By now, it’s no secret that – for businesses and consumers alike – social media has truly taken the internet into a whole new era. We’re currently exploring and experiencing the potential of Web 2.0, where users not only gather information but actually use the internet to create, communicate, connect and collaborate with brands and people they share a common interest with.
A large part of the momentum behind this trend comes from the inherent connectivity of social media. In 2022 there are almost 4 billion active social media users, spending an average of over 90 minutes on social media every day and rotating through 7 or more different platforms every month.
For your business, this represents a massive area of opportunity; consumers are not only looking to shop, but they also want to actively engage with brands, and form a connection with them. This represents tremendous potential in marketing terms, and it can be incredibly powerful – but you’ll need to get it right.
Organic social media, where users discover and connect with your brand naturally – that is, finding your unpaid social media posts, without you paying to place ads – is perhaps the area where the greatest marketing gains can be made. Across all industries and niches, users recognise organic social as genuine and authentic, and they pay much closer attention to it than they do to posts that ‘smell’ like advertising.
In this quick read, we’ll be walking you through 7 tried-and-tested organic social tips, pulled together from the award-winning social media department at The Brains Marketing, to help you boost your operation’s social traffic through organic channels.
Conduct Thorough Competitor Analysis
The first step to driving more organic traffic is to get a detailed, accurate picture of the landscape you’re moving in – and that means understanding with clarity what kind of content the competition is producing, as well as when they post, and which audiences they’re primarily targeting.
Analysis of your competitor’s social strategy should virtually always be the jumping-off point for your own. You’ll gain valuable insight into what kind of content yields the highest engagement rates, and it’s a good way to build a fuller picture of the entire industry, rather than only your organisation’s place in it. Be careful not to plagiarise or outright copycat your competitors, though – at best, it’s a bad look for a brand to be ‘ripping-off’ the originality of others, and at worst, you could open yourself to a world of libel and lawsuits.
Target Key User Personas
As in many walks of life; when it comes to digital marketing, you have to know your audience, and play to the room. It’s no good approaching social media with the scattergun approach, where you throw out as much information as possible and wait to see what sticks. A much better strategy is to spend some time putting in the groundwork to comprehensively conceptualise who your ideal consumer is.
Developing these personas will require some time, and imagination, to get right. You’re aiming to draw out everything you can about the people you’re targeting; simply stating a gender, general age range and a few interests is not enough. Rather, look to build up a complete picture of their personality: what is their name, and family situation? What are their motivations and pain points, and are there any barriers to their purchase? What could ultimately be the difference-maker that makes them choose your company, rather than any other?
Be Across High-Traction Channels
When crafting a social media strategy, it’s essential to be active in the channels where your ideal consumer spends most of their time. Aim to clearly understand which social media platforms they spend the most amount of time on, and invest your own time and energy into fuelling those particular accounts.
For example, if you’re targeting younger users, Millennials and Gen Z, you’d probably look to steer most of your attention toward TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, since that’s where that demographic spends most of their time. Equally, if you’re looking to convert middle-aged professionals, it’d be more appropriate to target LinkedIn and Facebook.
Keep Your Content Fresh and Valuable
The most significant factor in finding success with your social media viewers, and keeping them coming back for more, is the quality of your content. Essentially, everything you put out on social media should have some intrinsic value – curiosity, humour, an opportunity, aspiration, whatever it may be – for the user, and this is especially true in the organic zone. People can spot ‘empty’ content immediately, and it can dramatically damage your brand image.
Think also about which formats are likely to generate the most traffic. Will your audience be more engaged by a long read, or is an infographic the way to go? Should you have backing music for your video content – and if so, what kind? What kinds of words are used by your target demographic, and what kinds of topics are popular right now that you could look to leverage? Recently, there’s been a fairly significant trend toward short form video content, so this is one area you could look to take advantage of.
In general, our experienced content marketing team recommends a mixed approach to content, where you give the users a little bit of everything – this keeps things fresh and exciting.
Strategise the Timing of Your Posts
You’ll hear it time and again in social media marketing: ‘post during high-traffic hours, when everyone is online.’ Well, take it from us – that’s an urban myth. Setting your content to live during the ‘rush hours’ only puts your marketing in amongst an already crowded race, and you’ll do very well to gain any attention at all under those circumstances.
Instead, leverage the social media’s inbuilt algorithm. With your organic posts, the timing of publication matters less than the relevancy and quality it contains. So if you produce killer content that your audience will love, you can trust the social platform’s algorithm to eventually show it to the right people, whether you post at 7pm on Tuesday or 4am on Sunday.
Keep Focussed on the Long Game
We touched on it earlier, and it bears repeating: you’ve got to work your social media with a long-term strategy in mind. Remember, attracting traffic and generating conversions is a marathon, not a sprint. Work with your marketing team to develop a consistent voice, and core messaging pillars that you look to hit with every post.
A social feed full of randomly-directed organic posts, with no overarching message, is a fast-track way to make your organisation’s social accounts look half-baked or amateurish. On the other hand, if your audience can see a clear thread running through everything, communicated in a continuous voice, they’ll have a much better idea of who you are as a brand, and they’ll be guided more efficiently towards a conversion.
Leverage Data & Analytics
The real game-changer in terms of organic social media is the energy you invest in collecting data, and analysing it to illuminate the best next steps. Just because you’re not boosting your posts or backing them with capital, doesn’t mean you should overlook the value of some analytical insight.
Social listening is the practice of casually keeping tabs of what kind of reaction you’re getting across social and who’s commenting what, in broad strokes. Aim instead to undertake social media monitoring, which will likely utilise software to extract deeper findings from your organic performance, and use those learnings to guide you as you move forward.
Boosting your organic traffic on social media isn’t a quick-fix undertaking, and there are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions. The fact is, it takes time and energy to develop the plan necessary to get results, and you’ll need the motivation to stick to it; but by putting into practice the tips we’ve outlined in this guide, in time, you’ll start to see your organic traffic grow, and your social media accounts will gain momentum and traction as more and more people get to know and love your brand. One way to accelerate the process is to get in touch with a full-service digital marketing agency, who have the brains and the expertise to take things to the next level.