Organic social has had a bit of a bad rap lately. Reach to audience ratios have been decreasing for years across all major channels and as discussed in an earlier post, we may have ourselves to blame. But that doesn’t mean organic social media should be thrown to the wayside. Social media marketing is still very much alive and not just for those who are willing to “pay to play”.
But it is fair to say the average organic social media marketing strategy is no longer viable for most businesses. So how can we make organic social an integrated part of our digital strategy in a way that’s worth our time & helps the business? Let’s have a look at a few options.
Promoting employee camaraderie and cross team conversation is a great use for social media, particularly with larger organisations where many teams don’t work together. Our own Amy King wrote a whole post on how employee engagement can help fuel a marketing strategy. Beyond that, employee engagement can make your business a better and more fun place to work. Being encouraged to interact with your brand on social media increases feelings of ownership and connectedness. Visibility of various employees is also increased, allowing staff members to get to know each other & feel more a part of the team.
Consider creating hashtags for various company events for internal use. Having a summer day out? Encourage people to tag the brand page and use the hashtag when posting photos. Keep the conversation flowing both ways by tagging your employees in posts that directly relate to them and responding to them when your brand is mentioned.
Showing off company culture
Social media is the ideal place to present your company culture to both prospective customers and potential employees. Clients looking to work with your brand may look through social profiles to get an idea of what working with you might be like. You won’t necessarily be ditched if your profiles are a bit bare, but an active profile showing off cool office features, fun perks, and happy employees will almost always work in your favour.
Recruitment also experiences big benefits from a healthy social media profile. We hear time and time again from new employees telling us they checked out our social sites to get a feel for the business and what it would be like to work here. Again, not having an active social presence for your brand won’t necessarily turn prospective employees off, but people may interpret the social silence as a message. They might wonder if your company is more “serious” or make assumptions about your company demographics. Social media offers your company a place to promote your brand image and culture in a casual way. Take advantage of that opportunity!
If you’re dead set on pushing out a very specific message on social media and have absolutely no budget for paid promotion, consider this one last card to play. If employees are actively engaged in your social media strategy, there’s no reason you can’t ask them to help you out with a bit of marketing. Utilise your employee’s reach capabilities by asking them to help promote your organic posts through their own profiles. This is not an everyday type strategy and will quickly backfire if abused, but when used sparingly and correctly can prove quite useful. Keep in mind that it’s not out of the question to specifically ask your colleagues for help – you don’t have to just cross your fingers and hope it happens naturally. Some people may even find it useful for specific messages to be drafted for them.
So far, we haven’t yet mentioned how to promote your products or services through organic social media. This isn’t an oversight. While it would be misguided to say organic product/service promotion isn’t worth your time and effort (it can definitely work on Pinterest, for example), you do have to consider the ROI for your business. Non-targeted, non-promoted marketing posts in a feed have limited reach potential and generally see lower engagement rates than more brand-oriented posts. Consider the amount of time it takes for your business to create an organic social media marketing strategy, draft the messages, and monitor their performance when calculating ROI. Additionally, consider whether your posts are of high enough quality to not actually make your audience smaller due to people unfollowing you. If it’s still worth it for your business, that’s great! But if not, don’t hesitate to stop promoting your products through organic social, even if just as a test.
You may now be wondering, “Well how can I possibly use social media to, you know, actually promote my products??” The answer to that: advertising. Paid promotion is the key to get out of the poor-reach jail cell, the WD40 to your sticky social media locks. To get started learning about promoting on the top social channels, download our Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Ads.