7 reasons organic social media remains essential

With the organic reach of content shrinking on the web, why should you continue to invest in the strategy? Here are six reasons not to abandon ship.

Your organic reach strategy isn’t a lost cause.

Here are seven reasons why it’s still worth a fair allocation of time, effort and resource:

1. Organic social media efforts are cost-effective.

Even though it takes time and energy to create social media updates, they’re still extremely cost-effective. You can post as many updates as you want across your social media channels and every single update is free to share, making it a realistic option to combine with other marketing tactics for a comprehensive content strategy.

2. Social media provides authenticity.

As Top Rank Blog explains, “The importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. Social media gives brand managers the opportunity to show their target audience who they are, not just what they sell.”

Social media users know that when they see an ad, someone is trying to sell them something. However, through non-paid updates, organizations can provide a genuine look into what defines their brand.

3. Organic social media complements advertising.

If you see a Facebook ad in your feed and click on the company’s profile, you expect to see more relevant content on their page, right?

Keep this in mind if you invest in advertising. While running ads, you also want to update your page with high-quality, non-paid content. Research shows 81 percent of consumers research a business on the internet—including on their social media profiles—before buying. You want to make sure you’re making a positive impression on any potential customers that may be evaluating your company.

Daniela Otero explains it best: “Only a balanced approach—one that uses paid intelligently along with organic content—will get you great results.”

4. Social media fosters your creative voice.

Organic social media updates are a fantastic forum for exploring your organization’s voice and creativity. Before you invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in an ad campaign, use your non-paid channels to build a solid foundation. Consider these questions:

  • What types of content are relevant to your company?
  • Are there particular words you want to use to evoke certain emotions in your target consumer?
  • How will you creatively connect with social media users?
  • What updates are receiving the most interaction?

While there is a lot of helpful information you can glean from a little bit of ad testing, there’s also plenty you can learn from your organic approach.

In addition, you’ll need to be creative to drive engagement on non-paid social media, which can help you build content marketing muscles you may not have developed yet. The Native explains that it’s better to post fewer updates that are higher quality: “Make it brilliant. Don’t just add to the noise, make such good content that your profiles are the conversation starters.”

5. Social media provides a forum for customer care.

According to this infographic, 63 percent of consumers expect companies to provide customer service via social media. Research shows: “Nine out of 10 social media users have used social platforms to contact brands directly, and more than one out of every three people turn to social media to voice customer service concerns before seeking help via websites, live chat or email.”

Despite the shift in Facebook’s algorithm, it’s important your brand maintains at least a minimal presence. If they go to your page for help but see you haven’t posted an update in months (or years) they may assume the page is abandoned. By posting at least one update a week, you show consumers you’re engaged—and much more likely to provide the help they need.

6. Social media builds engaged communities more effectively.

While a social media ad may catch a user’s eye, it’s not going to turn that person into a brand advocate. By seeing a variety of your business’ updates on a regular basis, consumers can learn more about your company and slowly become loyal to your organization.

In addition, when one of your followers interacts with your brand and their social media contacts see it, they’ve essentially endorsed you. A smaller community of users that interact with your business’ social channels is so much more important than hundreds of disengaged followers. Over time, engaged community builds on itself in ways that ads simply can’t.

7. Social media helps search engine optimization.

Updating your profiles regularly can help you show up in relevant search results.

Gill Solutions shares a fantastic example: “If a user searches ‘Best bistros in Connecticut,’ a website with an active social media page providing backlinks with the words ‘Bistro’ and ‘Connecticut’ in its profile information will rank higher in search results than one without these backlinks.”

Emily Sidley is the senior director of publicity for Three Girls Media. A version of this article originally appeared on the Three Girls Media blog.

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