Social Media Marketing
September 21, 2023
Most brands struggle to get more than a handful of likes or comments on their organic social media posts. Often they resort to paid ads or influencer marketing to boost their social media efforts.
However, we’ve found that a handful of brands do consistently produce excellent organic social media engagement rates.
For example, this company consistently generates hundreds of likes and plenty of engaging comments on each brand post:
In this post, we'll outline the organic social media marketing strategy that top-performing companies (like the one above) use to consistently produce high engagement on organic posts.
An organic social media strategy is a marketing plan designed to elevate a company or individual’s presence on social media platforms without using paid ads.
Organic and paid social media strategies differ in that:
Paid social media tends to generate faster results because you can obtain more reach by increasing your budget.
Organic social media strategies tend to yield a slower ROI as it takes time to build a following. But they tend to have a higher ROI in the long run because you don't have to pay for reach once you have a strong following.
Here’s an overview of a simple six step organic social media strategy that will produce a strong long-term ROI.
The promotion tactics we'll discuss in steps two through six only work if people find your organic content valuable.
The first step to creating a successful organic social media strategy is to create engaging content that prospects love.
What does outstanding social media content look like?
The answer depends largely on your brand/industry, but here are a few common themes across top performing content:
We've found that different types of content can work for different brand personas and target audiences. Experiment with different content styles (infographics, user-generated content, videos, text, etc.).
In addition, there are a few optimizations you can make to your posts to give them an extra boost:
The post below is an excellent example of how even a B2B brand can create a humanistic social media post that is engaging and share-worthy.
It focuses on the story of a patient recovering from leukemia and shows off how their product played a role in his recovery.
In this post, Shopify showcased one of its users' success stories (a medical worker that used Shopify to start an e-commerce store selling medical-grade hijabs).
The customer story gives it a humanistic element, and the story is also aspirational for its target audience.
Now that you have great content, you should see excellent results when you apply the promotion tactics below.
Social media algorithms are incentivized to show posts with traction as engagement is a clear indication to social algorithms that people enjoy that content. (And if people like the content, they won't leave the platform.)
Employee advocacy (getting employees to work together to engage with a brand post) is a great way to help the content gain initial traction.
While employee advocacy is an excellent method to boost your organic social media reach, keeping employees engaged is tricky.
So, we created GaggleAMP to make managing an employee advocacy program easy.
Specifically, you can assign engagement activities to employees, and they can then complete those activities and schedule them to publish from a single dashboard.
GaggleAMP also tracks employee engagement and provides an overview of critical metrics like total reach, estimated earned media value (EEMV), and a breakdown of performance by channel.
Here's a brief overview of how the platform works.
GaggleAMP has engagement activities for all major social media channels, and each one specifies a particular engagement action (like, comment, share, etc.).
Then, you can fill out the engagement activity with details like a link to a social media post you want employees to engage with, specific engagement instructions (or even pre-written text), and an expiration date.
By giving employees specific instructions (rather than making them choose which post to engage with, what to say, and on what platform), you eliminate the thought and effort required from employees to participate in your advocacy program. As a result, they're more likely to engage consistently.
Once the engagement activity is complete, you can assign it to a specific employee or a group of employees (e.g., the sales team, executive team, etc.).
Employees receive a notification (via Slack or email) when you assign an activity, and they can view, complete, and schedule the activities inside their personal Gaggle portal.
This way, they rarely need to jump into their social media account to complete an activity. (We all know that can quickly become distracting!)
Manually tracking employee engagement is notoriously tricky, so most employees become discouraged and quit engaging when they realize they'll never receive recognition for their efforts. GaggleAMP solves this as it tracks each engagement action by each employee.
It then ranks employees by engagement in a public leaderboard, which inspires friendly competition and encourages further engagement.
Another issue with manual employee advocacy strategies is that you can't measure the impact of your efforts. So, GaggleAMP gives you a full analytics suite to show exactly how your social posts perform with metrics like estimated earned media value (EEMV), total reach, engagement, and more.
Your executives probably have the most influence, so ask them to share relevant content by creating their own posts about company news or sharing company content on their social profiles.
This content amplification technique is highly effective because people naturally trust content from their friends and thought leaders more than branded content. In addition, social algorithms are also more likely to give personal accounts more reach.
As a result, his posts typically get more engagement, and they don't feel like traditional advertising. Even if you don't purchase the tool, you still walk away with some new, helpful insights. (But you can also see how his tool makes it easier to accomplish the goal!)
The trickiest part about this content amplification strategy is that many company executives are busy and don't have time to create thoughtful social media posts.
Fortunately, GaggleAMP can solve this.
You can create an engagement activity and even pre-write a post for the executive.
For example, if you're announcing an acquisition, funding round, or any other newsworthy event, you can create a pre-written post or use the AI-Powered Paraphrase feature to approve and publishing unique content.
However, if you want the post to be written in their own words or have them provide their unique viewpoint on an event, you can use the 'Question' engagement activity.
For example, if you're an SEO agency and Google just rolled out a new update, you can assign a 'Question' engagement activity to your CEO. Then, you can leave a prompt like, "How do you think the new Google update will impact businesses, and what are three steps business owners can take to de-risk their business?"
This makes it easy to keep even the busiest executives engaged.
If you're trying to reach new audiences, collaborate with influencers that already have their attention.
While the most common strategy for B2C brands is paying influencers for a post, most B2B influencers aren't open to traditional paid campaign partnerships. However, there are plenty of other ways to organically partner with B2B influencers, like:
These are all genuinely interesting blog posts (not randomly selected), and the shout-out incentivizes the mentioned people/brands to share Ahrefs's post with their audience.
While this is a super easy tactic that might get some exposure, doing a more collaborative engagement (like a joint podcast episode) will probably work even better.
It generated 27 comments from both Eli and Ross’s followers, which helped both of them enjoy a significant boost in engagement.
Responding to every person's comment is the easiest way to double your engagement rate (which can help you earn even more organic reach from social media algorithms). To take it up another notch, answer that person's question with another question to keep the conversation going.
Neil Patel is excellent at engaging with his commenters.
Here's a screenshot of the comments section from a recent video about TikTok vs YouTube that he shared on LinkedIn. You can see that each response is conversational and organic – exactly what social media algorithms want.
Source: Neil Patel
I’m guessing that Neil Patel probably has someone else monitoring the comments on his social media profile. Even if you don’t have time to answer questions yourself, you can hire an assistant to do it for you.
Another engagement tactic is to use a social listening tool to track relevant keywords and alert you when someone mentions them. Then, you can jump into the conversation and organically add value.
While most groups don't welcome blatant promotion, sharing key things you've learned and answering people's questions are great ways to earn new followers from the group.
For example, someone in a design group was asking about a particular font family, and this person wrote out a thoughtful comment that answered the question:
This builds trust, and the person will probably follow you if your response is insightful and helpful.
As you can see, an effective social campaign isn't just about posting more content. Often, achieving your business goals is as simple as organically engaging with prospects and influencers.
Having an organic social media presence is invaluable.
It makes it easier to earn trust with potential customers and stay top of mind with existing customers, which directly impacts key KPIs like acquiring new customers. In addition, you'll have a powerful promotion engine whenever you have a new sale, post a new blog post, or need to source more talent.
Of all the tactics mentioned above, we still believe that employee advocacy is the most effective way to grow your organic social media presence. However, most content managers don't realize it's so powerful because they don't have an effective system to assign content and measure results.
If you need a solid employee advocacy platform, request a demo today.
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Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing