With Organic Reach on the Decline, Here are a few Steps That can Help
By Space Coast Daily // February 17, 2022
Organic reach is the Holy Grail for brands in the social media marketing world. After all, boosting brand visibility for free is better than using any paid promotional tools for the company’s marketing budget and its bottom line.
This powerful metric refers to the number of people who have viewed the brand’s content (social media posts, Stories, News Feed, etc.) without them having to spend a penny.
However, research indicates that organic reach has plummeted over the years. As per Ignite Social Media, Facebook’s organic reach declined by 44% in 2013. Today, the average organic rate is estimated to be anywhere between 1.1% to 2.2% for Facebook, 5.3% for LinkedIn, and 9.4% for Instagram:
If you’re looking for natural, non-paid ways to boost your brand’s reach and visibility, the following best practices are a good place to start.
Top 5 ways to boost your brand’s organic reach
1. Do your homework
Your brand could create the best content in the world, but if it’s not wired to the relevant target audience, all that effort is already a failure.
To make the most of your content marketing efforts, do your research:
■ Understand where your target audience is most active. This can be done by familiarizing yourself with social media demographics. For example, while TikTok may be one of the most popular social media platforms today, it may not be the right fit for your target base. Additionally, if you cater to a younger target audience, consider trending features such as Snapchat filters, Instagram Stories, TikTok hashtag challenges, and so on.
■ Learn the best practices for each social media platform. Every platform works differently and has proprietary algorithms that distribute content in varied capabilities using relevance, timeliness, and the kind of relationship users have with the brand (aka account). It’s critical to take a personalized approach to social media marketing based on the platform chosen.
2. Build a content marketing strategy
One of social media marketers’ biggest mistakes is not investing enough time and effort into creating a content marketing strategy for organic marketing campaigns. Granted, these campaigns may not get the same ROI as paid marketing, but they drive user engagement with the brand and help in brand-building. The thumb rule is to drive quality posts over quantity to keep the channel active and your audience engaged. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when building a content marketing strategy:
■ Get to know the kind of content your audience likes and is interested in by researching similar pages and understanding your audience’s likes via analytics.
■ Analyze your social media platform’s “Insights” page to deep-dive into critical insights and findings related to your customer base. For example, you can review which day and time your audience is most active.
■ Engage in “social listening” to understand what your competitors are doing and gauge what your audience is liking.
■ Post frequently and think long-term when building a content marketing strategy.
■ Think of posts in terms of content themes as well as “regular series,” and develop a social media content calendar accordingly.
■ Don’t drive in-your-face sales posts all the time or you risk annoying your audience. Play around with creative, value-driven, and fun content to keep your user base hooked. In other words, always give people a legitimate reason to share and like your posts. You can draft fun polls, quality surveys, motivational videos, quirky GIFs, emojis, etc., to get the interaction going.
3. Drive engagement with creativity and common sense
It doesn’t take much to drive user engagement. That said, there is a strategic approach brands can adopt:
■ Integrate a relevant CTA and/or links in posts – it could be asking questions about the kind of content people want to see, requesting followers to share the post, driving a survey via poll questions, etc. There’s plenty of ground to cover.
■ Use the right mix of hashtags, geotags, shopping tags, people tags, etc., to boost the reach of organic content. A small tweak can go a long way.
■ Collaborate with like-minded content creators, customers, and communities to boost organic content. You can also drive user-generated content on your platform to boost chances of two-way conversations with your audience.
■ Encourage your employees to share content among their friends and family and build authority and credibility, as research indicates that customers trust a business’ employees more than advertisers and CEOs.
■ Use customized graphics such as images, GIFs, videos, etc. According to a survey, researchers found that photos containing faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more comments. The logic is simple. Visual imagery makes the post more relatable and gives a “face” to the brand (pun not intended).
4. Be responsive and proactive
As preachy as it may sound, inculcate a culture of agility and proactiveness within your team. Every comment or like should be responded to instantly as social media algorithms prioritize posts that drive early engagement. Once you post a piece of content, always stick around to respond to the immediate reader posts – this can encourage users to spend 3–20% more on an average-priced item from said business in the future.
Additionally, call out abusive or insensitive posts. This helps establish your core values and purpose, creates a safe space for your audience, and builds reader trust as well as brand loyalty. It’s also profitable for the brand as Deloitte suggests that purpose-driven brands grow 3x more than competitors.
The more you interact one-on-one with your audience, the better the chances of boosting engagement, driving brand visibility, and creating a community of like-minded people.
5. Use the right indicators to measure success
Zeroing down the right metrics for organic marketing success is an important piece of the puzzle. Brands should leverage “growth” and “interaction” as key indicators to measure marketing success. At the heart of an organic marketing strategy lies the ability to build customer relationships and not aggressively sell products every chance marketers get.
Organic marketing is the foundation on which your paid marketing strategy rests. Using both models can optimize your content marketing efforts while building a trusting, loyal, and passionate user base of self-confessed brand advocates. Despite shoestring ad budgets, brands can still maintain their competitive edge with organic marketing if done right.