As organic reach continues to decline, it’s becoming more difficult to connect with your target audience and achieve desired results without investing in paid social media advertising.
In other words, it’s getting tougher to get your message out there without shelling out some cash for ads.
You might even be asking, “What’s even the point of posting on my Page anymore?”
At TrafficSoda, we’re here to help you navigate this new reality and make the most of your social media marketing efforts, organic and paid. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the tips and insights that’ll help your brand stay strong in this social media jungle.
- The Rise and Fall of Organic Reach on Facebook, Instagram & More
- Why Exactly is Organic Reach Declining?
- TikTok: A Temporary Exception?
- How Small to Mid-Size Businesses Can Adapt to Declining Organic Reach
- The Necessity of Paid Promotion for Social Media Visibility
- Boosting Posts with a Purpose
- Finding Your Brand’s Optimal Posting Frequency
- Is Organic Social Still Relevent?
- Social Media is a Search Engine
- Your Customers Are Commenting
- Social Media Benefits SEO
- Social Media is Social Proof
The Rise and Fall of Organic Reach on Facebook, Instagram & More
Organic reach refers to the number of unique individuals who catch a glimpse of your posts on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Reach is different from impressions, which count the total number of times your content is viewed, including multiple views by the same person. Organic reach only counts unique views.
Organic reach is one of those content KPIs that really matter when you’re trying to measure how well you’re really reaching your target audience. Reach affects all of your other engagement-related data such as likes, clicks, and follows — because if you want people to engage with your content, you have to reach them first.
Despite its importance, reach is a moving target.
For one, reach data has always been, at best, an estimate, because a post showing up on someone’s social media feed doesn’t guarantee they’ve seen it.
Plus, most major social media platforms use an algorithm to determine what shows up on any given user’s feed — and aren’t fully transparent about how, exactly, those algorithms work.
Above: Facebook’s official explanation of their ranking system. Not exactly an open book.
What we do have is historical data showing that, as early as 2013, organic reach has been dropping for businesses.
Back in 2017, researchers found that Facebook Page engagements dropped 20%, and by early 2018, more than half of marketers noticed their page’s organic reach going down the drain.
These days, the average organic reach for a post on a Facebook Page is about 5.20%. So, roughly one in every 19 fans will see your non-promoted content
For businesses that use Facebook as their go-to social platform, this decline in organic reach is alarming, because it means your posts aren’t showing up in your followers’ feeds as much as they used to.
But Why Exactly is Organic Reach Declining?
Simple: Platforms are constantly tinkering with their algorithms to try to increase user satisfaction and ROI.
For Facebook, that has meant making sure users see more posts from their friends and family, and less from people trying to sell them stuff (unless, of course, you’re paying Facebook to advertise!)
Over on Twitter, it means boosting paid subscribers and “suggested” Tweets.
Every platform is different, but the bottom line is essentially the same.
Social media platforms are just businesses, and their customers are advertisers. They’re all about making users happy, because that’s what keeps people logging in, which keeps advertisers happy.
In theory, that should help businesses, too — because if people are interacting with the content in their feed, they’ll be more likely to engage with posts from businesses too.
But it also means that, as a business, you will have a hard time getting your posts into their feeds in the first place.
TikTok as a Temporary Exception
In the ever-evolving world of social media, TikTok stands out as a temporary exception to the trend of declining organic reach.
The average organic reach for brands on TikTok is a staggering 118%, compared to Facebook’s 5.2%.
By investing your time in creating engaging content for your TikTok account, you can achieve decent brand exposure and visibility, even with a relatively small following.
But there’s a catch: recent bans of TikTok on U.S. government-owned devices, coupled with new legislation in Congress seeking to block the app, have fueled expectations that the popular Chinese-owned platform could soon face a nationwide ban.
The exact implementation of such a ban remains unclear, but if history is any guide, a prohibition is unlikely to take effect anytime soon. TikTok is likely to challenge any attempt to ban the app, as it was ultimately successful in quashing Trump’s effort to ban the app, but the uncertainty surrounding the future of the platform makes it a risky investment.
