Advertising vs Posting on Social Media
smart phone looking at different social media channels. the apps on the phone are snapchat, pintrist, facebook, instagram, facebook messenger and whatsapp

Those that don’t know the difference will think; if you post about your business, isn’t that advertising your business?  This is true, But in this case, we are referring to paid advertising vs organically posting.  When you advertise on social media, you’re telling the world about your business. The goal is to reach as many people as possible and get them interested in what you have to offer. You’ll want to get more people signed up for your newsletter, use your services or whatever action it is you want your users to take. However, when you post on social media (or any other platform that allows users to share their thoughts), that doesn’t necessarily mean that those words will be seen by other people. 

Differences Advertising & Posting

  • Advertising is a paid way to reach a specific audience
  • Posting is a free way to reach a wide audience
  • Advertising is more targeted than posting
  • Posting cannot target a specific audience
  • Advertising is costs more than posting
  • Posting is free
  • Advertising is more measurable than posting
  • Posting has limited data to measure performance

There is an important difference between advertising and posting, and it can be confusing. So we’re going to look at the difference between these two things, how they work differently on LinkedIn and Facebook, and how they work differently for us than for other advertising channels.

Posting on social media

Organically posting on social media does not cost anything; however, your organic reach greatly depends on the quality of your content, the amount of followers / fans you or your page has and your average audience engagement level.  If you have 10,000 followers but only get 1 or 2 likes on your organic posts then your audience is not engaged; at that point you should consider paid advertising to increase your reach to your audience.  If the opposite were true, and your audience was engaged with your content, then you wouldn’t have to advertise as much to reach new audiences as your audience would be sharing it and that of course is the spider effect of going viral.  

Posting is a free way to reach a wide audience. Posting has been around since before Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. However, due to all to these platforms having grown so rapidly over time and continue growing at an accelerated rate today; there’s no guarantee that what gets posted will always be relevant or valuable enough for users’ interests. nor can anyone predict how many people would actually see anything posted anywhere else besides their own Facebook feed, LinkedIn feed or maybe even Twitter.

Advertising on social media

Advertising allows you to target your message to a specific audience. which means that it can be more cost-effective for the publisher and more accountable for the advertiser (if you want them), but it also means advertisers need better understanding of their target market before they start advertising on Facebook or LinkedIn. Based on your products and services a new business can get general idea of what audience to target. A business can also use previously collected data to target the right audience. When you advertise on social media you can focus your budget and resources on the audience most likely to do a transaction.

Facebook ads

Facebook ads can display products, media and images representative of a service you provide. They can link directly to a facebook store you have created or to landing pages you built on your website. Facebook ads can appear both on mobile and desktop.Facebook Ads can target people with specific interests, demographics and locations.

Examples of where Facebook ads appear

LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn Ads offers several advertising options. So many industries, products, services and types of clientele; this flexibility enables you to pick the advertising method that best suits your business. LinkedIn sponsored content enables you to display images, videos and event advertisements. These are useful and can be used to promote your products and services. Sponsored messages can be sent as a private message to individuals based on your targeting settings. Text ads are like sponsored content except they have less presentation options and run on a pay per click model.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content 

LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging 

LinkedIn Text Ads 

Advertising vs Posting

We limited this explanation to advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn but similar rules apply across all forms of social media when it comes to advertising vs posting. To review, advertising and posting are two different things. Advertising is a paid channel that takes advantage of social media platforms; It’s what businesses do to reach new customers. Posting is when an individual uses social media for personal purposes, those personal posts might benefit their business, but regular posting is not inherently meant for this.

Some businesses can get away with simply posting, others need to make use of advertising. Recognizing the best method can be a challenge. Even when you do determine the best course method that doesn’t mean it will work on its own. Tools, strategy and experience go a long way in creating a successful social media marketing campaign. Doing a poor job at this can even be harmful to your brand. What you post on your social media will determine how clients see your business. Content, frequency and targeted audience are examples of key details a social media expert will consider for every post or ad.

If you don’t have the time to put that much effort into your social media marketing, have someone else do it for you, like us! Our team of expert marketers will do the legwork for your social media campaign, while you focus on serving your clients. We can manage all of your social media needs and any other aspect of your digital marketing or website mainteance. If you have any further questions about how our services can help you, please contact us.