RIP Organic Growth

Metrics That Matter
Metrics That Matter
October 25, 2018
I have a confession
I have a confession
October 25, 2018

RIP Organic GrowthDo you want the good news or the bad news first?

I’m gonna give you the bad news first, because that’s how I’d want it.

A whole lot of people are saying organic growth is dead. Do a quick Google search for “Organic Growth” and you’ll likely find what I did: a bunch of articles claiming that organic growth is next to impossible these days.

Yikes.

See, that’s kind of a big deal. For years now, small businesses have been able to use social media as a mostly-free marketing tool as they built their business. The idea is simple: create content, have a cultivated feed, and target your specific niche by following them first. It worked for a very long time.

But lately that tactic is simply not cutting it.

It’s not your fault.

Social media platforms are changing their strategies in a way that essentially forces businesses to use paid advertisements or promotion.

Facebook is making it harder for posts on business accounts to be seen without paying to promote them. Instagram is the same and Twitter isn’t far behind.

It’s not that hard to notice. Go scroll through your Instagram feed right now and I bet you’ll find posts from about 10% of the accounts you follow. Why is that? Changing algorithms by Facebook and Instagram are changing which accounts and posts you see first, rather than the formerly chronological timeline.

So, what’s a small biz with a limited marketing budget to do?

That’s where the good news comes in.

See, I don’t believe that organic growth is dead, I think we just need a new tactic (this Forbes article AND this Forbes article agree with me):

Better content. More videos. Active engagement.

Organic growth is still possible. It’s might not be dead, but it’s certainly a lot more difficult than it used to be.

“Between January and July of 2016 alone, Facebook pages have experienced a dramatic 52% decline in organic reach. And that’s just the most recent shift. In 2012, Facebook pages had a 12% organic reach. Today, your reach may be as low as 2%!”— WireBuzz

YIKES! That certainly sounds rough, but don’t worry too much. I did some digging to find out the best ways you can increase your organic growth.

Better Content.

There’s a reason why every “how to grow your social media” guide you read starts with this simple directive. High-quality content is absolutely necessary in the endless sea of content that is the internet. This in-depth guide by Moz gives you all the data you need to create the kind of quality content to fit your business needs. Some highlights include:

  • “… long form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content.”
  • “Content formats matter. Formats such as entertainment videos and quizzes are far more likely to be shared than linked to. Some quizzes and videos get hundreds of thousands of shares but no links.”
  • “List posts and videos achieve much higher shares on average than other content formats. However, in terms of achieving links, list posts and why posts achieve a higher number of referring domain links than other content formats on average. While we may love to hate them, list posts remain a powerful content format.”

More videos.

Cisco predicts that video and AR content will increase twenty-fold by 2021.

Twenty-fold. 20x. 😲

This post by Single Grain highlights just how impactful video can be. Did you know that 4x as many people would rather watch a video than read an article? That’s great news for businesses, because quick and easy video content like Facebook Live videos and Instagram stories are excellent ways to take advantage of followers’ growing hunger for video content. Even better news? You don’t need to worry about going viral. It’s really not about how many people are watch your videos, but rather what they do after watching that matters.

Every video you put out should include a clear and concise call to action for your followers. Do you want them to check out your new freebie, sign up for your email list, or interact with your latest post? Do you want them to answer polls in your Instagram Story for some on-the-fly market research or would you rather they send you an email?

Have a plan for your videos and share that plan with your followers. Tell them what they should do next, and then track the analytics to see how many people follow through.

Actively engage.

It’s kind of like The Secret for social media.

If you want active engagement from your followers, you must start by actively engaging! Though simple, these steps can be game-changers:

  • Start conversations on social media. People like to give advice, talk about themselves, ask questions, and brag a little. Give them the prompting and space to do so!
  • Respond to those who reach out and comment or ask questions. Form real connections with the people who are interested in your brand and that interest will turn into investment. Brand loyalty is higher among brands with solid social media.
  • Follow influencers in your niche and interact with them in a non-salesy way.
  • Be real when possible! Listen, there are only so many hours in the day and sometimes we have to use messenger bots and other tools to handle some of our social media overflow. You can make these tools more human by customizing them to sound a little more like you!

👀👀 PSSST If you’re not already using video, stop everything right now and reach out to my team so we can get you started!

All the best,