We recommend investing in TikTok only for short-term campaigns at this point, but avoiding hinging too much of your social media marketing funnel on it.
In the meantime, keep an eye on the situation and adapt your strategies accordingly, all while maintaining a candid, genuine, and occasionally funny approach that resonates with your audience.
How Small to Mid-Size Businesses Can Adapt to Declining Organic Reach
As organic reach keeps shrinking, it’s getting harder to have your content seen by your target audience.
That means fewer likes, comments, and shares — and yeah, that’s a bummer for visibility. Especially if you’ve put in a ton of time and effort crafting awesome content for social media, only to have it reach fewer people.
The truth is, the decline in organic reach isn’t merely a rough patch – it’s a deliberate design that shows no signs of reversing.
Sure, organic posts give your page a pulse, but expecting significant reach, likes, or follows without investing in paid promotion is nigh impossible.
As marketers, we all have to face the reality and adjust their expectations accordingly.
- Want more eyeballs on your content? Pay for views via boosted posts and celebrate the reach.
- Looking for clicks to your website? That’s a separate goal requiring a different paid campaign.
- The same goes for form fills, page likes, and any other objectives. You won’t get meaningful results from organic posting alone.
Yes, social channels remain an excellent arena for businesses to engage with customers and prospects—and it’s crucial to maintain a presence on these platforms to receive and respond to user communications. However, the era of free, widespread distribution of your content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is long gone (with TikTok being a temporary exception while it remains in the “honeymoon” phase.)
The outdated “post-it and they will come” approach is no longer effective unless you’re willing to pay for your content to be seen.
a) The Necessity of Paid Promotion for Social Media Visibility
To make the most of your social media efforts, invest in paid social media with clearly defined goals and measurable outcomes. This strategy will not only save you time but also save you from having to bombard your followers with “free” organic posts that yield little to no results.
Unlike disruptive display ads, pop-ups, and video commercials, social media ads are crafted to integrate seamlessly with the platform, often resembling organic posts. The ads are quick to launch and start getting attention right away, so you can see results just as quickly.
While it may seem easy to set up, using social media ads effectively takes a strategic approach. Don’t let the complexity of this task hold you back from reaching your desired audience and generating leads. Partner with our expert agency and take your social media campaigns to the next level.
b) Boosting Posts with a Purpose
If you want to gets started with social media ads right away, boosted posts are the fastest way to do it.
A boosted post is a post from your Page’s timeline that you can promote in order to reach a wider audience. It lets you quickly transform an existing, organic piece of content into a paid ad, extending your reach beyond your current audience.
Once it’s done, you can manage and see results for boosted posts in Ads Manager just like other ads. You shouldn’t think of them as a separate thing—boosted posts are really just ads that you make from your Page instead of the advertising tool.
With that in mind, you’ll want to put the same forethought behind boosted posts as you do other social media ads. Don’t put money behind a post just because Facebook suggests it! Facebook just wants you to boost as many posts as possible. Stick to your strategy.
To make the most of your advertising budget, you need to boost posts strategically as part of a broader social media strategy. Our team of experts can help you develop a social media strategy that ensures that every boost counts towards your overall goals.
c) Finding Your Brand’s Optimal Posting Frequency
While posting at a specific time of day isn’t as important as it used to be (because social media feeds rarely operate chronologically), how often you post can have an impact. And as organic reach continues to drop, every bit counts.
One study found that 74% of consumers believe that the ideal posting frequency for brands is 1-2 times per day. However, each platform’s algorithm is different, so more frequent posting might not necessarily be detrimental.
The key to striking the right balance is to focus on creating high-quality content that supports your overall social media marketing strategy. Instead of overwhelming your audience with a large volume of low-quality posts, invest in crafting engaging and relevant content that resonates with your target audience.
Is Organic Social Still Relevant?
