5 Strategies to Beat the Organic Visibility Creep in 2017

How can you keep your brand relevant and earn a decent amount of reach for your organic social posts?

Social media marketing has always been appealing because it’s free to create an account and post, but at the same time, these applications have to make money.

Most apps turn profits by selling advertising to companies, giving them the ability to make their posts even more visible and popular in exchange for a small fee. But why would you pay that fee if people can see the things you post for free?

The organic visibility creep

Over the past several years, major social media brands like Facebook have been slowly scaling back the level of “reach” your posts can get organically. Essentially, that means your free posts won’t be seen by nearly as many people.

Facebook claims this escalation is merely a way to make its News Feed less cluttered and more relevant for users—which makes logical sense—but there’s also no denying that it’s a change that drives more businesses to pay for advertising.

The creep continues into 2017, so how can you keep your brand relevant and earn a decent amount of reach for your organic social posts?

Strategies for higher organic reach

Facebook prioritizes posts that tend to attract a lot of attention, and there’s a circular logic here; the more attention your post gets, the more attention it could potentially get in the future. Essentially, that means a small number of highly engaging posts will become popular, while a large number of “average” posts will go unnoticed.

Here’s how to take advantage of that:

  1. Make more interactive content: For starters, you can work on creating more interactive content. These include things like surveys, questionnaires or even calculators like this one on kitchen remodeling costs from Kitchen Cabinet Kings. Interactive content demands that users engage with it, so you’ll naturally see more likes, comments, interactions and shares. That increased level of interaction will help your posts circulate further and faster, and eventually, your average post engagement rate will skyrocket. Overall, make your users feel like they’re an integrated part of your social presence.
  2. Stream live video: Users also appreciate “in the moment” posts, which is why platforms like Snapchat have become so popular. Now, with the advent of better streaming technology, livestreaming video is seeing a surge in popularity. Social media apps favor these types of posts because they’re only temporarily live (and it encourages the use of this function across more users), so not only will you get an immediate boost—you’ll also earn more user engagements.
  3. Develop relationships with your individual users: Instead of focusing on what you can circulate to the masses or how you can make your brand look good, try working harder on individual relationships with your fans and followers. Take every opportunity to engage with your followers one-on-one and hold conversations with them. You’ll get to know them better so you can better target them in the future, and you’ll increase their loyalty immensely.
  4. Scale back and focus: One of the best things you can do is stop focusing on quantity and, instead, invest in quality. Scale back your campaign by reducing the number of times you post in a day, or in a week, and spend most of your time working on posts that are the best they can possibly be. It’s not worth flooding the web with new images and content if none of it ever makes it to your users’ News Feeds, so reinvesting that time in posts that do have the opportunity to circulate is a wise maneuver. For example, even extraordinarily popular Facebook pages like Humans of New York only post once or twice per day.
  5. Use standout imagery: You can get an edge over the competition by making sure your posts stand out in users’ News Feeds. Facebook “tests” each post you make by evaluating how it performs with a small group of users. If those users scroll past your posts without noticing, they’ll be dead in the water. For starters, make sure all of your posts are accompanied by some kind of visual—usually an image or video. Without it, you’ll easily get lost in white noise. According to Curalate, imagery with a dominant color stands out more than other images—and that’s especially true of the color blue.

The organic visibility creep on social media isn’t going away anytime soon, much to the disappointment of social media marketers everywhere. However, these strategies should help you compensate for any reductions in visibility you might otherwise find. Simple readjustments here should be able to improve your results without much additional expense—and if you’re desperate for an extra boost, most social media ads are inexpensive compared to more traditional options.

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Image courtesy of blackred/iStock.