As time goes on, it feels like organic reach on social platforms continues to decline further and further, even when it already seems like you're only getting to a tiny fraction of your audience with each of your posts.
In this post, I’ve compiled 10 solid principles that will help you fight the decline of organic reach on social media, and maintain your referral traffic numbers.
Hopefully these notes will help you negotiate the ongoing reductions, and improve your performance.
1. Know the algorithms
The first part to getting over a decline in organic reach on social media is to learn about the algorithms of each social media network that you’re currently using.
In a generalized nutshell, social platform algorithms are based on three basic principles:
- Recency - How long ago you published a post
- Relevancy - How relevant your posts are to your audience
- Engagement - How your audience reacts to posts you’ve published (likes comments and shares)
Each social media network has its own nuances when it comes to how it distributes content, but think about these basic principles, and how you can apply them to your social media content and marketing. Once you learn specifics, you can incorporate other creative ways to play into each element of the algorithm/s, and use them in your favor.
2. Go Live
Have you tried going live on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter yet?
Live videos on Facebook (and other networks) get a lot of interaction, and the subsequent reach benefits (via the respective algorithm) can help boost your brand awareness.
Let your followers get to know your team, tease upcoming events, film product demos or simply have fun with Q & A sessions.
One more benefit of live videos? You can re-use them after then initial broadcast to create even more content.
3. Feature User Generated Content
“Beyond being seen as the most authentic, user-generated content is also the most influential content consumers reference when making purchasing decisions. Most consumers say that they’ve made purchasing decisions based on user-generated visuals – 57% have made plans to dine at a particular restaurant, 54% have purchased a consumer packaged good and 52% have made plans to travel to a specific destination based on a consumer-created image or video.”
So listen to the people, and get moving on featuring user-generated content in your social media strategy to fight the decline in organic reach. In practice with my agency clients, we absolutely see that user-generated pieces produce more engagement than original brand photography.
Stackla's survey also revealed that:
"51% of people say they’d be more likely to continue engaging with and/or purchasing from a brand if it shared their photo, video or post throughout its marketing."
Another key element to consider.
4. Create unique content for each platform
Creating unique content for each social media network your brand is active on is another good strategy to fight the decline in organic reach on social media.
Use your network specific tools (for example Instagram Stories, poll stickers on Instagram Stories, Twitter Moments, etc.) to create more interest and engagement within each social network. Doing so will disrupt just posting images and videos, and give followers an extra incentive to follow your business on each platform.
5. Put a budget behind content
It obviously comes with some cost, but another quick way to fight the decline in organic reach of your social media posts is by using the various ad options at your disposal to give your updates an extra reach kick.
Targeting is your best friend here - unless you like to spend money on bad results. Knowing your customer is key, as there are SO many different ways to target social ads.
Consider your audience for each update, angle the post to those users, then target them specifically with your ad options.
6. Influencer marketing
Collaborating with influencers isn’t exactly instant, but it can be another option to fight the decline in organic social media reach.
The secret is to find the right influencers. Influencers who are aligned with your target consumer, and will attract the right customers for your business. You'll have to do your research, but once influencer campaigns are off the ground, you’ll open the door to more traffic, eyes, and reach on social media.
Brush up on your influencer marketing tactics (and content ideas) by reading How to Win With Influencer Marketing.
7. Stories on Instagram
This one is specific to Instagram, but posting to your Instagram Stories can be a good way to increase reach.
By using hashtags, hashtag and location stickers within your Stories frames, you can get more reach for your account.
And of course the classics:
8. Quality content
Are you tired of hearing about the quality of your content yet?
Let’s think beyond the actual look of your content, and consider quality as in adding value to your audience and giving them content they actually want and need.
Conduct surveys (you could do this with Instagram or Twitter polls like we went over earlier in this post), and ask questions to really get to know what your audience is struggling with, what they enjoy seeing, and doing and how you can help them.
One sure way to fight the decline of organic reach is remaining consistent.
This refers to being consistent in your posting frequency, consistency in your messaging and the look/feel of your accounts.
Analytics are my favorite - but how can they help fight the decline in organic reach on social media?
Make it a habit to take a look at your analytics, and keep track of them. You can use third party tools, but I also use my own analytics trackers. Pay attention to what's working, and try to re-create those things - and stop spending time on things that don’t work.
Organic reach is not dead. But we are absolutely seeing a shift, and a consistent decline over time. Don’t blame the algorithms. The only true way to fight the decline in organic reach is to build a solid following, and concentrate on engaging and serving your unique audience so more organic reach will follow.
A version of this post was first published on the Dhariana Lozano's blog.