In light of declining reach, organic social media isn’t entirely dead–but it plays a different role now.
Here’s the truth: even with the decline in reach, maintaining organic social media posting still makes sense for many businesses.
- Social media is not only a billboard, but also a search engine, with 82% of consumers preferring searching on social media over Google.
- Being active on social media and responding to customers and potential clients builds relationships, fosters trust and loyalty, and generates more leads, sales, and revenue.
- Embracing social media can greatly enhance your SEO efforts by making a brand more visible in search results and dominating branded keywords.
- Social media comments and reviews are a powerful form of social proof, with 54% of users researching products and brands on social media.
Let’s quickly delve into organic social’s new life in the post-reach world.
1. Social Media is a Search Engine
Social media is no longer just for posting pictures of your lunch or sharing memes; it’s become a search engine for millions of consumers looking for products and services like yours.
In fact, an online survey recently found that 82% of consumers prefer social media for searching over traditional search engines. Of those, 55% cite Instagram as their top platform for social media searches, followed by YouTube (54%), Facebook (51%), and Twitter (44%).
Even TikTok, while ranking last in popularity as a search engine (42%), is attracting a core user base of young, affluent consumers (so if that’s your target audience, you should be there!)
When people search for your business on social media, they want to see an active and vibrant presence. Think of your social media profile like a storefront — if it looks neglected and uninviting, potential customers will just keep walking. Having a dead social profile is like papering over your store window.
So, keep your social media up-to-date and alive with organic posts to show customers that your business is alive and kicking! Otherwise, you’ll lose out on business from searchers who might otherwise give you a phone call.
2. Your Customers Are Calling (and DMing)
More and more customers prefer to communicate through social media rather than traditional channels like phone or email. If your business has a social media presence, customers will expect you to be reachable and responsive, and ignoring them could lead to negative consequences.
If you’re already swamped with leads and customers, social media may not be your top concern. However, if you want to attract more business, you don’t want to leave customers hanging on social media.
When you engage with your audience on social media by responding to their queries and feedback, you show them that you care about their opinion and are open to communication. This builds a sense of trust and loyalty, ultimately leading to more leads, sales, and revenue for your business.
So, it’s not just about being active on social media, but being responsive. That’s what builds meaningful connections, and connections turn strangers into customers.
3. Social Media Benefits SEO
When people search for your business on Google or other search engines, having a strong social media presence can make all the difference.
Social media profiles often appear right below your website in search results for branded keywords, giving you the chance to capture even more attention and dominate the first page.
Plus, with Google indexing tweets and other social media posts, your content can show up in search results for relevant queries, driving even more free traffic to your website.
Your social media profiles can also have an impact on local SEO. Google checks your social media accounts to confirm your business’s legitimacy through your name, address, and phone number. This information must be accurate, since Google examines all listings to verify that contact details are correct.
If the information is inconsistent, it may hurt your visibility in local searches, so keep your profiles up to date!
4. Social Media is Social Proof
Social proof is key in building trust with your audience, especially if you’re offering high-value products or services (and that includes all you B2B firms.)
In fact, a staggering 54% of social media users research products and brands on social platforms, highlighting the importance of showcasing your brand’s credibility through reviews, testimonials, statistics, and awards.
And it’s not just about what you offer. Many customers also want to know about your company’s values and practices — things like how you treat your employees and customers, your stance on social issues, and your contributions to your community can all impact their decision to do business with you.
Sharing posts about your community involvement, sustainable practices, and employee testimonials will help you build a compelling narrative.
Social media also offers an excellent platform for showcasing social proof through user-generated content, reviews, and testimonials. Sharing your customers’ positive experiences and tagging your business can amplify their positive feedback and foster a sense of community for your brand.
How to Bring Your Social Media Strategy Back to Life
Paid advertising allows you to reach your ideal audience at the right time, while organic social media remains relevant in fostering trust, loyalty, and stronger relationships with your audience.
