There are many ways to increase your reach on social media but it can be overwhelming to know where to start. If you’re a smaller business, paying for social media marketing is not always reasonable when you’re already spreading thin with your budget. For others, it can be difficult to balance paid and organic reach. We all know that money is the golden ticket in today’s society, but what if there was a way to grow without having to break the bank to get there?
When looking at social media reach, Facebook is always the first platform that enters the conversation. However, it’s also the first platform that comes up when talking about the decline of organic reach. Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram are also key players in this conversation with all having paid reach options.
Why is organic reach on social media declining?
Before we jump in, let’s uncover some of the reasons why organic reach is declining. This will allow us to combat those later when we talk about our strategies.
When thinking about Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, or any other social media giant you can think of, your mind most likely jumped to their want to make more money. You’re not wrong, these companies are a business. We all know a business has to make money somehow, and when they have it, it never seems to be enough.
However, it’s not ALL about the money.
There are two things these platforms all have in common when it comes to advertising: pushing their own advertising and engaging users on the platform.
Every social media platform wants to only show its users the content that is most engaging and drop everything else. This is known as the News Feed Algorithm and it mirrors Google’s in how it organizes its content.
Similar to how you use SEO to strengthen your ranking on Google, social media has adopted its own form of SEO. This algorithm promotes a better user experience by putting your posts in a small pool of your followers. Like one percent kind of small. If that pool of people engages with the content, then it continues to get introduced into larger pools. In short, it’s a slow process, but more and more people will see your content if it’s engaged.
But how do you know what the platform considers engaging?
8 Strategies to increase your organic reach on social media
Let’s find out what it means to create shareable content that people will engage with, and how you can spread this information to populate the platforms of your choosing.
1. Don’t spread yourself too thin
If you take anything out of this, it should be that you don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform. It’s impossible to have a consistent and engaging presence on every platform and in reality, your audience is most likely not on everyone. Save yourself the stress and energy by asking, what social media platform(s) does my audience live in? Not sure how to decide? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Ask them! The easiest way to get the most accurate answer is to simply ask which platforms your audience prefers. You can do this by sending out a survey, email thread, or even in person or on the phone.
Check your blog shares. If you have a blog, then you should be familiar with share counts already. These tools can give you many useful analytics, including information on who is sharing your content and where. Use this information to see which platforms to focus on.
Scope out the competition. Where are others in your industry posting? If they aren’t on a platform you shouldn’t be either.
2. Optimize your social media profiles
Just as we said above, social media uses algorithms that are similar to Google. When creating content for search engines, we use SEO tactics to optimize it and social media works the same way. Here are a few effective tactics to use:
- Use a consistent and memorable username across all platforms
- Use the same recognizable photo/brand logo for profile pictures
- Use keyword descriptions to phase your call-to-action (should sound natural)
- Include a trackable link to your website
3. Use targeting to maximize engagement potential
For Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin, look at your analytics to see how to target members of your audience based on specific demographics. This will vary from platform to platform, but doing this can boost your organic potential by presenting user relatability.
Here are the following options:
- Education Level
These options are also available on Twitter but you can use hashtags to categorize your posts on Twitter and Instagram as well.
4. Cross-promote your profiles
Tell your audience where you are and direct them to your pages. Don’t wait for your audience to find you, bring your platforms to them. You can promote your social pages on your website, email signature, storefront, business cards, and more. Make sure to add your social pages as buttons on your website so users can instantly be brought to your page without having to leave your site or blog. You can also cross-promote your social media pages on your other platforms to convert more followers as well.
5. Post evergreen content
This tactic is easier said than done but can bring so many engagement benefits if done correctly. Evergreen content is relatable information that doesn’t come with an expiration date. Your content needs to be interesting and engaging. You can start by trying to generate content that solves common or persistent problems in your industry. Humor, shock, and awe emotions are great for enticing engagement with evergreen content.
Pro tip: Post positive posts more than negative ones.
6. Post during slow traffic hours
This may come as a surprise, but it’s actually not effective to post your content during high traffic hours. Posting in high traffic times will get your content lost in the algorithm since you are trying to compete with every other person with the same ‘bright idea’.
Based on some research data, these are the best time to post in accordance with the platforms:
Facebook: Thursdays and Fridays (1 pm to 3 pm)
Twitter: Weekdays (12 pm to 6 pm)
Linkedin: Thursday-Thursday (7 pm to 8 pm and 5 pm to 6 pm)
Always check your own audience for data if you can as well.
7. The 80/20 rule
80 percent of your content should be fun, useful, and helpful, 20 percent should promote your brand and its products and services. Using this rule will allow you to gain credibility and trust with your audience while not coming off too salesy. You want to post content that is shareable and interesting to your audience. Don’t forget to create a variety of different content as well by including a mix of articles, videos, images, and other sharable content.
8. Engage with your followers
Build a relationship with your audience by replying to comments and building a good reputation. It’s important that your audience knows that they are cared about and heard, and this is the perfect way to get feedback on all aspects of your business. By engaging with your audience members they are more likely to continue to engage and share your content.