The people seeing your posts on social media can be split between organic social media reach and paid social media reach.
Organic Social Media Reach – the number of unique people that see social media posts through unpaid distribution
Paid Social Media Reach – the number of unique people that see social media posts through paid distribution
As a business organic social media reach is important as it is the way to grow your social media presence through your own efforts, reputation and content; without additional advertising spend.
The problem is it is getting harder and harder to do, so we have put together some background to the issue and some advice.
How Is Organic Social Media Reach Determined
Organic social media is built around the concept of building an audience of followers, likes or connections that respond to what you post. These likes, comments and shares make your post visible to people outside of your initial base.
Post something that lots of people react to and you can reach thousands if not millions of new people at once.
A good example of this being a client DowSocial have trained who last year posted a picture of a Prosecco Van making a comparison to an ice cream van. Posted on a Friday when their audience was online after a tough week the post exploded!
Posts before were getting good reactions compared to their audience size but this was a whole new level going from 100 likes and 50 shares per post to 56,000 reactions, 13,000 comments and 70,000 shares!
How Do Social Media Algorithms Work
How this works exactly varies depending on the social media network and is constantly evolving.
Every social media platform uses an algorithm to decide the content that individual users see. These algorithms are not made available to the public and can be incredibly complicated.
For example, Facebook’s algorithm is different for every user based on their behaviour and is influenced by thousands and thousands of different criteria making it impossible to get every post perfect.
How To Maximise Organic Social Media Reach
Every social network works differently when it comes to deciding which posts to make visible and which ones to suppress and it is constantly changing.
Therefore, at DowSocial we encourage our clients to focus on the content they are creating and publishing rather than getting too hung up on the tactics that work today that may change tomorrow.
To maximise your organic social media reach you must create social media content that your audience will react to. Posts that get higher levels of engagement are seen by more people so this should be the focus.
- Talk about topics that your audience is passionate about
- Create posts that create a reaction and elicit a response
- Talk about topics and news your audience cares about
- Use visually stimulating content such as images and video
If you focus on these areas then your organic social media reach will increase, which is also a good barometer for how your paid social media content will perform.
The Organic Social Media Reach Problem On Facebook
It is hard to talk about social media reach without talking about Facebook. When Facebook first launched business pages organic reach was each. You built your following and then those people could see, like, share and comment on your posts.
Businesses and marketers invested huge amounts of time and money building their presence on Facebook on the idea that once built they would have ongoing access to this audience for free.
The problem is that over the last three years Facebook has progressively tweaked its algorithm to limit organic reach meaning that only 3-10% of the people that like your business page will see posts that you do not promote.
Facebook intends to take this further and further and there are trials already taking place to move business page posts out of your user’s main timelines
Whilst the corporate line has always focused on trying to limit the amount of promotional posts it’s users see, it has also been a shift to making Facebook for businesses a pay to play advertising platform.
What To Do About Facebook?
The reality is that the days of building your business without paying to play are gone, but the value of Facebook has not.
The right ad campaign can give you visibility to the right audience at a relatively inexpensive cost, they key is turning that into an asset for the business.
We have always advised clients to build marketing assets they control in conjunction with their social media to mitigate the risks that changes in social media platforms can create.
Strategies must now focus on eliciting action that furthers the business objectives rather than just building an audience.