Not much has changed in terms of organic reach in recent years. The average number of people viewing social media posts that are not supported by advertising dollars is still low.
It's no secret that most social platforms operate on a pay-to-play model for brands. The average reach of an organic page post on Facebook is 5.20%. This means that approximately every 19th fan sees the content of the page that is not advertised. The easiest way to increase sales and direct sales is to increase your ad budget.
As a result, companies often underestimate the importance of organic marketing. However, organic social is the foundation on which your ad strategy is based. Behind every successful advertising campaign is a consistent and creative social media presence that strengthens the brand, relationships and trust.
With advertising budgets down, competition for organic reach increases. To stay on top, the best brands are the most creative.
Bonus: Get the step-by-step guide to social media strategies with professional tips on how to increase your social media presence.
10 tips to improve your organic reach on social media
1. Learn best practices for each platform
It's good to have a general understanding of how to write a caption or how to make a video. It's better to know how to write a good caption for Instagram and create videos for LinkedIn.
Never take a unified approach to social media marketing, especially organic content. In order to reach most people, organic contributions have to be optimized. To optimize content, you need to understand the platform and audience you are optimizing for. A good place to start is to familiarize yourself with the demographics of social media.
Concentrate on the platforms that make the most sense for your company and make sure you master them. For example, if you plan to reach the younger audience, you should probably find out about Snapchat filters, TikTok hashtag challenges, and Instagram stories. B2B companies, on the other hand, may be better off connecting via LinkedIn hashtags or Twitter Live.
Typically, content designed specifically for the platform performs better. Learn the pros and cons so that you can get the most out of social media features. Tools like hashtags, geotags, and people and shopping tags can increase the reach of organic content if you know how to use it.
2. Develop a content strategy
No shortcuts here. If you want organic content to perform well on social media, you need to think about it. If you don't spend time on a social media strategy, why should a stranger spend time on your content?
First get to know your audience. What are you interested in? What is your demographic target group? How do they vary depending on the platform? Most platforms offer business accounts access to this knowledge through their analytics tools.
Social listening is another way to find out what your audience – and your competitors – are dealing with. Check out what some of your favorite brands are doing as inspiration.
Set goals for your content strategy, but keep them realistic. You won't gain an organic audience by constantly increasing sales. Ergo, you won't increase sales that much either. Focus on building your brand, your audience and your community. Measure your success with growth and interaction metrics.
According to Matthew Kobach, head of content marketing at Fast, on Twitter, organic social media marketing is similar to eating and drinking a sales pitch. Don't jump straight for dessert. Develop a relationship.
3. Focus on the value
Organic content should offer followers something valuable. Give people a reason to follow your posts and share them. This could mean entertainment value, pearls of wisdom or motivation or the possibility of connecting with a community.
Merriam Webster's Twitter account uses the dictionary for its full potential. The account not only tweets the word of the day, but also searches for trends that are often as informative as they are relevant.
OpTop lookups in the order: consideration, oligarchy, unusual, integrity, insight
– Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster), November 13, 2019
This approach also has value for your brand. Take Lululemon for example. Technically speaking, the company is a clothing retailer. By sharing tips and hosting workouts on IGTV and Instagram Live, the Athleisure brand can position itself as an authority on fitness. With workouts, Lululemon inserts its brand into the everyday life of its customers and also shows its products.
4. Be great consistently
You know the exercise. Post regularly and post at the right time. When exactly is that? This is the case when your audience is online and active. Hootsuite has found the best times to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. But be sure to review your analyzes and adjust them accordingly.
Post consistently to build and maintain presence. But remember, when it comes to organic social media, quality is always more important than quantity. This is why it is so important to create a good content strategy and social media content calendar. Planning ahead keeps the routine sustainable and prevents burnout.
Think long term. Develop content topics, regular installments, or a recurring series. Ellevest, a financial company that wants to close gender gaps, hosts #EllevestOfficeHours once a week. With her series #HappyFrameOfMind, the Canadian designer Tanya Taylor transforms historically sad paintings into cheerful works of art.
5. Connect with people
Here's a little hack: go to a brand's Instagram account on the desktop. Hover over each post and compare the number of likes and comments as you continue. Do you notice anything? It is likely that pictures with people have more likes and comments.
A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs confirms this trend. After looking at 1.1 million photos on Instagram, the researchers found that photos with faces received 38% more likes and 32% more comments.
People connect more with people than with products and services. In addition, consumers increasingly want to get to know the faces behind a brand. A recent survey by Deloitte asked consumers what interests them the most when it comes to brand decisions. The answer? How the company deals with its employees.
Build a strong community by demonstrating the talent, diversity, and values that already exist in your company's community. Be inclusive and representative. The more people see your content, the more people can deal with it.
This may not lead to direct sales. But in the long run, it's worth turning your community around people and goals. Purpose-driven brands are growing three times faster than competitors.
6. Call for engagement
Do you want commitment to your organic contributions? Just ask for it.
