For years, social media managers have bemoaned the death of organic reach. Gone are the days of the unmetered News Feed: with billions of dollars spent each year on social media advertising, paid ad content now looms heavy over social feeds. While this may sound daunting, and while Facebook's "boost post" button would certainly like you to believe that you don't have a choice, putting money behind your posts isn't the only way to get your message out there. And with recent changes to Facebook and Twitter's political and issue ad policies, paid ads might not even be an option.
Here are five ways to create powerful, organic social media content that will go the distance:
1. Monitor — and learn from — your analytics.
If you find yourself wondering why your posts aren’t getting the likes or clicks you’d hoped for, the answer may be in the analytics. Tools like Facebook and Instagram Insights and Twitter Analytics provide valuable insight into what is and isn’t resonating with your audience. Look for metrics like impressions and engagement to gauge what works. Take note of what type of posts spark the highest rates of engagement from your followers: if your average engagement rate is higher for photo posts than links, start brainstorming what graphics and images you can use to convey your messages. Tailor your content strategy to include more of your highest performing content and check in to see how audiences continue to respond. Bonus tip: use data to determine what time your followers are online and schedule your posts to go live during high traffic times.
2. Share quality content.
Ok, this one may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re in the middle of a campaign or busy workday, it can be easy to neglect the details that are essential for creating engaging posts that will make a splash. Links should have attractive and appropriate share images; when drafting blog posts, make sure sourcing a high-quality share image is on your to-do list. If an article from a third party site doesn’t have a share image attached, consider skipping it. Run links through tools like the Facebook Crawler and Twitter Card Validator to see how they’ll appear to your followers and to ensure they’re displaying the right photos. For graphic and photo posts, make sure your content is sized appropriately so images aren’t cut off in your followers’ feeds. Sprout Social maintains a regularly updated guide to each social network’s individual size requirements. For more insight and inspiration for designing eye-catching graphics for social media, sign up to receive our free design guide here. Keep these same principles in mind for video posts (Sprout also has a great guide to social media video specs). Include subtitles to make your videos accessible to everyone, including the majority of viewers who will be scrolling with their sound muted. Looking for more info on creating quality videos? Sign up here to receive our free “Video 101 for Workers and Organizers” training.
3. Ask allies to amplify.
When you want your posts to be shared, sometimes all you’ve got to do is ask. Don’t expect that your key allies will scroll upon your posts and share or retweet; if you have important content that you want to be amplified, give your partners a heads up. This could take the form of an email sent in advance with suggested posts, links, and images, or after the fact with links to your posts for partners to share directly. Take it from people who create and share content for a living: if you take the time to do the work of drafting the posts for them, your partners will be happy to share.
4. Share your posts with like-minded groups.
This one is Facebook-specific, but if you’ve been paying attention to Facebook’s marketing recently, then you know that groups are it. Facebook’s algorithm has been prioritizing group content and their recent app redesign put groups front and center. Groups are an excellent tool for boosting your reach on Facebook; if utilized correctly, groups can provide you with a captive audience that has organically organized around an issue or cause and is ready to engage on it. Start by searching Facebook for groups related to your cause or campaign. For example, a client of ours regularly shares blog posts about rail safety. We searched Facebook for related keywords and found several groups rail workers and enthusiasts had created to sound off on the topic. We joined these groups and occasionally share relevant content from our client to drum up engagement and bring increased attention to their work. Once you find a relevant group, request to join from either your Page or your personal account (some groups do not allow Pages to join). Be sure to take note of the group rules and be respectful of the community.
5. Engage with your followers.
It’s easy to forget, but social media is inherently social. The almighty algorithm will reward you for being responsive and engaged with your audience. Respond to comments, reply to messages, and thank people for their support. The more tuned in you are to your followers and fans, the more insight you’re able to glean into what they want to see from you. Use their feedback, along with the data provided via analytics, to develop a powerful content strategy that will get your message out there without breaking the bank.
Need more specific help? Not sure where to start? Schedule a time to talk with us about your digital organizing and communication goals. To reserve a call, visit acmstrategies.com/schedule-a-call.