Maximize Your Social Media ROI: Paid Vs Organic Strategies

social media growth image



Social media has become an integral part of modern marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. They allow businesses to engage with their audience, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to their website. However, with so many different options and tactics to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine the most effective approach to maximize return on investment for social media (ROI).

One of the most critical decisions businesses must make when it comes to social media is whether to focus on paid or organic strategies.

So which approach is right for your business? In this blog, we'll explore the pros and cons of paid and organic social media advertising.

We'll also provide tips on how to optimize your social media ROI no matter which path you choose. By the end of this post, you'll know which strategies are appropriate for your business and how to implement them effectively.

What is the importance of social media for businesses?

When it comes to running a successful business in today's digital age, having a strong social media presence is no longer optional, but essential. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter not only allow you to reach a larger audience and connect with potential customers but also provide valuable insights and data.

This can help you better understand your target market.

However, a social media presence alone is not enough. You need to use these platforms strategically to maximize your return on investment (ROI). This is where paid and organic social media strategies come into play.


Paid Vs Organic Strategies

Paid social media

paid advertising image

Paid social media strategies refer to the use of paid ads and promoted posts on social media platforms. These strategies are designed to increase brand visibility, reach a targeted audience, and drive website traffic or sales.

Unlike organic social media strategies that rely on organic engagement and reach, paid strategies allow companies to directly target specific demographics, locations, and interests. This means you can reach a more targeted and relevant audience, increasing the chances of conversion.

There are several types of paid social media strategies to choose from, including:

  • Promoted posts: These are regular posts that are boosted with a certain budget to reach a broader audience. You can target specific demographics, locations, and interests to ensure your content is seen by the right people.

  • Sponsored content: This type of content is created by a brand and published on social media channels or an influencer's page. Sponsored content is usually more expensive than Promoted Posts, but can be very effective at reaching a large audience.

  • Social Display Ads: Display ads are banner ads that appear on social media networks or websites. They can be targeted to specific demographics, locations, and interests, and are often used to drive visitors to a specific website or landing page.

  • Video ads: Video ads are short video clips that play before, during, or after other videos on social media sites. They can be targeted to specific demographics, locations, and interests, and are a very effective way to attract attention and drive website traffic or sales.


Investing in paid social media tactics can offer numerous benefits for businesses looking to expand their reach and drive traffic to their website.

While organic methods can also be effective in building a solid online presence, paid strategies enable businesses to target specific demographics and interest groups with precision.

Some of the advantages of using paid social media strategies include:

  • Increased visibility: Paid advertising can help you reach a larger audience than organic strategies alone. This allows you to increase your brand's visibility and reach a wider audience.

  • Increased control: With paid advertising, you have more control over who sees your ads and when. You can target specific demographics and interests, and adjust your ad campaigns based on the results you get.

  • Faster results: Paid advertising typically produces results faster than organic strategies. You can start seeing results within a few days or weeks, while it can take longer with organic tactics.

  • Measurable results: With paid advertising, you can track the results of your campaigns and make adjustments as needed. You can see how many people see your ads, how many click on them, and how many convert into customers.

  • Broader reach: With paid advertising, you can reach a global audience. This can be especially useful if you're looking for a specific geographical location or language.


Investing in paid social media strategies can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website and boosting brand recognition. However, it is important to consider potential drawbacks before committing to these tactics.

Here are some of them:

  • Cost: One of the most significant disadvantages of paid social media strategies is the cost. Ad campaigns can be expensive, especially if you are targeting a large audience or using multiple platforms. This can put a strain on your budget and may not always produce the results you want.

  • Limited reach: Paid advertising can help you reach a larger audience, but it is often limited compared to organic strategies. You may not be able to reach as many people as with organic strategies, especially if your budget is limited.

  • Lower engagement: Paid social media strategies can sometimes result in lower engagement because users feel bombarded with ads and are less likely to interact with them. This can lead to fewer likes, comments, and shares, which can impact your overall reach and brand awareness.

