‘Organic social is dead’. As a social media manager, there are few phrases that wind me up more than this. Sure, organic reach has dropped massively, but this isn’t the be all and end all of organic social. I’m going to tell you exactly why your brand needs an organic content strategy, and why you’re setting up for failure if you ignore this warning.
Let’s start with the statement itself. ‘Organic social is dead’ is a claim that’s been thrown around a lot over the past few years, spurred on by rumours of a separate Facebook newsfeed and steadily dropping organic reach figures.
It’s true, organic reach is dropping. It’s not difficult to see why – competition for space is increasingly tough. Did you know that every time you log onto Facebook there are 1,500 stories competing to feature in your newsfeed? What’s more, only 300 of those stories actually make the cut. It’s this scarcity in space that led to a drop in engagement with branded content of more than 20%, from January to June of 2017 alone.
When your content is reaching 2-4% of your Facebook audience on a good day (and less on other networks), I guess you can’t be blamed for wondering whether organic is worth the time and effort. However, although organic reach isn’t the free for all it once was, if you’re posting great quality content, you can still cash in on viral hits with little to no spend.
What’s more, it’s a very narrow-minded approach to simply focus on reach. Reaching thousands of people doesn’t necessarily mean that these users will engage with your content, or take any action whatsoever from your post. It’s more crucial to understand your audience, know what makes them tick, and then push out that great content. Content marketing 101 is all about nailing that killer content. No one wants to read dull, uninspiring content, so if your content doesn’t have value, shelve it.
If you’re itching to spend your advertising budget, you can also use organic posts as the ‘testing’ stage for any brand awareness campaigns. If your fans don’t respond then it’s not worth promoting, but if they lap it up, add some budget and your reach and engagement should skyrocket.
User-Generated Content: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
At DMT, you won’t go a day without hearing about user-generated content. But there’s a reason we all harp on about it – it really is the most effective form of content, and the best news? It’s a way to promote your brand without spending a penny. That’s right, by gathering content from your customers, you are acquiring content that you can then share on your page going forward. There are numerous ways to do this, check out our blog on user-generated content to find out some great examples. If your customers love your product, they’re likely to turn into loyal brand ambassadors. Share their content and reward them and they’ll keep coming back, as well as proudly sharing their post with their friends (think of that reach!).
What is organic social?
Organic social is made up of more than just content. Your organic content strategy should include:
- Key action plans for customer service and crisis response, helping you maintain a positive reputation across your social channels.
- Maintaining contact details and company info
- Replying to messages, reviews and comments
- Posting high quality content
- Keeping your page imagery and branding up to date
There’s no point in putting together a show-stopping advertising campaign but letting your page fall to the wayside. Users are likely to click through to your page from your adverts if they’re going to consider making a purchase, so if your page hasn’t had a post since 2015 then they might well be put off. This is 2018, and the internet is full of scams. Consumers are smart, so validate your brand.
Let’s look at another scenario. If a customer sees your advert but wants to know more, they might well click through to your page to send you a direct message. If you don’t pick it up because no one’s managing your page, then bam, you’ve probably lost another customer. Direct messaging can be an absolute goldmine when used well. There’s so much you can do with the likes of Messenger, but the absolute basic is to reply to all messages in a swift and effective manner. You can turn a negative into a positive with some friendly, honest customer service.
Don’t Believe Us? Check This Out
In a savvy social world, more than half of buyers tend to follow a brand on social media before making a purchase. If you’ve got potential customers landing on your page, you’ll want to dazzle them with content that’s useful, positive and reinforces their trust in your brand. If you’re selling furniture, sway their decision by posting positive reviews and user generated content. Social proof is a big deal – use it.
We have been running social media management alongside paid social for a leading outdoor furniture company. The results from both organic and paid have been phenomenal, and complement each other perfectly. Over the past six months we have built an audience of 75,000 social media users, gathered tonnes of user generated-content, and – crucially – generated £37,115 in revenue. What’s more, we can retarget anyone who has engaged in our organic social with paid ads that are optimised for conversions. It’s a full funnel approach, and it works a charm.
Our Thoughts on the Matter…
Aimee, Head of Content: “It amazes me that so many different marketers are jumping on the ‘RIP organic’ bandwagon. All they are thinking of is gaining a quick profit with recycled content. It simply doesn’t work like that. An advertisement that worked for your brand a month ago won’t necessarily work again. Unique, compelling content is so important and brand trust is lost without it. Paid social certainly brings in the revenue, but it goes hand in hand with organic. Paid gets your consumer interested, organic seals the purchase. As long as social media advertising is around, so will organic.”
Kirsty, Head of Creative: “I just can’t agree that organic is dead. We see so many brands abandon their organic and throw money at paid social, and it’s such a waste. There’s no point coming up with an all-singing, all-dancing advertising campaign when you don’t have a solid page to run the ad from. Make sure your page is complete, looks the part, has quality content and great customer reviews, and your ads will perform so much better, trust me. Running a solid organic content strategy alongside your paid efforts is the way to get the most out of what you put in.”