Hot Take: Organic Social Media Managers Have a Harder Job Than Paid Social Media Managers


In the bustling world of digital marketing, there’s an ongoing debate about which role is more challenging: organic social media management or paid social media management. While both positions are integral to a comprehensive marketing strategy, there's a strong argument to be made that organic social media managers have a tougher job. Here’s why.

The Art of Building an Engaged Community

Creating Compelling Content

Organic social media managers are tasked with building and maintaining an engaged community from the ground up. Unlike their counterparts in paid social media, who can rely on advertising budgets to boost visibility and engagement, organic social media managers must rely solely on their creativity, strategy, and understanding of their audience. This involves:

Creating compelling content that resonates with the audience. Organic social media managers need to consistently produce high-quality, engaging content that captures attention and encourages interaction without the boost of paid promotion.

Building Relationships

Building relationships is another crucial aspect. They spend significant time engaging with followers, responding to comments, and fostering a sense of community. This relationship-building is crucial for long-term brand loyalty and cannot be achieved through paid ads alone.

Understanding AlgorithmsMastery of social media algorithms is essential. Organic managers must stay ahead of platform changes and trends to ensure their content remains visible and engaging.

The Challenge of Limited Reach

One of the most significant hurdles for organic social media managers is the limitation of reach. Social media platforms frequently adjust their algorithms, often favoring paid content over organic posts. This means organic managers must constantly innovate to ensure their content reaches the desired audience. They need to:

Optimize Posting Schedules

Determine the best times to post content to maximize visibility and engagement.

Leverage Hashtags and Keywords

Use strategic hashtags and keywords to enhance discoverability and reach a broader audience.

Adapt to Platform Changes

Stay agile and adapt quickly to changes in platform algorithms and features to maintain engagement levels.

The Pressure of Consistent Engagement

Maintaining a steady flow of engagement on organic posts is no small feat. Unlike paid social media managers, who can drive engagement through targeted ads, organic managers must generate interest and interaction organically. This requires:

Content Diversity

Creating a diverse mix of content types (videos, images, stories, etc.) to keep the audience engaged and coming back for more.

Storytelling Skills

Crafting compelling narratives that captivate the audience and encourage them to interact with the brand.

Trend Awareness

Staying on top of current trends and incorporating them into the content strategy to keep the brand relevant and engaging.

Measuring Success Without Clear ROI

Measuring the success of organic social media efforts can be more challenging than tracking the ROI of paid campaigns. Organic social media managers often rely on metrics such as engagement rates, follower growth, and reach, which can be more difficult to tie directly to sales and revenue. They need to:

Set Clear KPIs

Establish key performance indicators that align with broader marketing goals and provide a clear picture of success.

Use Analytics Tools

Leverage social media analytics tools to track performance and adjust strategies based on data insights.

Demonstrate Value

Continuously prove the value of organic social media efforts to stakeholders by highlighting successes and areas of impact.


While both organic and paid social media managers play crucial roles in digital marketing, the challenges faced by organic social media managers are uniquely demanding. They must build and maintain an engaged community, navigate the limitations of reach, sustain consistent engagement, and measure success in more nuanced ways. These factors combine to make the job of an organic social media manager arguably more complex and challenging than that of their paid counterparts.

Ultimately, both roles are essential for a well-rounded social media strategy, and recognizing the distinct challenges and contributions of organic social media managers is key to appreciating the full scope of digital marketing efforts.

Create Scroll-Stopping Content

Slate’s editing experience is fast, lightweight and powerful.

Create Scroll-Stopping Content

Slate’s editing experience is fast, lightweight and powerful.

Create Scroll-Stopping Content

Slate’s editing experience is fast, lightweight and powerful.