Social Media Engagement

When it comes to social media reach, Facebook is typically the first social platform to come up in most conversations. It is also the first platform to come up when discussing the decline of organic reach with social media. This may lead one to wonder – what about organic reach on other platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn? Everywhere you look, organic reach is plummeting. Today, we’re going to look into the situation and what you can do to increase your organic social media reach.

For small businesses, it’s not always logical to pay for marketing on social media. For others, it’s all about balancing the paid reach with organic. Today, we’re going to find that balance and increase your social media reach.

All about the money? Why organic social media reach has plummeted

Before we combat the fall of organic reach on platforms like Facebook, we need to understand why it happened. After all, you can’t fix it without understanding how it broke.

The first thing that most will tell you is that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn only care about the money. Well, yeah, duh…they’re a business. As we all know, a business has to make money somehow. However, it’s not all about the money.

Facebook, and every other social platform, wants to show users only the most engaging content and drop everything else. Known as the News Feed Algorithm, it brings to mind another algorithm. Yup, you guessed it: social media algorithms mirror that of Google.

Social media is adopting its own version of SEO in a way that promotes a positive user experience. This algorithm works by adding your posts in a pool as small as 1% of your followers. If those people engage with the content, then it gets introduced into a larger pool. Slowly, but surely, more and more people see it. However, they’ll only see it if it’s engaging.

This is huge information. However, it doesn’t help you because you don’t know what Facebook and other social platforms consider engaging.

The following 10 tips are going to help you define what it means to create shareable content. Furthermore, the following tips will also highlight ways to produce content that is engaging. Lastly, these tips will help you spread your content on your platforms of choice.

10 ways to increase your organic reach on social media

1.) Focus your efforts in the right places to increase your social media reach

The majority of businesses assume that they need to have a presence on all social media platforms. This flat out isn’t true in every case. Think about it. If your audience doesn’t have a presence on a certain channel, why waste the resources? With that in mind, it’s all about focusing your efforts on the right channels given your buyer personas. Thankfully, selecting which networks to focus on is easier than you think.

Increase Your Social Media Reach

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Straight up ask

The most effective method to obtain an accurate answer from your audience is to simply ask them. Try using a survey, put it in an email, or even give some of your best customers a call. After you catch up, ask them which platforms they use for business and personal purposes.

Look at your share counts

If you have a blog, then you should already have share buttons in place. Many of these tools will provide you with analytics. These analytics typically show who’s sharing your content and more importantly, where they’re sharing it. These figures are a reliable method to figure out which platforms deserve your attention.

2.) Optimize your social media profiles to increase your social media reach

Remember how I made the connection between social media algorithms and the ones used by search engines like Google? Well when you create content for said search engines, you want to optimize it with all sorts of on-page SEO tactics. Well, believe it, or not, but social media operates in the same way.

You can tweak every element of your social media profiles to gain better visibility and optimization. You need to understand the ins and outs of these elements in order to be a social media rockstar.

Social Media Profiles

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Many of the tactics you know already work here, such as:

  • A memorable username
  • An eye-catching photo/brand logo
  • Keyword-rich descriptions (that still sound natural)
  • A trackable link back to your website

When posting, make sure you use the same factors to decide which images to use and what keywords you include. The same applies to how you phrase your call-to-action. This applies to all social media platforms.

3.) Post evergreen content

Creating evergreen content is often easier said than done. An average post on social media, especially those on giants like Facebook and Twitter, will have varying lifespans. Furthermore, these posts must be engaging. If you work in a bland industry, it’s essential that your posts stand out despite the boring genre.

In short, it all boils down to the following: don’t publish content with an expiration date!

Great evergreen content solves common and nagging problems in your industry. Better yet, try to post something educational and funny. Humor, shock, and awe are great emotions to hone in on with evergreen content.

