There's no denying that building a successful organic social media strategy has become more difficult.
However, it surely isn't impossible - and we're about to show you why!
Read on to discover five impactful ways to improve your organic social media performance:
1. Keep Your Audience Front and Center
Know your audiences better than they know themselves
If your audience are moms who work 10am - 2pm, then pick up the kids, help with homework and rush to get something on the table for dinner - but ALSO love baking on the weekends, drinking Sauvignon Blanc while watching The Bachelor and scrolling Instagram - then THAT's who you need to appeal to.
I realize that’s very specific - but that’s the point - you should be as specific as you can. You can even give your audience persona a name if that helps, in this example let’s call her Tracey.
You know she’s sneaking away to check her phone (or does she use her iPad? It helps to know that too) in between work, raising children and running a household – so you need to understand how she uses social media.
Does she prefer video, what colors and styles of content will attract her?
If you're personally nothing like Tracey, understanding her can be tricky - so find a Tracey in real life and put yourself in her shoes to make sure your brand’s social media presence passes the audience test.
The purpose of your brand being on social media is for Tracey (and all the other Tracey’s) to recognize you're the brand for them and make an emotional connection - before they’ve even had time to think about it.
Think about your brand’s style and what it conveys to Tracey or whether your content is attractive or off-putting to them.
This affects how your content performs organically in the newsfeed. After all, the more personalized your posts, the higher the chance your audiences will engage with them, which will increase your organic reach.
2. Stand Out From the Crowd
Think about the last time you bought cereal. You can tell which brands are fancy, which ones are environmentally friendly, and which ones are budget, just from looking at the packaging. They all do the same thing, but something makes you buy one or the other.
You want your organic social media activities to be effective. After all, you’ve gone to the effort (and expense) of creating specific content, and it has a job to do.
Your posts' first job is to Stop The Scroll. You want your audience to stop scrolling for a second and check out your content.
But you first need to earn the attention of your target market before they can engage with you and each brand achieves this differently, which goes back to knowing your audience (remember Tracey?).
Social media branding is more than branding in the logo/colors sense. Every interaction with a user is part of your brand personality. Each review, every check-in, the private message replies – your whole presence down to the last detail says something about your business, and therefore your brand.
In a competitive market with savvy consumers who have unprecedented access to information – give them a reason to choose your business over your competitors.
3. Invest in Content to Improve Your Organic Social Media Strategy
You want to be able to commit to regularly giving your audience more of what they love to consume, and an engaged audience will expect consistent quality - they’ll know straight away if you’ve dropped the ball.
If you use professionally shot images, and this is what garners you the most engagement, a poorly-lit iPhone photo will stand out - and not in a good way.
Investing in the content process
You may need to purchase specific equipment such as lighting, microphones, tripods and editing software if you plan to produce your content in-house - or put some creatives and copywriters on staff.
Some brands will enlist content production houses to help them create quality content consistently.
Whichever avenue your brand uses, there needs to be a strategic approach to your content production.
Know your specs
All social media video should have captions enabled for people who watch with the sound off (most of us) or those with hearing impairments.
As social media channel specifications change over time, it’s best to go direct to the platform for this information as they provide up-to-date guidance, such as this handy guide from Facebook.
Credit where it’s due
Avoid re-posting watermarked images as this looks lazy and lowers your credibility. There’s loads of high-quality free image sites like Unsplash and Pexels where you can source quality images for free, plus paid stock sites like Shutterstock to help convey your message visually.
If you’re creating your own graphics there’s tools like Canva to help you make original graphics like quotes, quickly watermark your own photos, or re-size and edit as required.
Organize your content in a calendar
Add original photos, video, polls, and product updates to articles that link back to your website.
You don’t have to post daily on every platform. In fact, if you’re just posting for the sake of ticking it off your to-do list, you’re probably not considering your audience. Choose days and times that your audience will be most likely to engage with your content (remember Tracey’s schedule?), so you can make the most of your organic reach.
Planning your posting allows you to concentrate on creating specific audience-first content that fits the platform and gets posted in a timely manner.
4. Dive into Data
Get familiar with your social media metrics, and track what’s important. With organic social media this is most likely to be reach, engagement (likes, comments, reactions), shares (or retweets), video views, and link clicks. Understand your numbers and get a feel for your brand’s benchmarks so you know when something either under or over-performs.
Facebook allows you to export your page insights, giving you a treasure-trove of data, or you can enlist the help of a social media management tool to help you overview your data in a less manual fashion.
It gives us a warm fuzzy feeling when posts perform well, but keep a close eye on your negative feedback too. If you’re getting a lot of “hide post” or worse, “report as spam” responses from your audience, you need to go back to step one. Facebook takes this negative feedback very seriously and it will strangle your organic reach if you continue to rack up negative feedback.
5. Shift Your Focus Away from Selling
You can talk about your products, their features and how they make people’s lives better. You can post about your latest sale or promotion, but it must be broken up with other types of engaging content to provide value through variation.
Your organic social media is a place to let your audience get to know and trust you as a brand, where you can learn more about what they like. Don’t ruin that by shoving your sales messages in their faces.
You can’t go up to someone in a bar and ask them to marry you (well, you can – but it probably won’t work out) because you haven’t done any groundwork. They don’t even know you.
Organic social media is the same. It helps you establish a relationship with your audiences, so you can nurture them towards purchasing with paid social media campaigns later.
That's why, if you’re blaming the algorithm for lack of engagement, it might be time to stop and think about your audience, reconsider your content and dive into your analytics.
You May Also Like
7 Steps to Creating Compelling Instagram Video…
Even though Instagram had been popular long before it was purchased by Facebook, teaming up with the biggest social media platform in the world made it a force to be reckoned with.
10 Actionable Tips to Improve Your Facebook Page…
Are you familiar with the idea of Facebook Page SEO optimization?
It's a practice of applying basic SEO techniques to your business’s Facebook Page in order to increase its organic visibility - both on Facebook and in search engines.
Want to learn how it works and how you can apply it to your own Facebook Page?
Read on to find out!