It’s no surprise that brands are struggling to gain the same level of organic reach as they used to a couple of years ago. Social media platforms are pushing companies towards paid ads and promotions to help boost their social media strategy. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram without throwing loads of money at them. Below I’ve outlined 5 top tips to help boost your organic social media reach.
1. Understand social media algorithms
Before you jump straight into a social media marketing campaign it’s crucial to ensure you truly understand each platform you are planning on using. Understanding the basics of each social platform will only get you so far. To make sure you are getting the most out of each social media network you have to learn about every aspect of it, and most importantly ensure you have a good understanding of how each platform’s algorithm works.
Here is a brief overview of what you need to know about the algorithms for some of the key social media networks:
How Facebook’s algorithm works:
Facebook’s algorithm was updated to place a greater emphasis on content from friends and family, making it harder for brands to get their posts seen. The change was made to help promote content that encourages ‘meaningful interactions’ from users. Meaningful interactions include things such as comments and shares, these are thought to be more active and meaningful in comparison to likes as they require more action from the user. Comments have been listed as the top ranking factors in Facebook’s new algorithm, therefore you should be prioritising content that will spark conversations amongst your audience.
How Twitter’s algorithm works:
Twitter’s timeline is slightly different to Facebook as it is not fully algorithmic and focuses on promoting content in real time. It does however still display the ‘top’ tweets at the top of your timeline alongside the ‘In case you missed it’ section. Engagement once again plays a big part in why posts are displayed here. The more engagement a post receives the higher the chance of it appearing in your followers’ ranked tweets, therefore the wider the organic reach of the post.
How Instagram’s algorithm works:
Similarly to Facebook, Instagram has moved away from the chronological feed and puts a large focus on engagement. Posts that receive a high level of engagement are perceived to be of higher quality and therefore are rewarded by Instagram. Once again engagement comes out on top; the more engagement a post receives the higher chance of it appearing in your followers’ news feeds and the higher the level of organic reach.
Take a more in depth look at everything you need to know about the algorithm for each social media platform here.
2. Optimise your social profiles
When you are creating content for search engines you will include all sorts of SEO tactics to make sure it is fully optimised, well it should be the same for social media. Social media profiles can be tweaked and optimised to help increase visibility, which in turn will help increase your overall reach. Some of the most common and simple ways to ensure your profiles are optimised include:
- Using an easy to remember username – try to make it as close to your brand name as possible
- Using an easily recognisable image or logo
- Writing a keyword-rich description/bio – it’s important to ensure this still sounds natural
- Including a trackable link back to your website
These are just a couple of quick ways to ensure your social media accounts are fully optimised, there are a number of different aspects of every social account that can be tweaked and optimised. When optimising your social profiles it’s important to ensure consistency across each network to make your profile easily recognisable. This can be achieved simply by using the same image (most commonly your company logo), and username across all accounts.
3. Quality over quantity
Since the implementation of the algorithmic news feed social media marketing is now more a case of working smarter, not harder. Facebook has said that the average user is subject to over 1,500 pieces of content per day, however, to help increase engagement the news feed will only display the 300 most relevant stories. This knowledge alone should be enough to understand that posting more won’t increase your reach and engagement.
Your focus should be on producing high-quality, relevant content that your followers and audience will be interested in and want to engage with. Fewer, higher quality posts are far more beneficial when looking to increase your organic reach in comparison to spammy, lower quality posts. Understanding exactly how much to post can be difficult but Buffer suggests twice a day is the optimum amount.
4. Post at the right time
Now you are focusing on sharing quality content it’s important to ensure you are posting at the perfect times throughout the day to maximise reach. Finding the perfect time to post on social media is a difficult task that will take a reasonable amount of trial and error to perfect. The best time to post will vary depending on your audience and the platform you are posting on, but here are some tips to help get you started:
When’s the best time to post on Facebook?
Various pieces of research believe that just after lunch time (between 12 pm and 3 pm) is the best time to post on Facebook as posts published during this period often receive a higher number of likes, comments, shares, and clicks. However, it’s important to remember that the best time to post is not necessarily the same for each profile or audience. To gain a true understanding of the best time to post on Facebook take a look into your Facebook Insights, from here you can see when most of your audience is online.
When’s the best time to post on Twitter?
Like Facebook, midday is believed to be the ‘best’ time to share content on Twitter, with tweets posted around this time receiving the most engagement. Some pieces of research do, however, find that it is better to post slightly early on Twitter, with between 10 am and noon being a prime time. Again like Facebook, it’s important to understand when your followers are online, unfortunately, this cannot be done directly through Twitter’s built-in analytics tool. Thankfully, there are a number of free tools that provide this information and give a detailed breakdown of your followers’ activity and when they are more active on the platform.
When’s the best time to post on Instagram?
Understanding the constantly changing Instagram algorithm can be a difficult task, therefore finding the best time to post on the platform can be tough. Lunchtime and evenings appear to be the time when most people are using Instagram, making this a popular time to share content. However, there is also a belief that sharing posts when there is less competition on the timeline is key to improving engagement and reach. Once again it’s important to understand when your audience is using Instagram and tailor your activity around that – there is no one-size-fits-all strategy.
If you want to find out more about the best time to post on social media read our full guide here.
5. Interact and engage with your followers
When trying to understand how each social platform’s algorithm works you will notice there is one key consistency that runs throughout – engagement. Ultimately, the more engagement a post receives the longer the reach of that post. One of the easiest ways to encourage your audience to engage with your content is to directly interact with them. By asking questions within your posts you are inviting your followers to reply to your content, sparking a further discussion. Additionally, if someone has commented on your post, then carry on the conversation and reply. Not only will this encourage others to get involved with the conversation but it’s also a great way to build a good reputation for your brand.
Unfortunately, we’re entering a time where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to utilise social media without having some advertising budget. Social platforms are constantly updating their algorithms to benefit their users, however, this is making it more difficult for brands who use that platform as part of their social media strategy. As is often the case with social media marketing there is no universal strategy to help boost your organic reach, but implementing these simple tips is certainly a good place to start.