You’ve created a comprehensive social media content strategy and a posting schedule and identified what content your audience likes (and doesn’t like). You’re following the recommendations for how often and the best times to post on each platform. Despite these efforts, you might not see any traction in your following. That begs the question—is it getting harder to get followers on social media?
Organic Reach is in Decline: What Does That Mean?
Organic reach is when your target audience sees content naturally when scrolling through their newsfeeds or streams – meaning they didn’t click on an ad or other paid channels. Unfortunately, engagement will likely be lower if you don’t put some spend behind your social media posts. Don’t let the frustrate you, though, because organic reach is an incredible way for marketers to strengthen their brand’s reputation and trustworthiness.
However, this begs the question, what does it mean when someone says organic reach is in decline? This decline happens on all social media channels because brands and consumers share more content than before. More people use mobile devices to click and share, making the process more straightforward than in years past.
The algorithms social media networks implement in a user’s newsfeed also play a role in declining organic reach. While we’d love for audiences to see every post from everyone they follow, that isn’t the case. The algorithm only shows them posts it “believes” are relative to them. Networks use this system to help audiences see the highest quality content and reduce how much SPAM they see.
Tips for Getting Followers on Social Media
Statistics show us that, over the past year, social media use grew by over 400 million, with over 50% of the world’s population using these platforms. That’s a LOT of competition for a user’s attention—especially if you’re trying to grow your following organically.
The following tips for getting followers on social media show users that you’re trustworthy, worth following, and what your brand is all about.
Learn How to Optimize for Each Platform
Growing an organic following is about more than the content you produce and share. It’s also about knowing where your audience spends most of their time—be it on Twitter, Tik Tok, or LinkedIn—you want to optimize your brand’s profiles for each platform. Here are some strategies for achieving that goal:
- Create a professional logo or headshot for your profile picture and cover image—then share the same images across every social media platform for easier recognition
- Add specific keywords your audience searches for in your company’s bio and description
- Avoid differentiating your brand’s handles—for example, our handles for LinkedIn and Twitter are the same, thus allowing users to find us easier
- Don’t leave any areas of your profile incomplete—users want to know about your brand, who supports it, and other pertinent details
Create (and Follow) a Content Strategy
Creating a social media content strategy is one thing—you and your team must also follow it; otherwise, it’s a wasted effort. Be sure your strategy contains the following elements to ensure its success:
- Research: Identify what your audience likes to engage with on each social media platform—look at what you’ve posted to determine what your followers like best historically and build from there
- Target audience: After conducting your initial research, it’s time to break down your target audiences according to each platform—it might seem like the same people are on all channels, but this isn’t the case
- Create content-specific goals: Your goals could include building brand awareness, managing its reputation, increasing traffic, improving engagement, boosting conversions, generating leads, and more
- Devise a distribution strategy: Automation is critical here—use tools like Buffer or CoSchedule to organize your posting schedule. Use the research from the first element to determine what content to post where
Encourage Your Team to Engage and Interact Consistently
When a user comments on or shares one of your posts, engagement is an excellent way of growing your following organically. For example, if a user retweets one of your posts with a comment, you can respond, and their audience can see that engagement. That’s valuable because it encourages others to follow and engage because they know you’re an active participant, not a brand that spends its time ‘talking at” their audience.
Now, take this further by encouraging your team to engage and interact consistently. For example, if you post something on LinkedIn or Twitter, encourage your team to repost and add some color commentary. That’s beneficial for a couple of reasons:
- You’re increasing that post’s reach
- The color commentary gives your brand some personality (In other words—who are these people, and why should followers care?)
- Reposting provides more opportunities for reshares, engagement, and reputation management
We discussed optimizing your social media profiles—that optimization also extends to your use of hashtags. Some view hashtags as keywords, while others view them as linking opportunities within channels (because they’re a “live link” to other content within specific topics, interests, current events, and so on). Both views are correct.
If you’re not using hashtags, you’re missing out on opportunities for potential followers to find you in a search or clicking on tags in other posts. For example, if someone clicks on #contentmarketing because they want more information about that topic, they’ll see a list of other posts with that same hashtag. If users find content relevant to what they’re searching for in your posts, they’re more likely to follow your account.
Consistency is more than getting a significant amount of content on your channels throughout the week. It’s also about ensuring the content you’re posting is valuable, insightful, inspiring, helpful, and actionable.
- Does this post help my audience solve a problem?
- How does this content add to customers’ research during their buying journey?
- Is this content considered “share-worthy?”
- Am I posting the content my following wants to see?
Include a CTE: Call for Engagement
Including a call for engagement means your posts are more than an opportunity to share content—you’re asking your audience to engage within specific posts. While posting polls might seem like the best thing to do—think outside of the box here. Here are some tips:
- Ask for opinions about a trending topic, current event, or news item
- Talk about a topic that resonates with your audience, and then ask for additional insights, opinions, and other feedback
- At the end of a post, include a call for engagement that’s similar to a call to action (CTA)—for example, instead of writing, “Click below for more information,” write “Please comment below with questions you have about [this topic].”
While dealing with a social media network’s algorithm is frustrating, it’s not impossible to grow an organic following. It might seem harder to get followers on social media, but you can achieve this goal with consistent effort.