How to Achieve Organic Social Media Growth
By Louise Smillie on September 13, 2018 - Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media
Organic social media growth, in other words growth you don’t have to pay for through ads, is clearly something all businesses and organisations want to aim for. This article looks at some specific, evidence-based tips for growth as well as some general good practice, including the importance of creating a social media persona.
Are you ready? Let’s go…
5 Easy Tips for Boosting Engagement
If you don’t have much time to overhaul your social media strategy, following these 5 tips can at least give you a boost in the right direction.
Timing is (almost) everything.
It can be tempting to schedule in your social media activity when you are less busy but that won’t always sync with your audience (especially if you’re a typical business owner who probably won’t get a chance until 2am!)
Fortunately, most social media platforms allow you to schedule posts ahead of time. But what time is best? Well, every platform has its nuances: Twitter engages with 16% more businesses during weekdays than at weekends but this flips over to 17% more consumers on the weekends. People tend to be using LinkedIn most from Tuesday through Thursday whereas Facebook clearly does better on the weekend with almost a third more engagement. These stats were taken from this amazing Hubspot infographic.
You will then need to decide whether you want to post at peak times, where your potential audience is larger, or off-peak, where your post is more likely to stand out.
How to use Hashtags
Often used (and regularly abused), hashtags are those words or phrases preceded by the # sign on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. As a business owner, you can use hashtags to either identify the topic you are posting about or to jump on a popular bandwagon. A great free tool for identifying popular hashtags is RiteTag.
Find your local Twitter business hour
Twitter business hours are dedicated hours in which businesses engage with one another in real time. Every area will have one and will use a hashtag followed by the area name and a reference to the business hour. For example, #PlymouthHour runs from 8-9pm on a Tuesday. During that time, you can engage with other businesses by tweeting your own posts and commenting and sharing those of others. It is good etiquette to be present for the whole hour so don’t just post and go AWOL.
Set up an auto post plugin
If your site runs on WordPress and you regularly post content to your blog, a plugin like NextScripts will make social media sharing easy. You can simply instruct the plugin to automatically share every new blog post across all of your social media accounts. Set and forget!
Add images and videos
Social media posts featuring images and videos attract a lot more engagement than those featuring text alone. Ideally, your images will be original. If you do have to go for stock footage, spend time looking for something striking and unique. Photoshop can be handy for combining and treating images but make sure you have permission to adopt them for commercial use.
Who are your Social Media Audience?
While the above tips are a great place to start, you can do better! If you have a hazy image of your target audience, now is a good time to refine it. Use a blend of market research and customer feedback to develop a specific social media marketing persona. Give them an image and even a name.
Now create a social media strategy which is aimed directly at pleasing this person. Ask yourself what kind of content they would like (articles, videos, infographics, etc.). When are they online? Which platforms do they use? What topics interest them?
General Good Practice
Finally, here are some general tips to follow when aiming for organic social media growth:
- Be patient. Organic media growth isn’t the same as paid advertising and you shouldn’t expect the same results – at first. Organic growth is like tending a garden. It doesn’t help to try and pull on the plants!
- Engage influencers. Influencers are those social media personalities or industry experts who have large followings who avidly engage with their material. Don’t spam them but make sure you follow them. One day you may have the chance to approach them with a cross-promotion that helps you both out.
- Consistency is key. It is better to post regularly every week than to share 15 posts in an hour and then go offline for a month. Consistency will create expectation in your followers.
Good luck with your organic social media campaigns. If you have any further tips that have helped you with your growth, please share them with us.