Organic Social Is Dead
- by Andi Whiskey
Or it's not. But the reason to have it and use it is NOT what it used to be.
For the sake of the rest of this article, we're primarily talking about Instagram (and Facebook, since they're closely linked). Some of this applies to Twitter, TikTok, and the rest, but not all.
Organic Social Media Reach is Declining
The numbers are not in our favor.
Organic reach has been declining for years, as all the platforms favor the brands and businesses that pay them for ads.
It's pay-to-play, baby.
Organic Social Media Management Should Be a Small Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Early on in talking about strategy with our clients, we always want to be clear that organic social is only one piece of the puzzle.
Think of it like the sugar in a cocktail. The cocktail isn't going to be a cocktail without a sugar component, but it still needs the other parts.
In this case, for social media marketing, it needs paid social ads or influencer marketing for the base of the cocktail (currently; this changes with the algorithms and Zuckerberg's mood).
Personally, I would rather drink spirits neat, but cocktails are the way the world engages these days... ya know?
Instagram and Facebook are pay to play, now more than ever. They've created the reels to, essentially, discourage following accounts and keep people on platform. Their whole push is to keep people on platform, unless you pay.
Organic Social Media is More Expensive to Grow
Many people still believe that you should put effort into organic first, for cheaper ROI. However, we've found this to be backwards.
As far as bang for your buck/time. It takes so much more time, and therefore money, to make organic pay off for you. You have to keep up with the algorithm, spend time researching current trends, create the content, post, engage, post, engage some more, follow, unfollow. It's a lot of manual labor that can't be easily automated, thanks to the way the platforms punish that these days.
They're necessary together, totally. But we see organic play out as the amplifier to paid ads efforts for our clients, rather than the other way around.
Posting organically requires so much time these days, for so little pay off.
You spend hours on the platform researching the recent trends.
You may spend money or time creating the perfect photo to match the trend.
Then you spend time researching the best hashtag strategy (despite the fact that hashtags give you maybe 1% more traffic on a post.
Then you post and spend time engaging in the platform to get the post to serve through the algorithm better.
Hours later, you reached 189 followers and 19 non-followers, despite having 20k followers, etc.
It's not a great ROI.
How To Use Organic Instagram Posts Now
You still need organic social.
I know, it sounds like I just told you to stop all efforts immediately.
Definitely do not do that.
Organic social pushes to 2 places these days because of recent algorithm changes:
1. Static Instagram and Facebook photo posts are pushed to current followers and nowhere else. We tend to use these to have conversations with already interested or purchasing customers.
2. Instagram and Facebook Reels are pushed to non-followers, but are created to not encourage any engagement besides watching. Once watched, though, they will likely see more of your reels in the future. This has discouraged following accounts because people know they'll see the account again. But these should be created for broad reach and to bring people in. Less informative, more... clickbait fluff, for lack of better words.
So followers don't matter anymore like it used to.
That's the number we track to see how we're doing.
That being said, traffic to your site is important as a metric to watch, as well. And we do focus on pushing people that way, however Instagram has always been in the game of keeping people on platform, and they're doubling down lately.
But currently, there's no easy way to track instagram engagement to web traffic, since many will end up googling to look up brands after seeing them on IG.
Your Social Feed is Still Important for Credibility
According to a survey performed by Animoto, 58% of consumers visit your social profiles before they visit your site. They're likely checking for a few things.
1. To see if you're an active, real business
2. To see if you match their initial impressions of you
3. To see themselves in your brand... Does your brand speak to people like them?
4. To see if you have more things they'd like beyond the initial one they saw
So with that in mind...
Holistic Social Media Marketing Strategy Matters
Here's a breakdown of the strategies we use for making money using social media:
1. Paid Social Media Ads for Instagram + Facebook
- Find new followers and customers.
- Encourage them to visit links of choice.
- Remarket to followers with a clickable link.
1. Influencer Marketing
- Capitalize on someone else's followers and customers.
- Encourage them to follow or click link in bio.
- Can use influencer posts as ads for UGC value.
2. Organic Social Media Posting
- Communicate with current followers and customers.
- Use reels to spread brand awareness.
- Have conversations with current or interested customers.
- Provide brand credibility when people look you up and see consistent posting and branding.
3. Email Marketing
- Catch current customers or interested customers and turn them into brand loyalists and repeat customers.
Email Marketing Should Be Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
You want people who land on your site from ads or organic posting to stay with you, and email marketing is a great way to catch them and keep them, especially with good "flows" or email automations in place.
If we refer back to my mediocre cocktail metaphor for social media marketing, I'd like to think of email marketing as the bitters or herbal/flavor component of a cocktail that really shapes your interaction with it. It's a smaller part, but crucial in building that relationship with your community.
Email marketing is more personal.
You should treat it like you're no longer shouting into the crowds from your social media account, but instead you're speaking directly to someone who trusted you with their personal email.
It's more intimate, and should be respected and treated as such.
Don't Stop Organic Social Posting Yet
It's still crucial.
Brand goodwill is still a huge value, no matter where you are in your brand growth. You want to nurture relationships with current or future customers, and build credibility on the platform.
But make sure you're approaching it as one piece of your holistic marketing strategy.
Need help with your marketing strategy?
Let's talk. We help beverage brands craft a strategy that will pay off, efficiently. Don't spin your wheels.
Book a consultation with our team today.