It is getting more and more difficult to reach your followers on social media organically.
Simply put, organic reach is a measurement of how many people you reach for free on social media. Nowadays, organic reach is dying on these platforms.
In 2019, Trust Insights conducted a study where they analyzed 1.4 million Instagram posts from 3.600 brand profiles. The results showed that in April, Instagram user engagement was 1.54%, and only three months later, it was 0.9%
Research conducted by Simon Kemp showed that in 2018, the average organic reach for non-promoted content on Facebook was 6.4% of the total page likes.
Mark Zuckerberg himself even announced the changes planned for 2018, and they were not beneficial for businesses.
“As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
So, the average 6.4% organic reach was still deemed as too much by Facebook?
This indicated the end of an era! Organic reach will only be harder to achieve as time passes.
This affects your social media presence heavily and while organic reach is declining, advertising revenues are rising rapidly for these platforms.
The strategy to win on these platforms is slowly transforming into a pay-to-play scenario.
But not every business wants to spend money on advertising on these platforms. Especially since you don’t even know exactly who you’re advertising to.
As organic reach drops every year, you can count on it that your engagement will drop too.
This is obviously not good for business. Thus, you need to keep track of how the algorithms are changing to keep winning on these platforms.
Platforms like Facebook are trying to keep low-quality content out of people’s timelines.
Nowadays, you need to upload high-quality content to be able to reach your followers organically. We can conclude that the winning brands will be those who are most creative.
Let’s take a look at how you can turn these changes in organic reach to your advantage.
1. Focus on quality instead of quantity
Social media platforms are filtering the bad content out of people’s timelines. Therefore, you should focus on creating content that people actually want to engage with. Create content that people want to share with others, instead of making a whole bunch of content no one will engage with or care about.
2. Know what your audience needs
Before you can start creating high-quality content, you first need to know what your followers view as high-quality content.
As a starting point, you can research what topics they would like you to discuss by simply asking them! Create a poll and ask your followers if they would be interested in content about a certain topic, or if they would be interested in you doing a Q&A, for instance.
Once you gather the opinions of your followers, it should be much easier for you to create content they will engage with. This allows you to reach more followers organically in the long run.
3. Consider timing
If you have a business page on Facebook or Instagram, you can view the analytics of your followers.
These analytics can be valuable when developing a strategy to increase your organic reach. One factor that is of sheer importance is the timing of your posts. In the analytical tools from these social media platforms, you will be able to see at what times most of your followers are online. You should post a little before these peak times. This way, your content has some time to gain a little traction before most of your followers go online. Chances are, if you have uploaded high-quality posts, they will be shown in more timelines and thus reach a wider audience.
4. Be consistent
Consistency is key here. You need to post consistently to achieve and maintain your social media presence. You need to plan your high-quality content ahead so you can keep posting consistently, which your followers will value.
5. Connect with your followers
Your followers love to be treated in a special way and if there is one way you can achieve this, it is by giving them some extra attention. If you reply to comments or engage in conversations in your DM, your followers will be much more likely to engage with you in the long-term.
6. Stop pushing
Pushing your product or service constantly to your followers will not increase your organic reach. People are not engaging with promotional posts, so this will only hurt your organic reach. Besides, we know that for selling products or services, it is pay-to-play. Meaning that you will need to advertise on these platforms for short-term success. However, we focus on long-term success with organic reach, and therefore you will need to be aware of your engagement rates.
7. Use alternative routes
There are many other alternative routes to reach your audience organically. Think of Facebook groups or Reddit communities. These are places where no algorithm decides what content is shown to people. These channels are getting more and more attractive as organic reach is slowly dying. Besides, these alternatives are free and therewith very low-risk to try. They are great ways to engage with your audience directly.
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