  • Lack of authenticity: Paid social media strategies can sometimes come across as inauthentic, as users can feel like they are being marketed to rather than truly engaged with. This can damage your brand's reputation and make it difficult to build trust with your audience.

  • Short-term results: Paid advertising is often a short-term solution because it stops producing results once you stop paying for it. This means you have to continually invest in advertising campaigns to maintain your online presence, which can be costly in the long run.

Related Resources
How Social Media Marketing Can Benefit Small Businesses

15 Effective Social Media Marketing Tips For Businesses

Organic social media strategies

social media strategy image

Organic social media strategies refer to tactics aimed at increasing engagement, reach, and visibility on social media platforms without the use of paid advertising. These strategies typically involve creating high-quality content, interacting with followers, and building relationships with influencers and other brands.

Some examples of organic social media strategies include:

  • Creating a content calendar that determines what types of content should be shared and when.

  • Creating visually appealing graphics and videos to attract attention.

  • Building a community of followers by responding to comments and messages in a timely manner.

  • Collaborating with influencers and other brands to reach new audiences.

  • Using hashtags to increase visibility and reach.

  • Creating polls and surveys to engage followers and gather feedback.

Organic strategies are an equally crucial aspect of a brand's social media presence because they help build trust and credibility with the audience. When a brand regularly posts valuable content and engages with its followers, it shows that it values its community and is committed to building long-term relationships.

A key element of successful organic social media approaches is understanding your target audience and creating content that resonates with them. This can include researching and analyzing data to understand the needs and interests of the target audience and tailoring content accordingly.

Another significant aspect of organic strategies is being authentic and genuine. Social media users are smart and quickly recognize inauthentic or self-promotional content. Brands should focus on building genuine relationships with their followers and creating content that adds value to their lives.


Unpaid social media strategies are an essential element of any online marketing plan. While paid advertising can be effective at driving traffic to your website, it's expensive and doesn't always produce the results you want. On the other hand, organic strategies can help you build a strong online presence without breaking the bank.

Here are some benefits of organic strategies on social media:

  • Cost-effective: As mentioned earlier, organic strategies are more cost-effective than paid advertising. You can reach a large audience without spending a fortune on ad campaigns.

  • Increased brand awareness: If you regularly post valuable content on social media platforms, you can increase your brand's visibility and reach. This will help you gain more followers and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.

  • Long-term results: Paid advertising is often a short-term solution, as it stops bringing results once you stop paying for it. In contrast, organic strategies can produce long-term results as they help you build a strong online presence that lasts over time.

  • Better insights: Organic strategies help you gather more insights about your audience, which can help you tailor your content and campaigns better.

    Increased trust: Organic tactics build trust and credibility with your audience, as they are not being bombarded with paid ads.


Many businesses have turned to organic social media strategies to save money on advertising and reach a larger audience. However, there are some drawbacks to using organic social media strategies that businesses should consider before committing to this approach entirely.

  • Limited reach: One of the main drawbacks of organic social media strategies is that your content will only reach a small percentage of your followers. This is because algorithms on platforms like Facebook and Instagram prioritize paid content over organic content. This means that your posts may not even be seen by all of your followers, let alone potential new customers.

  • Time-consuming: Developing and implementing an effective social media marketing strategy takes time and effort. You must continually create engaging content, interact with your followers, and monitor your performance to see what's working and not. This can be a lot of work for small businesses with limited resources.

  • Competition: With so many businesses competing for attention on social media, it can be difficult to stand out and get noticed. This is especially true if you rely on organic strategies and do not have the budget to pay for promoted posts or ads.

  • Lack of control: Social media platforms can change their algorithms and policies at any time, which can affect your organic reach and engagement. This means you do not have complete control over how your content is displayed to your audience.

  • Low ROI: While organic social media strategies can be cost-effective, they may not offer a high return on investment. If you are not getting the results you want, it may be necessary to invest in paid strategies to achieve your marketing goals.

