Why Overlooking Organic Engagement Can Hurt Your Paid Social Strategy

Who doesn’t enjoy the rush of instant gratification? There’s nothing like that spike of excitement that hits when you immediately see the fruits of your labor.


That feeling is a big reason why so many of us are active on social media, whether it’s in our personal lives, for business, or both.

But when it comes to social media, some rewards take a bit longer than others. Take the difference between paid and organic posts, for example.

An organic post can take hours to get traction. “Likes” come, but sometimes slowly enough that you doubt the efficacy. Meanwhile, a strategic post boost or paid ad can deliver results much more quickly. So quickly, in fact, that you can lose sight of how much you paid thanks to the boom in social media engagement.

But amidst this chase for fast rewards is a trap — one that can have you neglecting your organic social media presence in ways you might regret, whether it’s paying too much for paid social or watching your engagement rise while your conversions stay stagnant.

Paid and organic social go hand in hand, and organic traffic is key to driving the conversions you desire. Building up vanity metrics of paid posts without first building a foundation of authentic organic engagement can have you spending more money than you might expect.

Grab your notebook and pen, because we’re about to learn more about the importance of organic social media marketing and how it can lead you to more social media conversions.

Understanding Social Media Metrics

The key to growing your engagement is to first master your understanding of the basics of organic social KPI’s, or Key Performance Indicators.

Knowing how to define each interaction on social media will help you determine the difference between engagement and similar metrics. This will help you choose which social media interaction to pay attention to and where they came from.

Overall, engagement is broken down into 4 main categories:

  • Likes
  • Post shares
  • Comments
  • Tags/mentions

These modes of engagement can be condensed into a more comprehensive formula, also known as the engagement rate. The engagement rate of a post is determined by dividing the number of engagements on a post by the number of people reached (impressions), then dividing by 100 to get a percentage.

As you’ve probably determined by now, the higher the engagement rate, the higher the likelihood of gaining conversions. If you’re seeing some high engagement rates on posts, chances are your organic social strategy played a role — indirectly or otherwise. And here’s why.

Organic Social Media Helps Build Community

While paid social media ads can certainly help you reach new audiences, they can’t stand alone. This is due to the fact that people are seeking belonging in a community they feel comfortable in. Yep, even when they’re shopping.

These days, social media profiles are one of the main resources consumers use to get information on a business. They’re seeking everything from quick inspiration from the stories of others to customer reviews on products that will help them build trust in your company.

If someone clicks your ad or searches your social media profile but you have no organic content to connect with once they’ve arrived, they’re not likely to stick around for very long.

On the flip side, if you have posts that engage conversations and shares by like-minded individuals, you’re showing that your brand is more than a place that sells product or services. It’s a community.

Organic Social Media Engagement Prolongs Connection

Organic posts can help tell the story of your brand. That includes behind-the-scenes footage of your work culture, a touching blog about how you developed your mission, or a review from a happy customer who posted about your product.

These seemingly small posts come together to share the people and motives behind your brand, giving potential customers a way to connect with you. Once they feel connected, you have a much better shot at not only gaining conversions, but building brand loyalty.

When someone engages with these types of organic posts, your posts will appear in their feed more often. This helps strengthen your visibility by allowing current and future customers to follow along your company’s journey.

Organic Social Media Helps You Implement New Findings

Social media has 100% higher conversions than paid marketing. Part of this success is due to the use of paid marketing metrics that help guide you toward more of an organic strategy focused on your unique audience.

Start by evaluating paid metrics like audience demographics, the times your audience is online most, and what ads they respond to (commenting, liking, sharing). With these metrics, you’ll have a road map to a successful organic strategy. And a successful organic strategy means more authentic engagement, the kind that will likely lead to conversions.

The more you get to know your audience and the path they take from interest to purchase, the less money you’ll need to spend on paid advertising in the long run.

Quick Tips for Increasing Your Organic Social Engagement

Now that you know the importance of organic engagement in your social media strategy, how can you start ramping up?

Know Your Audience

As we touched on before, you’ll want to develop an audience persona and craft your content in a way that speaks to them.

In one of our biggest case studies, we found that identifying a data-driven persona resulted in an 1807% increase in blog traffic. The same tactics can be applied to social.

When you’ve identified your ideal customer, you’ll know what their needs, hobbies, and other personality traits are. Knowing this data will help you develop a voice and lead customers along a targeted buyer funnel.

Know Each Platform’s Best Practices

When it comes to reach, there’s no “one size fits all” solution you can apply to every platform.

Once you’ve determined your personas, you’ll want to decipher which platforms they spend the most time on. Once you have an idea of where they’re headed, you can focus your efforts on the 1-3 platforms they visit most.

People go to different platforms seeking different outcomes. Get to know each platform and what posts will work best for each.

Facebook Best Practices

People turn to Facebook for a feel of community and sentimentality. They’re often connecting with friends and family, and keeping up with what’s going on around them.

Focus your Facebook content on your company culture. In what ways do you serve your community? What sets you apart from competitors? How can you understand and relate to your audience?

As far as content types, videos tend to get the most traction. Facebook is also the ideal place to post engaging links to help drive your web traffic, so share your best blogs and links to partners there.

Instagram Best Practices

You’ve probably gathered that Instagram is heavily visually based. You’ll want to have striking, clean, and high quality images that fit together in a way that makes your entire feed cohesive.

Be sure to use the stories options on Instagram, and explore all the interactive features they have, like polls and Q&A’s.

Use reels for longer form video content like live broadcasts or promotions that last over 1 minute so people have the opportunity to hop on and converse with you and other viewers.

You’ll also want to make sure your hashtags are relevant to your posts and are things your audience persona are likely to search for. Try a mixture of 2-3 niche hashtags that have 10,000 or less posts along with 2-3 viral ones.

Twitter Best Practices

The key to Twitter is keeping things short and sweet. The more information you can share in the most comprehensive way, the better you’ll do. This makes Twitter a great place for things like blog links and infographics.

Use only 1-2 hashtags, and keep your tone conversational. In doing so, tweet things that encourage conversation such as humorous thoughts and images or open-ended questions.

More About Organic Social Conversions

No paid organic social strategy can thrive on its own. The key to long-term, ongoing conversions is organic engagement.

But in order to identify your buyer funnel and create a cohesive plan for your organic strategy, you’re going to need to take a deeper dive.

Just like learning how to create more engaging posts, learning to convert said posts into sales requires a strategic approach. Learn more on how to convert organic engagement into sales >

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