For brands, organic reach across social media channels is rapidly declining due to a range of factors. To ensure your social media content gains sufficient cut-through, putting some paid for budget behind your posts can pay dividends towards your digital marketing strategy.
Why should I boost my organic posts?
1) Organic Reach is declining - Facebook organic reach has fallen by 52% from January through to mid-July 2016 according to social publishing tool Social Flow (source Marketing Land). These stats highlight the difficulty that publishers and brands are experiencing when trying to reach their audience organically. This research follows a study conducted by Social@Ogilvy, who found that organic reach on Facebook hovered at just 6% in February 2014; a decline of 49% from October 2013. Clearly the declining trend has continued and is causing issues for content marketers.
2) Stronger targeting capabilities - paid for activity allows for stronger targeting capabilities beyond that of your organic audience. For example, paid for activity allows you to target based on demographics, behaviours, interests, lookalikes and custom audiences, many of which are not possible via organic activity. This allows you to communicate with an audience segment which may differ slightly to your organic following and to create tailored content that when combined with stronger targeting capabilities drives greater engagement. Granular targeting can also help you focus your budget to ensure you are eliminating wastage and only reaching those users who you deem valuable to you.
Why is organic reach declining?
1) Relevancy over recency – Facebook implemented an algorithm update at the back end of 2016, which essentially resulted in the social media platform prioritising posts within newsfeeds that came from users’ friends and family members, reducing the visibility of content from brands and publishers. This update goes back to Facebook’s initial goal of connecting people as opposed to being a distributer of content. Twitter also saw algorithm changes last year which focused on relevancy over recency. This highlighted that the change will likely favour posts with greater engagement levels and thus favour brands with a large following or those that participate in paid for promotion. Through paid for promotion brands can achieve a stronger relevancy due to the specific content they can deliver and the sophisticated targeting tactics they can deploy.
2) An explosion of content – more and more content is being created, not just by consumers but also by marketers who have started to focus on this as part of their overall marketing strategy. This was a key discussion at the TFM conference that we attended last year which highlighted that 90% of businesses are creating content but that alarmingly 60% of these content strategies fail. Facebook have cited that on average there are 1,500 stories that appear in a person’s newsfeed each time they login and for people with a lot of friends and page likes this has the potential to increase to as many as 15,000 potential stories every time they login. Twitter has experienced a similar explosion in content and created their new algorithm to reveal the best tweets at the top of your timeline to try and combat the amount of content being created. This is emphasised by just one weekend at Coachella where people tweeted 3.8 million times. Instagram users are no different and post on average 80 million photos daily (Source wired.com). With the amount of content being created it is difficult for brands to achieve the visibility they desire.
Top tips for boosting your organic content
It is clear there is a need for boosting your social content but you might question how to best do this. Below are just a few essential tips to get the best out of paid social promotion:
1) Make sure that your content is original and that you own it. If you don’t own your content then you will require approval from the owner to promote it.
2) Content needs to be relevant to the target audience as well as timely.
3) Unique content is a necessity to give your brand stand out and to ensure your communication is memorable.
4) Make sure that the content you are promoting is tied into your overall marketing objectives and content strategy.
5) Consider the call to action and what you want users to do. Customer journey is a key component and consideration needs to be given as to where traffic will be directed and how the activity will be measured.
Does social boosting work?
With the correct strategy in place, social boosting can be extremely effective and we have seen great success from several client campaigns that we have run. For example, for one of our FMCG clients we tactically boosted a selection of their organic posts throughout the year and saw an improved efficiency of their posts by 217 times. We also found that 85% of their total brand social interactions were delivered via our social boosting activity. You can read full case study here.
If you are keen to know more out social boosting, the successes we have seen and how best to maximise value from your organic content then please get in touch….