It’s no secret that Facebook and Instagram have reduced the reach of organic posts to connect users with “more meaningful interactions.” Messages from family and friends will be prioritised over posts from businesses. This also encourages businesses to pay money to reach the numbers of people that they used to. Sneaky, eh? While organic reach is down, it’s certainly not out. It’s more important than ever to choose meaningful and relevant content that your audience really wants to engage with. Posting multiple times a day won’t increase your visibility any more.
Is it really worth maintaining an organic social presence anymore? Of course! It’s where people can go to learn about your latest news, brand values and community. When someone looks at your Facebook profile and sees that you haven’t posted anything in six months, it gives the impression that your brand is inactive and doesn’t care about communicating with the public. This clearly isn’t helpful if you sell products or services! Here are some handy tips to make the most of your organic social media content without paying money.
Learn about the algorithms
It’s always best to research before undertaking a task. Organic social posts are no different. While previously there were no rules, it’s thanks to algorithms that organic posts have reduced their reach. Find out what kind of posts Facebook, Instagram and any other channels you use favour and analyse which posts receive the best reach.
Most social media algorithm pay attention to relevancy and engagement rates. If you’re using a link in a Facebook post, Facebook’s algorithm considers the amount of time the user spends on that link’s web page before they return to Facebook. This allows the algorithm to judge how useful and relevant the link is. Even if thousands of users click a link but spend just a few seconds there, it will not look very useful and Facebook will reduce the reach of the post.
Post user-generated content
This one’s great because it requires no real brainpower from yourself. All you do is repost content related to your brand that a user post, showing how much you value that person. For example, if you sell sunglasses and someone posts a pic of their cute pooch donning your shades, why wouldn’t you repost that? Do you know how many people will like a doggo photo on social media?! Remember to tag their account so they can see your appreciation. They’ll be so thankful and will likely share the post to their network, instantly increasing engagement rates even further. Do this frequently to encourage users to start posting about your brand in the hopes that they too may be featured on your profile.
Given the nature of live videos, 80% of organisations significantly improve their reach when compared to a post using native video. Of course, it makes sense for social media channels to prioritise videos that are being recorded live than those that aren’t. Livestreaming is a great way to showcase any fun behind-the-scenes processes that happen in your organisation or answer the most burning questions people have for you. As engagement is key for algorithms these days, make sure you answer any live questions the audience may have for you. Livestreaming shows a more human side to your company, tease upcoming promotions or events, or provide your followers with exclusivity. Best of all, it’s so easy to do – just arm an intern with a camera start filming and voila!
Instagram and Facebook Stories improve reach rates like livestreams for similar reasons. They appear at the top of users’ newsfeeds and are prioritised above other kinds of content because they only stick around for 24 hours. Social media platforms want users to stay on their website and apps for as long as possible, so well-crafted Stories definitely fulfil this objective. Using location stickers and hashtags will make it even easier for users to find your stories while they’re active.
- Understand what your audience wants
To make engaging content, you must find out what your audience wants to engage with. Ideally, you should have customer personas about your audience and know what kind of demographics you need to appeal to. If you have a big enough Facebook following, you can use Facebook’s Audience Insights tools to discover this information, as well as the other interests that these users have shown on the website. There may be something insightful here that you can use. For example, if the tool reveals your audience has shown an interest in celebrities, maybe you could post a meme about the latest celebrity gossip and tie it in with your brand.
Another often forgotten method to try is to simply ask your audience what kind of posts they would like to see. Set up a poll on your Facebook page – by simply voting in your poll, they improve engagement rates.
5. Tailor content for each platform
This is a classic piece of marketing advice that has been going since the dawn of time but is still relevant today because a shocking number of organisations don’t follow this simple bit of knowledge. Avoid reposting the same content across channels if you can. If you’re sharing a link to an interesting article, post it to Facebook but not Instagram. The latter doesn’t allow hyperlinks in posts and realistically, few users will take the time to type out the address you put in. Perhaps there’s a way you can replicate the message of the article in an image, Instagram’s focal point.
6. Ask followers to turn on notifications
Here’s another quick win for you. Ask your supporters to turn on their notifications for your profile. On Facebook, these can be found here.
7. Host a competition
Everybody wants to be a winner! We find engagement rates go through the roof when we put a competition on for our clients. Ask entrants to reply and tag someone in a competition post to enter. This is a great way to get instant engagements, as well as have people who have previously never heard of your brand before clicking on to your Facebook page after being tagged by someone they know.
As the giant panda’s increased numbers demonstrate, just because something is close to extinction, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth nor it’s impossible to save. Organic reach is in decline, but it now means you can take a more focused approach to your beloved social content calendars. It means you’re not in direct competition with people who spam newsfeeds with pointless posts every few hours. Yes, it’s a challenge but if you get the formula right, it’s an infinitely rewarding success. Keep testing and find the posts that get the reach and engagement you want.