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Katie Campbell

By: Katie Campbell on August 9th, 2017

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Organic Vs. Sponsored Social Media Content

Content, Social & Digital Marketing | membership marketing | member engagement | sponsored content | organic content | paid social media content

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Social media is nothing new in today's digital marketing world. You’ve heard of all the big ones, there's Twitter and LinkedIn or maybe you’re using an Instagram account for your upcoming event, or you are regularly posting content every week to your Facebook. With the ever evolving world of technology that we live in, sometimes it is hard to keep up with the new terminology that seems to be going in affect every other week, and even harder to learn where and how to implement that terminology.


One thing that all of these social media platforms have in common is the functionality that they offer both organic and sponsored content options. This is important because both have their own advantages.  But tried in true with the associations I have worked with to implement social media campaigns, doing both together is always better. For those of you who may be wondering what the difference is, or are even confused because you didn’t think there were different types of content, let me explain it for you. 

Organic Content: This is the content that is coming directly from your Marketing/PR/Communications department fingers in real time. These are the posts that are being created and published out into the World Wide Web, with nothing backing the post but the attention of the following you have already created and whoever within that following chooses to retweet or share that content to put in front of their followers.

Sponsored (or paid) Content: Sponsored content is the content that has a monetary backing. These are paid social media posts which includes boosted posts, ads optimized for clicks, video ads, display ads, and word ads; just to name a few. These can be targeted by a variety of demographic and behavioral factors and, like organic posts, can be created by your staff. The biggest difference is that when you purchase a sponsored campaign you go through forms explaining the demographic of the person you want this ad to be seen by. This just means that unlike your organic content, this content is going to span further than just the followers that you currently have. I’m a big fan of the sponsored content because the ROI always seems to be great, and all you had to do was press "launch". 

Organic and sponsored content both have their advantages, but together, work far better than the two could alone. With the organic content you will continue to improve and maintain your online presence, which is where the human engagement of interacting with your followers is key. With sponsored content, you are taking the opportunity to expand your association awareness to a group of people that should be in your association but aren’t (yet!).

Managing both sides of these social media strategies is difficult, and even more so if you’re not even sure where to start. But trust me, from my experience, the time you will put in is well worth the effort!

Don’t know where to start? Don’t have the time to set it up yourself? Let me help, HighRoad's got you covered.

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