Does organic reach still matter?

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Whether you’re about to launch a new business or run an established one, social media marketing is an invaluable free tool. But as Facebook and other platforms have moved to a pay-to-play option, where ad spend helps to get those all-important audience eyes and potential conversions, it raises an obvious question: is organic reach dead? Smartphone with paper heart, person and speech bubble symbols around it to represent social media interaction

Yes, the stats for organic reach seem less than ideal. In June 2016 organic reach hit a low of just 2% on Facebook. So, why even bother with organic content anymore? Does it even make an impact? 

The short answer: yes, if conversion is your endgame (and we bet for most businesses, it definitely is)! 

Understanding audience trends 

As of August 2020, the average reach of an organic page post on Facebook was around 5.20%. The pay-to-play model is key for businesses wishing to increase bigger audience numbers quickly, but injecting more cash into your ads and other paid media doesn’t guarantee greater reach and more conversions. This is due to Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm, which in recent months has prioritised personal connections over interactions with brands, and is now set to offer audience’s greater control over what sponsored content they’d like to see.  

This increased demand for deeper connections and meaningful moments presents an opportunity to revisit the foundations of your digital marketing strategy.  

  • What is your brand story?  
  • How do you share that story on a personal level with your audience?  
  • Do you even connect on a personal level with your target audience?  
  • How do you demonstrate value to your audience? 

There’s significant value in taking the time to build organic relationships on social media. It’s a long-haul game and does require time investment, so it’s worth considering outsourcing this part of your marketing operations. Fostering genuine connections with your audience means you are nurturing a network of highly engaged potential buyers who have trust in you and believe that they are really being valued for who they are and what they like.

How organic content leads to quality conversions 

Your organic content is more likely to hit the news feeds of audiences who are already fans of your page. That organic audience is likely to stay engaged if your content is relevant to them and are more likely to respond well further down the sales funnel.  According to Epsilon Marketing, 80% of customers are more inclined to do business with companies that provide personalised experiences. Why? Because they are visiting your page or jumping over to your site with specific  intent, whether it’s to learn more about your business or a specific product or service.

So, does that mean we don’t actually need ad spend? 

Unfortunately not. While organic reach is incredibly valuable, relying on organic content alone will not yield the results that you’re more likely to get from investing in some ads and sponsored content, particularly if you’re seeking to increase brand awareness and website traffic quickly, or tap into a whole new audience. 

This doesn’t mean that if you’re a smaller business or one just starting out on social, that you’ve missed out on a chunk of the key audience pie. Whether you’re a businesses with 100K followers or 100, paid ads allows you to target the same audience, which still means it’s a very cost-effective marketing channel.  

Paid ads can also help to boost that organic reach, as your ads may entice people to then go to your page and check out the organic content there. If they like what they see (read: quality content!), then they may actively like and/or spend time on your page to engage with more content.

How to boost your organic reach? 

  • Look at top performing content and make more of it!  
  • Play around with post frequency and timings (for example, quieter periods may give your content a better chance of visibility) 
  • Use hashtags effectively. Lesser used hashtags increase the chances of your content being discovered, just ensure that those hashtags are relevant to your target audience 
  • Focus on the quality of your content, rather than the quantity of posts. Likewise, don’t focus on growing the fan numbers exponentially. If your audience continues to receive the right type of content at the right times, they should stay engaged and willing to listen.  

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