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Posted On: 11th December 2020

What’s the Difference Between a Social Post and Social Media Advertising?

Whether you’re an ecommerce store, a charity, a local brick and mortar company or a small business, social media has the potential to influence, inspire and encourage millions of users to support your brand and help your business to thrive.

From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, social media has become increasingly popular and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, in 2019, Statista reported that the average daily time spent on social media worldwide stood at 144 minutes a day – for each online user!

Though if you’re not experienced in the world of social, it can be quite daunting to know where to start. So what’s the difference between a social post and social media advertising… and how do you know what’s best for your business?

Organic Social Posting

Organic posts are a great way to reach out to your current followers, audience or customers and build an active, loyal community. ‘Organic social’ just means your standard posting, post sharing and responding to customer comments.

Below you can see an example from our Facebook page, promoting a Get Help article:

Organic Facebook Post

Here, we’re encouraging users to click through to our website and read a new piece of content we have written. Not only will that increase website visits, the post is very relevant to our followers, helpful and builds our trust and authority on Facebook.


  • Keep your current audience updated with news, offers, company updates or new products
  • Build a loyal online community through active posting and engagement, including great customer service by responding to comments
  • It’s a long-term strategy that doesn’t cost you a penny!

By regularly posting, you’re also showing users, Google and other search engines that your organisation is active and trustworthy, so there are some SEO benefits to keeping up a regular social media schedule, too!

Paid Social Media

For many businesses now, paid social media brings in a very large portion of revenue – even more than other sources of paid marketing, such as Google or Bing ads.

Boosted Posts

Boosted Facebook Post

Boosted posts are slightly different to social media advertising.

Let’s take Facebook, for example. You’ll choose a post you would like to promote and put some money behind, such as your recent blog post update or an organic-style company update. You’ll then decide the max budget you would like to spend, what type of people you want to connect with and how long you’d like the post to be promoted for.

Often boosted posts are used to reach new users who would be interested in your services and to increase page likes, comments and shares or website visits.

Pay-per-click Ads

Facebook Paid Ads

There are many options to look at with social media advertising, including LinkedIn Ads, Pinterest Ads and Facebook Ads. Each platform offers different benefits and you’ll need to put the research in to find out which platform is most suited to your audience – if at all.

Using Facebook Ads as an example, this is much more complex than boosted posts, offering similar functions to Google and Bing Ads – insights, analytics, bid strategies, specific targeting options, etc.


  • Social advertising is becoming increasingly popular and can be an extremely powerful tool to increase ROI and build new streams of revenue
  • Facebook gives the ability to directly connect to your company’s website using the Facebook Pixel, allowing for great data analysis and specific conversion tracking
  • You can target a very specific audience and find new customers, leads or followers who may have not found your business otherwise
  • Ability to target people who look similar to your current audience and retarget those who have looked at your business previously

What’s the best option for my business?

To use the infamous digital marketing line… it depends.

Top Tip: almost always, we would recommend organic social media posting. Having active, regularly updated social platforms will help build those all important trust signals and an online community – and it won’t even cost you a penny!

For paid advertising, we recommend taking the time to really research and understand your audience and what you’re trying to sell, gain or inspire from your organisation. Is your target audience typically on social media? Are they likely to engage with your business on a social platform? If so, which platforms are they using?

Figured that out? Now it’s time to put it to the test! Put an agreed amount of budget behind social ads, set a daily budget, choose your audience targeting and closely monitor what happens.

You’ll want to make sure you’ve set the campaign up correctly and you’re targeting the right people, or the test may be destined to fail. If you need help with this, get in touch with experts who have worked on numerous successful social media advertising campaigns, like our team at Echo! We’ll be able to provide expert advice and make sure your campaign is find the right people for your business.