It’s essential to strike a balance and get creative with your approach, making the most of every opportunity to engage your audience.
At TrafficSoda, we’re committed to helping you navigate these changes and maximize the potential of your social media marketing efforts. If you’re looking for expert guidance on how to make your brand stand out in this social media jungle, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can create a winning social media strategy that drives results.
As a small business, it can be challenging to get noticed in the sea of other businesses. How can you make yourself heard and seen by your target audience?
Facebook announced during Small Business Week 2019 three new key features for small businesses to gain traction.
Facebook has always been a great platform to advertise businesses because of the 2.4 billion active monthly users. And now it’s even easier to use.
Here are the brand-new features for small business to take off with!
Instead of just making a regular ad, now you can automatically create multiple versions of an ad. Up to six different ads can run across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network.
How does it work?
Well, this new tool provides users with some questions regarding their business and the overall objective and goal of the ad. It uses this information and creates useful suggests for Call to Action (CTA) buttons, keyword text suggestions and other creative details specific to your company’s Facebook Page.
Automated ads will save people time and effort to change the advertisements for each platform.
Embedded Appointment Bookings
Across all Facebook owned platforms, you can now embed appointment booking software.
This feature allows for customers to automatically book your services without you personally having to talk to them!
It is completely customizable for your business’ services. You can display your availability and manage any and all appointments directly. This could even go hand-in-hand with the Facebook Messenger Bots. The bots can handle the bookings too!
It’s a free service already built into Facebook. This could be an excellent option for those who haven’t already invested in a third-party appointment booking service.
Video Editing Tool
Video is the biggest drivers of engagement by far for Facebook advertisements. These posts actually get about 59% more engagement than other types of posts.
Is it time to roll of the DSLR cameras and sound board? What if you don’t have these things?
Small businesses might not have the budget for a whole production team to shoot and edit advertisements. And that’s okay, Facebook now has you covered!
The new video editing tools released by Facebook now gives the opportunity to crop, trim and add overlays to videos. For each ad, it automatically crops and trims to the correct lengths for different platforms.
While the features don’t replace the flexibility of editing software, such as Adobe Premiere, it allows for small edits to be made quickly. Some text or logo overlay may just be all you need.
The Future of Facebook for Small Businesses
So why should we care about this new update from Facebook?
Facebook is really pushing for accessibility to the resources they offer. In 2019 alone, Facebook plans to run over 200 training events.
Their goal is to train as many small entrepreneurs’ digital skills needed for the business world today. There will be online and offline events hosted to educate the masses.
Combined with Facebook’s other tools, such as the Pixel, businesses with smaller audiences can get a farther reach. An example would be using the Custom Audience tool for retargeting viewers who have watched your videos. You can provide different ads to those who watched more than 50% of the video. It allows for a better conversion rate at a lower cost.
Facebook hopes that this update, as well as the additional Blueprint courses, will help those who lack the technological resources and the budgets to get off their feet.
Social media is a powerful tool, particularly when it comes to marketing your business. Social media marketing provides new and excellent opportunities to increase brand recognition, boosts your search engine rankings, alleviates some marketing costs, enriches the customer experience, and personalizes your brand, among many other benefits.
The major challenge for quite a few companies is to develop an effective social media strategy and work to implement it. There is, however, the option of hiring a social media marketing agency. Why should you do something like this?
On The Pulse
One of the top reasons to hire the services of an agency for your social media needs is the fact that agencies house social media experts who always have their fingers on the pulse of new trends and other developments in the realm of social media. Social media platforms are always changing and adding new features. In order to remain competitive, companies must also change with the times. An agency consumes all news related to social media, from small shifts to major changes and new trends.
One of the biggest results of always having their finger on the pulse is the expert social media knowledge an agency possesses. This allows us to curate ideal content from around the Internet, effectively schedule this content to the optimum times, maximize audience engagement, and twist any tool or trend from social media to work best for you. This knowledge stems from years of experience and ability to adapt at the flip of a coin. Social media is an agency’s wheelhouse.
