Since social media platforms have experienced declines in organic reach in recent times (which Facebook attributes to filtering the 15,000 posts users are faced with every time they log in), businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to reach customers without forking out for advertising.
Businesses can, however, still penetrate feeds without paying by producing content that educates, entertains, inspires conversation or adds value to their followers’ lives. Here are five ways brands are doing just that without having to budget for Instagram advertising or Twitter ads to reach their fans:
1. Create more video
A recent Socialbakers study revealed that Facebook users preferred videos and links over images. Social Media Examiner wisely advises however, before you go jumping on the video bandwagon and abandon all other types of content, take a moment to check your social analytics and confirm this is the case for your brand and your followers. If your audience has a history of getting excited over moving graphics, check out these seven types of videos small businesses can easily make.
2. Take advantage of organic post targeting
In December 2014 Facebook announced the release of free features they claim are designed to help businesses reach customers more easily, without paying for advertising. Social Media Today explains that these targeting features have potential to put your posts in front of the right eyes and reclaim some of your long lost organic reach. Targeting tools include interests (weddings, health or beauty, for example) and a post end date feature (to prevent viewers from seeing out of date, no longer relevant content).
To experiment with organic post targeting, head to the settings tab in the top right corner of your Facebook page and ensure these features are enabled. You’ll then be given the option to target customers before posting content to your page on the publishing panel to the left of the blue Publish button.
3. Promote your blog posts in a newsletter
If you have a database of customers’ emails that you send to regularly offering promotions, industry news, testimonials and other types of content, include some teaser text from your blog posts along with an awesome picture, which hyperlinks to the post on your website. Here, if readers enjoy your content, they can share it across their social networks, or add their questions and opinions in the comments section.
Make sure you’re asking open-ended questions at the end of your blogs (and social media posts) to encourage a response, like “How did you and your partner agree on a honeymoon destination?”, or “Why did you choose not to have children at your wedding?” If you find enabling comments on your blog inspires some nasty dialogue from internet trolls, here’s how to deal with negative feedback on social media.
4. Tell stories
Take a break from blowing your promotional trumpet and start telling your followers a story. As Inc suggests, stories can be used to engage and really connect with your fans on a deeper level, which makes the posts more likely to be shared (particularly by those in the stories and their networks) than a 30% Off Summer Sale announcement.
Creating staff Q&As, client testimonials, supplier interviews, case studies, guest posts, company news and personal opinion predictions are some examples of posts that give customers a deeper look into your brand and company culture.
5. Get real
CEO of Blog Brandz says, if you want to increase engagement, you need to be engaged: “Social media users don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care… Start by giving before you expect to receive.” Listen to the conversations being had around you on social media; don’t just ask questions, but also respond to other people’s questions and consider starting your own Facebook Group, where members can collect and share information and ideas, collaborate and support each other throughout their wedding planning journey.
Hosting a Facebook Group tells customers that you’re accessible, you’re interested in knowing about the trials and tribulations of their wedding day planning, and you’re there to provide support along with relevant, up to date information about industry news and current trends, which will actually appear in all the other members’ news feeds.
As social pro John Haydon points out, a useful tool in establishing what your audience want more of and the posts they choose to engage with is analysing your top ten posts, which can be done by using social analytics tools and investigating the types of content in the top 10 most popular recent posts. When you have an idea of what your followers engage with the most, you can focus on creating more of that particular type of content.
How does Easy Weddings score on keeping you engaged? Is there content you’d like to see more or less of? Let us know in the comments so we can better cater to you and ensure you’re kept up to date on the latest marketing, advertising and business development topics to keep you at the top of the wedding vendor game!