Organic Reach, Social Media

Organic Reach is in Decline—Here’s What You Can Do About It

This article comes from Hootsuite.

Organic Reach is in Decline—Here’s What You Can Do About It

When it comes to organic reach, not a lot has changed over the past few years. The average number of people who see posts on social media that aren’t backed by ad dollars is still low.

It’s no secret that most social platforms operate on a pay-to-play model for brands. On Facebook, the average reach of an organic page post hovers around 5.20%. That means roughly one in every 19 fans sees the page’s non-promoted content. The easiest way to boost distribution and direct sales, is to boost your ad budget.

As a result, businesses often underestimate the importance of organic marketing. But organic social is the foundation that your ad strategy rests on. Behind every successful ad campaign is a consistent and creative social media presence that strengthens brand, relationships, and trust.

With ad budgets down, competition for organic reach is up. To stay on top, the best brands will be the most creative.

1. Learn best practices for each platform

Having general knowledge of how to write a caption or how to create a video is good. Knowing how to write a good caption for Instagram and create videos for LinkedIn is better.

Never take a one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing, especially with organic content. To reach the most people, organic posts need to be optimized. And to optimize content, you need to understand the platform and audience you’re optimizing for. A good place to start is by getting familiar with social media demographics.

Focus on the platforms that make the most sense for your business and set out to master them. For example, if you plan to reach the younger crowd, you should probably figure out Snapchat filters, TikTok hashtag challenges, and Instagram Stories. B2B companies, on the other hand, might be better off connecting via LinkedIn hashtags or Twitter Live.

2. Develop a content strategy

No shortcuts here. If you want organic content to perform well on social media, you have to put some thought into it. If you don’t spend time on a social media content strategy, why would a stranger spend time on your content?

To start, learn about your audience. What are they interested in? What are your audience demographics? How do they vary by platform? Most platforms offer business accounts access to these insights through their analytics tools.

Social listening is another way to learn what content your audience—and competitors—is engaging with. Look at what some of your favourite brands are doing for inspiration.

3. Focus on value

Organic content should offer followers something of value. Give people a reason to follow and share your posts. That could mean entertainment value, pearls of wisdom or motivation, or the opportunity to connect with a community.

Merriam Webster’s Twitter account taps the dictionary for its full value potential. In addition to tweeting the Word of the Day, the account tweets “look up” trends that are often as revealing as they are relevant.

There’s also value for your brand in this approach. Take Lululemon, for example. Technically the company is an apparel retailer. By sharing tips and hosting workouts on IGTV and Instagram Live, the athleisure brand is able to position itself as an authority on all things fitness. With workouts, Lululemon inserts its brand into its customers’ daily routine, and shows off its products, too.

4. Be consistently awesome

You know the drill. Post regularly and post at the right time. When is that, exactly? It’s when your audience is online and active. Hootsuite found the best times to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But definitely double check your analytics and adjust accordingly.

Post consistently to establish and maintain presence. But remember, when it comes to organic social media, quality always trumps quantity. This is why creating a good content strategy and social media content calendar is so important. Planning ahead keeps the routine sustainable, and prevents burn-out.

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