Dedication And Focus
Running a business requires you to perform a wide variety of different tasks. These tasks include dealing with finances, processing transactions, developing new products and services, training new employees, and more. Adding in-house social media can be just another item on an ever expanding to do list. The only thing an agency would have to worry about in relation to your business is your social media. This allows an agency to focus and go deeper into social media strategy and dedicate specialized resources—something that may not be possible with in-house social media, what with all the other responsibilities floating around.
Weighing The Cost
Doing social media in-house comes with a number of different costs, including base salary, employee benefits, turnover costs, and training expenses. With a social media agency, the price is simply the negotiated contract cost, based on the level of work you want them to perform as well as your desired budget. There are no hidden or indirect costs associated with working with a social media marketing agency, as there is with handling your company’s social media presence in-house.
Not only will you receive excellent service from a social media agency, but you will also be able to provide your customers with excellent customer service. In today’s society, the vast majority of people look for a company through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter for their questions, comments, and complaints. By having a dedicated agency—consider all the reasons previously discussed—you can be assured that the service response time will be fast as well as of a high quality. An agency will do everything necessary to ensure each individual interacting with your company receives the best service and response possible.
To wrap it up, using an agency for your social media requirement brings experts who have their finger on the pulse, are dedicated and focused, enhance the potential of customer service, and bring expert knowledge and specialized resources to the table—all for an affordable cost. Bring your social media presence to the next level today.
That nifty little checkmark may seem like a status symbol reserved for the likes of celebrities and politicians, but did you know that your business can get verified too? There are lots of benefits to getting verified on Twitter and Facebook aside from the little ego boost.
Verification lets people visiting your page for the first time that know you’re serious about what you do and a legitimate contender in your industry. It gives your current customers confidence in your brand, and with Facebook, it helps your page rank higher in searches.
Something so great must be difficult and exclusive to obtain, right? On the contrary! Just follow a few easy steps and you’ll be on your way to verification.
- Log in to your page and choose Settings
- In General, scroll until you reach Page Verification
- Select Edit
- Now you have the choice to Verify by Phone or Documentation
- For Verify by Phone:
- Enter your business phone number, your location, and your language preference
- Choose Call Me Now. Shortly, you’ll be contacted on the number you provided with a verification code
- Once you have the 4-digit code, enter it when prompted and Continue
- Enjoy your grey checkmark and congratulations on being verified!
- For Documentation:
- You’ll need either: Business utility or phone bill, business license, business tax file, certification of formation or articles of incorporation
- Upload your chosen document so that the name and address of your business is visible
- Once Facebook verifies your documents, you’ll receive either a notification or an email about your status within a few days
- You’ll have to fill out a form while logged in to the account you’d like to have verified
- Twitter will request the following information on the form:
- A verified phone number
- A confirmed email address
Note: If the account is a company or organization account, the email address associated with the account should be a company or organization email address.
- A bio
- A profile photo
- A header photo
- A birthday (for accounts that are not company, brand, or organization accounts)
- A website
- Tweets set as public in Tweet privacy settings
- There are some best practices to bear in mind when seeking Twitter verification. Make sure the name of the account/profile and/or header all reflect the name of your company, that the bio lets people know your company’s expertise or what services/product you offer, and that the account is active (Tweets, Re-Tweets, DMs)
- To help them decide whether to fulfill your request, Twitter will ask why they should verify the account. This is a good opportunity to let them know about your company’s core mission, relevance in the field and newsworthiness.
- Don’t fret if you get a Direct Message denying verification. Twitter will either ask for edits on your request form, or let you try again in 30 days.
Without a doubt, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. People are on Facebook one in every six minutes online, and one in every five minutes on mobile. Users have access to an average of 1,500 posts per day. That is a massive audience.
