Algorithm. This is a keyword you should keep in mind if you want your small business to thrive on social media. We’ll expatiate on this in subsequent paragraphs.
You probably already know that the internet, precisely social media, is the new sales driver for small businesses and not-so-small ones. It does not matter what business you’re into, these social platforms are your best chance at reaching a heterogeneous audience. If you are not already maximizing the opportunities it presents, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.
But lately, it has become increasingly difficult to build organic audiences, forcing businesses to rely on paid advertising – even that requires a bit of technical know-how to reach your ideal audience and drive conversions.
Why is it more difficult now than ever? The answer is Algorithm. In computer programming, an algorithm is a set of rules designed to control your content’s organic reach. So, when the social media networks change their algorithm, which they do periodically, how your content performs also changes, it may be for good or bad.
Let’s be clear about one thing though, algorithms are not necessarily evil as some people tend to think. The reason your social posts enjoy better visibility today is because of the adoption of the algorithm model. Before it, the system used was reverse chronological order.
According to Instagram, users missed 70% of the posts and 50% of their friends’ posts when it used the chronological model. But when the network switched to the ranked feed – algorithm way – the average post is now seen by 50% more followers than the old metric.
Although we’d discuss social media algorithms in-depth in a separate article, you must keep yourself abreast of the latest changes so you can tweak your content and marketing strategies accordingly.
Here are 6 tested and trusted tips on how to increase your organic growth and visibility on social media.
1. Focus on 1 channel
Unless you’re already growing multiple channels well and seeing impressive results or you have a big budget to run promotions across multiple platforms regularly, resist the urge of dissipating your energy. Your first job is to find out which of the platforms your ideal customers or clients use the most and zero in on that platform.
For example, if you are a luxury brand, you want to focus on Instagram or LinkedIn while a mass-market brand would do better on Facebook. In essence, find where your target audience lives. Which platform they consume content on. And which content creation efforts fit your strengths (ex. Writing, short-form video, etc.). Once you master one platform, then scale.
2. Deliver value
Consumers don’t respond well to ‘salesy’ content. Don’t make your content about sales all the time. Give your audience real value for free. They will willingly engage your content. You will lead your audience by becoming a reliable source of value.
3. Create more content than you consume
This is also why you need to focus on one social media channel per time. You need to constantly create content, and the content that works for one platform may not necessarily work for the other.
When you don’t create enough content, how do you know which one would hit a nerve with your audience? Some content would work, some won’t. Innovation comes from pushing through failure. Find what works and scale it.
An online marketing genius once said, “To be a good creator, you have to be creative. To be creative, you have to be constantly creating.” Apt! There is no better way to put it.
You can use Hootsuite to create content ahead so you don’t have to worry about what to post everyday. Spare a few hours one day and schedule content for two weeks or more. The posts will publish automatically depending on the date and time you schedule them to go live. That’s what Hootsuite does for you. You can start with the free version and upgrade to premium later if you find it useful.
Another tool that can help is Canva. It takes care of your graphics design worries and you don’t need to be a professional graphics designer. There are tons of design templates you can choose from, all you have to do is edit them to suit your objective. Watch Youtube videos on how to use Canva and you’d be good to go.
4. Choose quality over quantity
If you are not going to create quality content, what’s the point of creating any in the first place? One quality video is better than 3 average videos. One quality Twitter thread is better than 3 average threads.
When you consistently deliver quality content, your brand will be seen as a thought leader. This will in turn position you to monetize your service.
5. Create viral content
Create content with the potential of virality in mind. How do you do this? By creating content that triggers one of the 27 basic human emotions. Emotions drive people’s actions. Leverage it to work for you.
6. Build an owned audience
No matter small or large your social media audience is, you don’t own them. If the social platform shuts down for one reason or the other (and this could happen) or your account is blocked, that’s it. You have lost all you worked hard to build. But if you have an email or text list, you own them, at least to an extent.
Email marketing is the new magic. It’s a perfect gateway to building an owned audience. An audience where you control the reach and communication line. One tap and you can communicate to your entire audience.
Does this help?
If you want us to cover more topics relating to social media or digital marketing generally, kindly email our editor at: [email protected]
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