Is organic or unpaid social media still worth the time and resources a business needs to invest? The answer is a resounding yes!
1. Organic Social Media is Cost-Effective – Even though it takes time and energy to create social media updates, they’re still extremely cost-effective. You can post as many updates as you want across your social channels and every single update is free to share, making it a realistic option to combine with other marketing tactics for a comprehensive content strategy.
2. Social Media Provides Authenticity – As Sprout Social explains, “The majority of consumers say their loyalty to a brand increases when they feel connected, and more than half (57%) say that they’ll increase their spending with a brand and buy from that brand over a competitor (76%) when they feel connected.”
Social media users know when they see an ad and someone is trying to sell them something. However, through non-paid updates, brands can provide a genuine look into what defines the organization and build authentic relationships with their audiences in a way that makes them feel connected.
3. Organic Social Media Compliments Advertising – If you see a Facebook ad in your feed and click on the brand’s profile, you expect to see more relevant content on their page, right? Keep this in mind if you invest in advertising. While running ads, you also want to update your page with interesting, quality non-paid content. Research shows 51 percent of consumers research a business on the internet – including on their social media profiles – before buying. You want to make sure you’re making a positive impression on any potential customers that may be evaluating your company.
4. Social Media Fosters Your Creative Voice – Organic social media updates are a fantastic forum for exploring your brand’s voice and creativity. Before you invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in an ad campaign, use your non-paid channels to build a solid foundation.
Consider these questions as you ponder your business’ creative voice:
While there is a lot of helpful information you can glean from a little bit of ad testing, there’s also plenty you can learn from your organic approach. It takes time, but it’s worth it!In addition, you’ll need to be creative to drive engagement on non-paid social media, which can help you build content marketing muscles you may not have developed yet.
5. Social Media Provides a Forum for Customer Care – Today, customers expect companies to offer customer service via social media. In fact,67 percentof consumers have actively reached out to business social media pages for help.
It’s important your brand maintains at least a minimal social media presence. If customers go to your page for help but see you haven’t posted an update in months – or even years! – they may assume the page is abandoned. By posting at least one update a week, you show consumers you’re active and engaged, and much more likely to provide the help they need.
6. Social Media Builds Engaged Communities More Effectively – While a social media ad may catch a user’s eye, it’s not going to turn that person into a brand advocate overnight. However, by seeing a variety of your business’ updates on a regular basis, they’ll begin to learn more about your company and slowly become loyal to your organization.
In addition, when one of your followers interacts with your brand and their social media contacts see it, they’ve endorsed your company. A smaller community of users that interact with your business’ social channels is so much more important than hundreds of disengaged followers. Over time, engaged communities build on themselves in ways that ads simply can’t.
7. Social Media Helps Search Engine Optimization – What does your organic social media presence have to do with search engine optimization, or SEO? Updating your profiles regularly can help you show up in relevant search results.
Gill Solutions shares a fantastic example. “If a user searches ‘Best bistros in Connecticut,’ a website with an active social media page providing backlinks with the words ‘Bistro’ and ‘Connecticut’ in its profile information will rank higher in search results than one without these backlinks.”
1. Develop a Social Strategy – Before you go on a trip, you know where you’re going, right? You come up with a plan and make arrangements before you hit the road or even drive to the airport.
The same is true for your business’ social media pages. Don’t just start sharing random updates. Take the time to develop a plan.
Consider these important questions as you develop your brand’s social media strategy:
As you can tell, there’s a LOT to think about. Be as specific as possible in your plan, print it out and put it somewhere you can refer to it frequently so you stay on track.
2. Share Your Story – Brands can provide a genuine look into what defines the organization. So, give your followers an authentic look!
Strategy Lab shares a fantastic way to do this – remember the three Ps: People, Projects and Passions.
People: “Sharing about your people creates trust.” Write updates about the people behind your organization. Show off their beautiful faces. Share why they do what they do and how they got involved with your business. Show them investing in their community through service opportunities. Let your followers see who is behind your brand.
Projects: “It’s your chance to show the world what you do and how you do it.” In addition to showcasing what you do best, providing a behind-the-scenes look of your projects – including challenges – can make your brand more relatable.
Passions: “If projects are showing what you do and how you do it, passion is showing the world why you do it.” What do you love about your job or your industry? Share it on your social media channels!
3. Include Your Fans – The simplest way to encourage your followers to engage with you is to engage with them! Share updates about a valued customer, retweet them, or give a shout-out to your fans. They will appreciate the extra love and it will help you be more accessible and encourage brand loyalty.
4. Use Photos and Videos – Visuals can significantly increase your content’s chances of getting viewed and shared. If you’re spreading information via social media, be sure to include images and videos your audience will be interested in for maximum fan engagement. A great way to encourage comments is to hold a caption contest for images or ask followers what questions they want you to answer in your next video.
5. Interact Often – Interacting on social media is one of the best ways to encourage fan engagement. That means it’s important to post regularly. Ask users questions or hold polls on your next promotions. As I explained above, social media channels can also be a great way to branch out by offering to solve complaints or field questions via your profiles.
6. Join the Conversation – Knowing what people are talking about and joining in on the conversation is a great way to build a following. React quickly to current events, join in on a hashtag or hold a poll on hot issues to get involved.
MDG Advertising explains, “There are all sorts of things happening on social media that cannot be responded to with advertising. These range from debates about news topics to riffs on fresh memes…of course, you should only do what’s natural for your brand. Don’t be sassy or take stands on issues if that’s not what you—or your customers—want. Also, if a trending topic fits your brand, and your voice will add to the conversation, then go ahead and post. But if your brand will be seen as being inauthentic or appropriating something for profit, then don’t jump on the bandwagon.”
7. Integrate SEO Best Practices – Social media marketing can help boost your brand’s SEO (search engine optimization). This is one reason this tactic is so helpful to use in conjunction with blogging.
To help increase your brand’s SEO, keep common best practices in mind when you write your social media updates. Here are a few search engine optimization basics to remember as you begin drafting social content:
As you can tell, organic and non-paid social media is worth the investment.