4.) Work smarter, not harder to increase your social media reach

Facebook states that the average user is exposed to over 1,500 stories each day. However, in order to increase engagement, the news feed algorithm only displays about 300. The posts that are displayed are typically those that are most relevant to each user. With this knowledge in mind, we now know that posting more isn’t the answer.

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Instead, we ought to focus on sharing high-quality, relevant content. Again, with this in mind, it boils down to quality over quantity. Posting less with higher quality will likely increase organic reach. Furthermore, it certainly beats spamming your page with everything you have on hand.

Sadly, there isn’t an exact science when it comes to posting on social media. However, Buffer suggests that you post twice per day on Facebook and three times per day on Twitter. As always, every great business is unique. Thus it is vital that you aren’t afraid to experiment with different posting habits on each respective platform.

5.) Target your posts to maximize organic potential

Naturally, this tactic will vary from platform to platform. However, tweaking the settings of your posts to target specific members of your audience can provide an organic boost.

You can use organic post targeting on Facebook to tweak who will see your content. There are eight options on Facebook that you can use:

  1. Gender
  2. Relationship
  3. Status
  4. Education Level
  5. Age
  6. Location
  7. Language
  8. Interests

Twitter offers similar options with their use of hashtags (#), which allow you to categorize your posts. Take any opportunity to better target your audience so that the right people see your content.

6.) Post during slow hours to increase your social media reach

One of the greatest misconceptions is that you should post when everyone is online. While this may be true to a point, it’s not the end all be all. Think about it this way. If everyone posts when everybody is online, then your content is likely going to get lost in the content hurricane. Instead, wait to post your content during non-peak hours. This drastically decreases the chances of your content getting lost in all the noise.

According to AdWeek, these are the best times to post:

  • Facebook: Thursday & Friday between 1:00 and 3:00 pm
  • Twitter: Weekdays between 12:00 and 6:00 pm
  • LinkedIn: Tuesday and Thursday between 7:00 and 8:00 am & 5:00 and 6:00 pm

Naturally, you should look into the data for your specific audience if at all possible.

7.) Increase your social media reach by promoting your profiles everywhere

Every place your business has a presence should also showcase your social media platforms. On your website, your storefront, your business cards, your email signature…you get the idea. You should also consider adding follow buttons on your website. Doing so allows users to instantly connect with you without having to leave your company blog or website.

Don’t forget about cross-promoting your social media profiles. YOu can easily convert Facebook likes into Twitter followers and vice-versa. You want your presence to be known everywhere which will, in turn, grow your organic reach exponentially.

8.) Post the right balance of promotional and useful content

This is without question a difficult balance to achieve. Naturally, you want to promote your product or service on social media. However, you can’t always think about yourself when it comes to these things.

Users expect to find content that is also useful to them.

Sharing valuable content – how-to guides, articles, news posts, etc. – increases a user’s trust in your brand. They first need to come to know you as an authority in the sector. They will then trust you when you endorse a product or service. It’s really that simple!

The rule to master here is the 80/20 split. 80% of your content should be useful and helpful, while 20% can promote your brand or products. The 80% will attract new followers and build trust. They’ll then see the 20% and buy into what you’re selling.

Don’t forget that this variety should also feature a media mix of videos, images, and other engaging content types.

9.) Interact and engage with your audience to increase your social media reach

Organic social media doesn’t get much easier than when people come directly to your page.

If you properly engage with people and respond to their comments, you’re bound to build a great reputation that will spread. People will look for your posts because they’ll genuinely have an interest in what you’re doing.

Forging this sort of bond is important for all aspects of your business, but it can create a viral effect for your organic reach. Word-of-mouth will spread across new members of your audience and they will in turn come and see what your company has to offer.

Final Thoughts

The real secret to increasing your social media reach is the same as the secret to ranking well on search engines. It’s all about optimization, user experience, and high-quality content. If you start thinking about your social media efforts in the same way you think about your SEO work, you’ll see the pieces fall into place in due time.

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About Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is an underwriter by day at United Wholesale Mortgage and a digital marketer by night. Andrew is currently pursuing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.