As you continue to make your way through the wide world of digital marketing, at one point or another, you’re probably going to ask yourself the following:
“Which is better: Paid advertising campaigns or organically growing my social media following?”
Simply put, the most lucrative digital marketing plans leverage both of them together!
Going farther into 2021, maintaining a strong social presence becomes increasingly more important, especially because 30 percent of online shoppers said they’d likely buy products directly from social media platforms — and 70 percent of shoppers said they look to Instagram in particular for product discovery.
But unfortunately, organic reach (the number of people who see your content organically pop up in their newsfeeds) is at an all-time low due to the algorithms put in place by social media platforms to display only the most relevant content first.
However, that doesn’t mean you should pour all your efforts into running only promotional ads or simply cease posting all together — that’ll only serve to drive potential consumers farther and farther away. And especially considering Apple and Facebook’s recent privacy war, it’s becoming more and more clear that these algorithms and the way people run advertisements on social media can change at the drop of a hat.
But don’t lose hope! There are tons of ways you can organically grow your following — even in a world that’s got your posts in an algorithmic chokehold.
Why You Should Focus on Organically Growing Your Social Media Following
The most enticing reason why you should put in the necessary efforts to grow your social media following organically is because it doesn’t cost your business a single cent. And doing so can even help you make money, too — in fact, according to a study by HubSpot, 84 percent of marketers were able to significantly increase their website traffic by dedicating as little as six hours of their week to working on social media.
And when 74 percent of people rely on social networks to help with their purchase decisions, you miss out on a huge audience if you don’t post on social media.
In addition, your audience is incredibly more likely to trust organic, authentic content rather than a pesky, unsolicited advertisement popping up in their newsfeeds.
Still think that posting on social media won’t get you any new customers? Think again!
According to a June 2020 survey, over one-fourth of consumers have started shopping with a retailer they had never used before that they only came into contact with from scrolling through social media.
As the buyer’s journey moves further and further online, it’s vital that you do what you can to maintain and grow your social media presence if you want to continue to do business in an increasingly digital world — and building an organic social presence is what’s going to solidify your foundation.
Now let’s jump into some ways you can do just that!
Option No. 1: Understand Your Audience
This first option comes with a bit of a disclaimer — and it’s that understanding your audience is really more of a necessity than a choice.
Because if you don’t understand your audience, you’ll never be able to reach them.
If you don’t know:
Then the rest of your digital marketing endeavors will fall flat.
For best results, set up tracking systems, analyze your data, and pay close attention to your audience.
Option No. 2: Work with Influencers
If this option makes you groan, you’re not alone — but whatever the case, the truth of the matter is that influencer marketing is an incredibly lucrative direction to take.
In fact, it’s a 10-billion-dollar industry. And it pays off, too — in one study from Convince and Convert, 58 percent of participants reported that they purchased a product in the past six months as a result of an influencer’s recommendation.
Sixty-three percent of consumers trust influencer marketing messages more than branded messages due to the fact that the content stems from a real human being in place of a company social media page.
However, it takes time to pay off; experts say at least six months.
If you decide to go this route, it’s vital that you choose a trusted partner with a following of at least 1,000 individuals.
Option No. 3: Post Consistently at the Right Time For You
Some experts say to post only during popular times, and others say to post during the opposite times so you don’t get drowned out in all the noise — but the best thing you can do is to post during the times that YOUR followers are most active.
See why it’s so important to track your data?
For best results, try posting at different times of the day and take note of which times yield the most engagement. If you put in the work to properly track your data, this should be a simple feat.
The most important thing is that you post consistently — but posting consistently does NOT mean posting as much as humanly possible. At least three times a week is a good starting point, but the biggest takeaway is that you post at a rate that works for you while keeping up with some sort of consistency.
Option No. 4: Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to get eyes on your post you wouldn’t otherwise have received.
They’re divided into the following categories:
Try typing categories related to your business into the search bar on a social media platform and take note of what auto-populates to help you get started. For best results, log them in a spreadsheet you can return to over time.
Note: STAY AWAY FROM GIMMICKY HASHTAGS, like #followforfollow or #likeforlike. These people are NOT your target audience (they just want to grow their own social following), and using these hashtags can even serve to dilute your brand in the eyes of people who already follow you.
Option No. 5: Incorporate Video
Video is considered to be one of the most effective digital-marketing tools out there, especially as it increases engagement and brand memorability. In fact, based on a study by Adobe, 52 percent of marketing professionals claim that video content generates the strongest ROI as compared to all other content formats.
Potential forms of video include:
Where social media is concerned, shorter videos tend to do better. For best results, try to only post videos that are no more than two minutes in length — and ALWAYS remember to include a concrete call to action so your viewers know where and when to take action.
Option No. 6: Engage With Your Followers
You love when people engage with your posts, and your followers love it when you engage with theirs! In fact, 64 percent of consumers want brands to connect with them.
A recent Sprout study also found that when consumers feel connected to a brand, they’re 68 percent more likely to recommend it to a friend and 76 percent more likely to purchase it over a competitor.
Try creating questions and polls to facilitate conversation. To really see things to fruition, carve out some time every week to comment on other’s posts, be it business partners or consumers.
Option No. 7: Create Great Content, Not Just Promotions
Let’s be real: Nobody is going to follow you if all you talk about is how great your products are or your latest sale.
They follow you because you provide value to them by posing yourself as an expert and a thought-leader, giving tips, providing updates, asking questions, and sprinkling some fun and easygoing content in for good measure.
That’s why you’ll want to turn your focus to providing your followers with that value — not promoting yourself. Communicate values, not sales; create a strong brand voice, not a salesy one; share culture, not costs.
Option No. 8: Post Promotions With a Twist
Now we’re going to throw everything we just read out the door and tell you to promote yourself — but that’s just the beauty of the digital marketing world.
Of course, you’ll eventually need to post some type of promotion — but there’s a particular way to do this so your viewers don’t catch on.
For best results, try hosting a giveaway or a contest.
The big idea here is that something that seems small to your company will seem incredibly special to your audience.
So there you have it: eight new options for you to increase engagement, create an organic following, and keep that growth going for years to come.
We’d Love to Lend a Hand
At OpticTour, we seek to guide our clients through any marketing endeavours they’re trying to undertake, building them a strong digital foundation and teaching them how to effectively share their products and services with the world, create authentic connections with their audience, and grow their company to new heights.
Whether you’re ready to run social media advertisements or haven’t even set up your Facebook Business page, we’re here to guide you along the path of digital marketing and out through to the other end. We can run personalized advertisements, take care of all your social media and review platforms, shoot promotional videos, create a Google 360 tour to give people an authentic feel of your space, and so much more.
The possibilities are endless, and they’ll all serve to help you not only survive but grow your business for years to come.
Let us help you the way we’ve helped so many others. Whenever you’re ready, you can fill out this form to schedule your free audit.
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