Which strategy is better for your business?

Deciding which social media strategy is most suitable for your business can be a difficult task. On the one hand, paid advertising can be effective at driving traffic to your website and generating leads. On the other hand, organic strategies can help you build a strong online presence and drive customer engagement. So which strategy should you choose?

Well, the answer is not so easy to give. Paid advertising can bring quick results, but it is not always the most cost-effective option in the long run. On the other hand, organic strategies require more time and effort but can deliver long-term results and help you build a strong online community.

In recent years, the decline of free reach on social media platforms has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to reach their target audience without spending money on advertising. In general, it's wise to find a way to incorporate both paid and organic strategies into your social media marketing plan.

This way, you can reap the benefits of both approaches and reach a wider audience. For example, you can use paid advertising to drive traffic to your website and then rely on organic strategies to nurture leads and build customer loyalty.

With paid advertising, you can reach a larger audience and generate leads, while with organic strategies, you can build a strong online presence and foster brand loyalty. When you combine the two, you can maximize your reach and achieve your marketing goals

Related Resource
Social Media Optimization 15 Tips For A More Engaging Profile

The Top 10 Social Media KPIs Every Business Should Be Tracking

What is ROI and how do you calculate your social media ROI? 

ROI illustration image

ROI, or Return on Investment, is a measure of how much revenue or profit a business is generating as a result of its investments. It is a way to determine if a business is getting a worthwhile return on the money they are putting into a particular project or marketing strategy.

In the world of social media, ROI is an extremely critical metric to consider when deciding how to allocate resources. With the vast amount of time and money that can be invested in social media marketing, it is crucial to understand how much value is being generated from these efforts.

Calculating your social media ROI can be a bit more complicated than calculating the ROI of other types of investments. This is because the benefits of social media marketing are not always immediately obvious. However, there are a few key steps you can take to determine your social media ROI:

  • Establish clear goals for your social media marketing. This will help you determine what you want to achieve with your social media efforts and make it easier to measure the results of your campaigns.

  • Determine your budget for social media marketing. This includes not only the cost of paid advertising but also the time and resources you invest in creating and managing your social media accounts.

  • Track your social media metrics. This includes metrics like followers, likes, comments, and shares, as well as more specific metrics like leads and sales.

  • Analyze the data. Use tools like Google Analytics to see how your social media efforts are driving traffic and sales to your website.

So how do you calculate your social media ROI?

To calculate your ROI, you need to divide the value generated by your social media efforts (e.g., increased sales or leads) by the cost of those efforts. This gives you a percentage that represents the return on your investment.

Gain from Investment - Cost of Investment
Cost of Investment

Let's say you spend $500 on social media advertising and generate $2,000 in sales. Your ROI is 300%. This means that for every dollar you invested in social media, you received a return of $3.

$2000 - $500

It's imperative to track and analyze your social media ROI regularly to make sure your efforts are paying off. This can help you make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources and how to optimize your strategy for maximum impact.

It's also critical to note that calculating your social media ROI is not always a simple process. There may be intangible benefits that are difficult to quantify, such as increased brand awareness or customer loyalty.

However, by tracking and measuring your results, you can better understand the impact of your social media efforts and make more informed decisions about your marketing strategy.


In summary, both paid and organic social media strategies can be effective at driving results for your business. However, it's wise to carefully consider which approach is appropriate for your specific goals and needs.

Quick results can be achieved through paid advertising, but it may not always be the most budget-friendly option over time. In contrast, organic strategies can establish a robust online reputation and foster customer loyalty, though it may take more time and effort to see the desired outcome

To maximize your social media ROI, it's advisable to choose a combination of paid and organic strategies. This way, you can benefit from the quick results of paid advertising, while using organic strategies to build a solid foundation for long-term success.

If you plan and implement both approaches carefully, you can effectively reach your target audience and achieve meaningful results for your business.

Tabala Digital team
Date: Jan 09 2023

Let's Chat