In the days before paid posts and advertising, the only way to be noticed in a content-driven world was through quality organic content with the hope that your followers would enjoy it and interact with it.
Unfortunately, that is no longer enough.
Over the past few years we have seen a growing trend that social organic reach and engagement levels are declining, despite posting continually great content. Social media platforms are constantly changing their algorithm, and most are changing it to favour paid ads rather than organic content.
The push towards paid-for content can be attributed to a lot of things, but mainly it’s down to money. Facebook, for instance, started changing their algorithm to favour paid-for ads before filing for their IPO in an attempt to drive up the company’s worth.
Although the decline of organic reach is a challenge to brands, there are plenty of ways to truly utilise your online presence and get seen by your target audience in a relevant and engaging way – such as:
Partnering with influencers
In your industry, who are the influencers? Find the people who have the most followers, the most interesting insights and who are a credible force within their industry, and see if they’re open to some collaboration.
By partnering with influencers you’ll reach an audience that you haven’t interacted with yet and have the ability to share your knowledge with them, increasing your brand awareness and validity within a potentially tough industry to crack!
Here are some great examples of how partnering with influencers really works.
Video and livestreaming
Video is unstoppable at the moment - in 2017 it’s due to account for 74% of all online content.
Facebook works using what they call an edgerank algorithm, which prioritises posts based on the type of content and how many people are interacting with it. For example, posts that are solely text--based won’t do as well as video content, so it might be worth investing in some fun, interesting or engaging video content if you want to see more results.
Additionally, Facebook has now gone live – users can stream live videos from their homes, offices or even when they’re doing their weekly food shop, and all their connections will get notified when they start live streaming.
If you want to get noticed by your followers, come up with some interesting, relevant content to livestream and watch the viewers come rolling in. Just be careful not to spam your audience – if you’re live streaming every day just to try and drum up attention, your viewers will tune out and eventually stop following you altogether. Only utilise a livestream when you have something interesting to share.
Oh, best of all, it’s free!
Create your own content hub
Having your own content hub is a fantastic way to generate relevant and engaging content, and by practicing inbound marketing you’re more likely to see the results come through.
Create your content on your very own platform, use imagery to ensure you have an excellent, memorable visual identity and then share it on your social accounts (you can put money behind these to get an even better response).
By creating your own hub of content, you are positioning yourself to become a trusted, authoritative voice in your industry, allowing your company to create and add to your audience through a clever, inbound marketing strategy.
Sponsored content and advertising
If we can’t beat them, we have to join them. A social strategy should not be complete without considering an advertising budget to boost content and reach your target audience. Even for a short period to launch a specific campaign or message.
The best thing about social media is the amount of data that users willingly give to them. You can target people with advertising based on their gender, profession, age range, interests, education and family status.
Boosting posts offers a way to get your content in front of your targeted audience, without actually serving them an advert - essentially you are paying for your content to go to the right people. This makes them more receptive to your content rather than a traditional display ad.
A great place to start with social advertising and boosting posts is on Facebook. You can now boost your content for as little as £4. You can also check out ads.facebook.com to see their wider ad offering.
We’ll be following this blog up with a guide to social advertising and where it fits in to your digital marketing plan, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
What do you think?
Have you noticed a decline in your organic social reach? We’d love to hear about your experience and how you’ve dealt with it – leave a comment below or get in touch with us on Twitter.
If you think it might be time to readdress your social strategy with any of the options we mentioned above, get in contact and find out how we can help you.