You may have noticed over the past few years your organic posts on social media have been reaching less and less people. Your brand is the same, your following has grown, so what gives?
These companies are constantly changing how they prioritize content with their infamous blackbox algorithms.It’s no secret that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are trying to keep people on their sites.The longer people are on their sites, the more money they can charge advertisers. For brands looking to get their products out there it’s become increasingly difficult without resorting to paid ads.
Is there still a point to posting to Instagram daily or should you put all your effort into paid advertising?
Paid vs Organic Strategy
In the early days of social media, a company could post content regularly on their profiles and steadily increase their following. It was a best practise to try and gain as many followers as you could. As social media marketing became more sophisticated throughout the years, the focus shifted to engagement.
Nowadays, it’s common knowledge that organic engagement is negligible, with some estimates putting it as low as 2% on Facebook. With numbers that low, Is it even worth it to spend time creating an organic social media marketing strategy if paid is the only way to achieve en masse reach?
It’s not a matter of which strategy to use, it’s how to incorporate both in the most efficient way. Rather than put all your effort into one or the other, think about how you can leverage content across channels, adapt existing content, and join in on trends and current events that are relevant to your audience.
There’s still a place for organic content, but it’s role has shifted considerably. Today, we’ll detail how you can maximize your organic social media strategy knowing that paid is the best way to reach new audiences and maximize conversions.
Define Your Content
When thinking about your brand’s online persona, make sure the content is authentic to your brand. Cheeky posts and subtweets may work for Wendy’s but probably aren’t a great idea for an accounting firm. Think about your tone of voice and who your audience is before posting anything.
A great way to do this is by defining content categories. Create 3-5 “buckets” and use this as a framework during content creation. Example categories are educational, entertaining, promotional, and from there you can use different types of content within each category. For instance, you could do an infographic series about your design process or a Whitepaper about the mortgage industry.
Defining categories that align with your brand and goals is a must to ensure your content is relevant and engaging to your audience. Using a content calendar will help organize your content and make creation easier.
A content calendar can take on many forms, but in its simplest form it is a way to organize your content. Whether you use a fancy template or a simple Excel sheet, you’ll want to include these elements.
- Asset- Image, video, blog post, infographic, etc.
- Date and Time to be Posted
A content calendar example created in Google Sheets.
Just keep in mind that each channel should have a clear business purpose and content goal. If not, it’s better to keep off the platform entirely and focus on platforms that are relevant to your audience.
Social Media as a Branding Tool
There’s a few unicorns who get massive engagement on their organic social content. Brands like Burger King and Nike have established a dedicated customer base who will follow them regardless of channel. For most small-medium sized businesses, social media is more important for brand awareness. Get your name out there and interact with your customers online.
Consistency is key. There’s nothing worse than visiting a business’ Facebook page and realizing it hasn’t been updated since 2017. Even if you can only commit to a few posts a month, that’s better than nothing. Plus, the more you post the more you can learn about what your audience likes.
There’s tons of free scheduling tools that make content posting a breeze. HootSuite, Sprout Social, and Later are a few of the most popular. The calendar visualization tool is helpful for previewing what your feed will look like with the content you’ve scheduled. For some brands, it matters that all posts are a certain colour and for others a general cohesiveness in content is enough.
A screenshot from Later, a content scheduling tool.
A Pro tip is to spend an afternoon creating and scheduling content, so you can set it and forget it. Then, if there’s any current events that come up, you can create something that’s timely.
Keep Up With Innovation
Capitalizing on new feature releases is a great way to give your organic content a boost. Platforms will prioritize content that makes use of the new functionality which will give it a bump in impressions and reach.
Instagram Reels is a new feature that was released to compete with TikTok. It allows users to create and share 15-30 second videos and post them on their profile. Notably, ads are not yet supported in the Reels area of Instagram Explore. But, since Reels is visible on the public areas of the app, and can be seen by people who don’t follow your brand, your business has the opportunity to reach new audiences across the world.
The way the Instagram algorithm prioritizes Reels is still unknown, but similar to TikTok, posts by location, people you follow, and content similar to what you’ve engaged with recently, appear more often.
New features also give smaller brands a chance to get a leg up on bigger companies that are slower to adopt new technology. The first movers advantage is real, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Most importantly, don’t give up! When you’re feeling discouraged about your low engagement or slow following growth, just remember that building a successful social media marketing campaign takes time. Follow your data, stay consistent, and positive outcomes are sure to come your way.
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