Questions are a good invitation. Ask your followers about something you're interested in. Take this opportunity to learn more about your audience. The creators of fashion and lifestyle content, Shelcy and Christy, received more than 100 responses when they asked followers which books to read.
Fenty Beauty asked the followers to respond with a picture and combined them with a lipstick. The single tweet received more than 1.5,000 replies and 2.7,000 favorites. Penguin Random House took a similar approach and offered book suggestions based on favorite authors. The Cash App gave six pieces of advice to anyone who asked a question.
Answer with a picture and we will match you to a slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick shade! 👄💋✨
– FENTY BEAUTY (@fentybeauty) June 22, 2020
A LinkedIn expert participated in a survey of followers that used LinkedIn’s response options creatively. Your survey received more than 4K responses. Surveys generally provide great feedback and engagement tools. Like stickers in stories.
7. Respond quickly and frequently
Go to the comment areas of your posts. People are more likely to get involved when they know they may get an answer from you.
Here too, the response time is crucial. Once you've posted something, stick with it and respond to your first comments. This increases the likelihood that you will get more. It is also a good opportunity to promote brand values and personality. If you discover abusive comments, address them immediately so that you get a safe and inclusive area.
Investigocean has not been conclusive so far, but we will see some results soon
– Monterey Bay Aquarium (@MontereyAq) June 24, 2020
Influencer and entrepreneur Jenna Kutcher has had success with this strategy. "When people see me online and comment back on comments, they are far more likely to look at my post," she said in her podcast, "Goal Digger."
The response to customers on social media pays off in the long run. Twitter research shows that customers are willing to spend 3 to 20% more on brands that respond to their tweets. On the other hand, those who don't get answers are less likely to recommend brands.
Use tools like Mentionolytics to keep track of comments and mentions on all platforms and increase your response time.
8. Know the algorithms
If you've followed steps 1 through 7 so far, you're already in good shape for the almighty algorithms. However, it's still worth keeping up to date with changes and changes on the platforms.
Social media algorithms use ranking signals to sort the order of organic content in their timelines and news feeds. These factors typically include relevance, timeliness, and the relationship someone has with the account.
Algorithms prioritize posts with a high probability of engagement. Early engagement is often seen as a good indicator. Posts that use rich media such as videos, images, and GIFs are also preferred. Video is still the star of social media content.
Find out more with our platform-specific instructions:
9. Collaborate and mark
Tags are a great way to increase organic content.
Not only are you looking for a partnership with an influencer who technically qualifies as paid content, but also for opportunities to work with other accounts. This can include like-minded brands, creators, or even customers. Warby Parkers presented the different types of influencers and customers in its # WearingWarby series.
View this post on Instagram
Last year we had so much fun getting to know some of our favorite glasses wearers for our # WearingWarby series. Many thanks to @lesleyarfin, @paulrust, @GusDapperton, @sloane_crosley, @micaiahcarter, @esthermonster, @brohammed, @JamieThomas, @elainewelteroth and @kiacooks! How long have you been #WearingWarby? Tell us below!
Prados Beauty publishes images that its customers share with the company's makeup and eyelashes. Elate Cosmetics invites partners and developers such as Flora & Fauna and @ericaethrifts to take over accounts. Collabs and crossovers like this have the potential to trigger early engagement and make accounts accessible to a similar audience.
Do you need more inspiration? To celebrate 100 years of drag, Sephora teamed up with 15 queens and marked them. Although this was probably a paid collaboration, the idea could easily be adapted to the community of your brand.
View this post on Instagram
We celebrate 100 years of drag! We admire how the drag community always took individuality and self-expression – here are still 100 years – in the 1920s – @ Marymagnum, 1930s – @ Booboocachureadings, 1940s – @ Rochellemoncheri, 1950s – @ LadyTiaSF, 1960s – @ dat_sissy_conde, 1970s – @ christina_faguilera, 1980s – @ dixiebeepr, 1990s – @ stephensface, 2000s – @ b_dmorgan, 2010s – @ Blanque_production, 2020 – @ brycerider, 2020 – @ theelilyrose, 2020 – @ hexate, 2020 – @ Dustbuster73, 2020 – @ alanathicc
10. Stage virtual events
Host a virtual event to improve entertainment and get your brand moving. Virtual events can include everything from Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) to social media competitions and live streams on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.
The out of control success of Cash App Fridays combines the best virtual events, series and social competitions in one. Every Friday since 2017, Twitter followers who share and retweet their Cash App day have had the chance to win a Cash App coin.
Super Cash App on Fridays increases the stake by increasing the jackpot and sometimes the eligibility requirements. For the giveaway on January 31, participants were asked to tag seven friends. The statistics speak for themselves.
This competition is not 100% organic as it is cash prizes. But it's a creative way to bypass social advertising. If you don't have the budget for pricing, be resourceful. Feature winners in your account. Let them name your next product.
When it comes to organic marketing, the most creative brands will ultimately prevail.
Use Hootsuite to easily integrate your paid and organic social marketing efforts. With a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, perform best-performing content, create ads, measure performance, and more. Try it for free today.