There are many tips and tricks to maximize Facebook when running a business page, but one of the newest (and most exciting) features is Facebook LIVE. Right from your phone you can live stream video content for up to 90 minutes. Rich media like video is guaranteed to get more engagement from your audience, and the commenting and reaction features create an unprecedented amount of interaction.
But how is Facebook Live different than posting a normal video?
There are a few reasons why Facebook Live is a more powerful way for you to connect with your audience than a typical status update, photo or link.
First of all, Live is a unique content form so it gets peoples attention. It is a new form of content that is privy to experimentation and in-the-moment comedy. People are likely to spend up to three times more time watching a live video than a normal video. The rawness and lack of editing creates a new form that creates an air of authenticity and is just simply exiting to watch.
The Livestream is an opportunity to show a variety of sides of your company. Whether you do a behind the scenes stream, a demo, interview with an expert or a question and answer, customers can get a peak into the details of what you do. You can tell your story, your way!
Facebook Live provides an immediate and direct avenue to connect with your audience. In real time you can see and respond to comments and questions. Viewers can react to your stream, letting you know what kind of content they like or dislike. You are able to see how your viewers are enjoying your stream as they either like, dislike, love, hate, are wowed or humored by your stream!
Live creates a bond with your viewers that is much stronger than anything possible in a status or photo. You can respond to questions from commenters and shift your focus if needed as the stream unfolds. By hearing what is on the mind of your viewers and responding to that, you create a relationship that is informative for both sides. This immediate and direct interaction with your audience is rare and should be cherished.
Another great thing about Live, is that it gives your audience a chance to know your company on a more personal level. Seeing a face to the brand they interact with online humanizes the interaction and creates a personal connection. Viewers are able to get a better feeling of who you are!
Beyond the buzz around Live at a user level, Facebook itself also rewards pages for going live. Live videos are most likely to appear high in newsfeeds and unlike any other type of post on Facebook, Live sends a notification to all followers that the stream is starting. Followers of your page will be notified of the title of your Livestream and be called to watch it! This is a great way to engage more passive followers as there is a sense of urgency in the need to watch what is happening live.
Live is a great place to generate ideas for new content. When you get to talk to your followers you get a chance to hear their needs and desires, shaping your creative content moving forward. The more you know about your audience, the better you are able to create material that appeals and adds value to them, increasing engagement in return.
Finally, Livestream also lasts beyond when it is streaming. The video will be saved to your page and is a great form of quality content that can be re-shared and repurposed on blogs or other platforms.
Here are a few best practices to keep in mind to optimize your FB live stream.
- Announce your upcoming Livestream on your social networks so viewers can be prepared to watch. They will get a notification when it begins, but if they know the stream is coming they will be more likely to make time to watch.
- Go live when you have a strong internet connection. It is best to go live with Wi-Fi, but if not have at least a 4G connection. If the video is of poor quality, people are not likely to continue watching.
- Write a captivating description of your video. The title of the video is what will show up on the notification that people receive on Facebook when when you go live. The more interesting the title, the more likely people will come and check it out.
- Broadcast for a longer time. The longer the stream, the more likely you are to gather an audience and be discovered. We recommend streaming for a minimum of 10 minutes and a stream can last up to 90.
- Go live often to keep your audience engaged and excited to see your content. Be creative and try out different types of streams and see how your audience reacts.
- Thank your viewers for watching. They put their time into watching your stream, so thanking them make them feel seen and a part of the experience.
- Have a focus to your stream. Though the point of the live stream is to be in the moment, it is important be organized with what you want to talk about.
- If you can, have a few people involved in the stream. Comments and reactions come quickly and it can be overwhelming to the person talking. If you have someone monitoring questions and another filming it makes for a smoother stream.
The goal of a live stream is to provide value for your followers. It is as close as you can get to a real time conversation besides being in a room with them. Call out the viewers by name and truly engage with their reactions. Fans will keep up and new followers will discover you too as your post is boosted to the top of their feed. Facebook Live is a great feature that should be utilized by any company looking to create a faithful audience.