advertisements.

4. Long-Term vs. Short-Term: Are you looking for quick wins, or are you more interested in sustained growth over time? Your choice will depend on your business’s short and long-term objectives.

5. Content Strategy: Create content that aligns with your chosen approach. Advertising content should have a clear call to action, while organic growth strategies focus on storytelling and engagement.

The UK Perspective

According to a study by YouGov in 2020, 47% of UK consumers said they’d be more likely to engage with a brand on social media if they posted regular, interesting organic content. This underscores the importance of organic growth in the UK market.
Moreover, the Digital Marketing Institute emphasise the importance of a balanced approach. They suggest using social media advertising for specific campaigns and events while simultaneously investing in organic growth to build a loyal customer base.


There’s no one-size-fits-all answer in the debate of social media advertising versus organic growth. Both methods have their merits and should ideally complement each other. The decision ultimately comes down to your business’s unique goals, budget, and audience. By carefully assessing these factors, you can strike the right balance to drive success in your social media marketing efforts.
Remember that organic growth builds authenticity and loyalty, while social media advertising provides speed and precision. Together, they can create a comprehensive and effective social media strategy for your business in your niche.

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