Why Always-On Organic Social Media Strategy Still Matters
By Emily Den Boer | October 17, 2019
MSPC associate content director Emily Den Boer talks about how relying on an always-on organic social media strategy is crucial for brands, especially if there is a major algorithm shift.
The Organic Social Media Algorithm Shift *shudders*
Nearly two years ago, Facebook uttered the most dreaded two words any social media strategist can hear. Agencies were gripped with panic, clients were desperate for answers and strategists clung to a sliver of hope that it wouldn’t (it couldn’t!) be true. Oh, but it was true. It was so, so true: A major algorithm shift was upon us.
The January 11th, 2018 algorithm shift meant that Facebook was returning to its roots. Its “Surprise! You’ve got a friend request from a person you haven’t seen in 10 years!” roots, the kind that promoted community, grew personal networks and made class reunions obsolete. They’re the same roots that grew Facebook into the massive social media network it is today.
To be fair, Facebook had gotten away from its intended identity. Brands had taken over, NewsFeeds were filled with ads, cute animal videos (for the record: I am pro-cute animal content) and clickbait, and it became nearly impossible to cut through all of that noise to throw Aunt Jan a “like” for her heartfelt birthday wish.
The algorithm change also meant that branded content would have decreased organic visibility, and brands would have to think critically about how to adapt so they could reach—and, hopefully, expand upon—their social media engagement and traffic goals.
So, Ditch Your Organic Social Media Strategy … Right?
Not exactly. Having an always-on organic social media strategy is still crucial for brands. Every single time a brand posts on social media, it’s an extra opportunity to prove its expertise, to claim its identity and to connect with its consumer. As MSPC’s wise Digital Strategy Manager Anthony Englund once told me, organic social media provides the brand with more chances at bat, which means more possibilities for home runs.
A mutually beneficial relationship between both paid and organic strategy can take your brand’s social media content to the next level. Knowing what your organic social media audience—the people that are actually looking to connect with you—engages with can help build look-a-like audiences for paid distribution and inform what content a brand should be putting paid dollars behind.
Organic social media content also provides a dependable place for consumers to come back to. Think about it this way: A consumer just discovered your brand through a targeted ad on Facebook. They head to your News Feed and there’s nothing relevant there. You haven’t posted organically in a week. Consumer translation: You aren’t reliable. That strategy isn’t efficient for brand awareness, consumer engagement or establishing expertise in your space.
OK, I get it. What Now? Organic Social Media Marketing Tips:
Establish an always-on social media strategy with your client or brand. Take the opportunity to organically test and find the brand’s identity on social. Test posting more frequently, test new social media features, test voice and tone, and test content types.
Find a way in with your organic social media audience, and use those successes to inform your future content plans. Stay in contact with organic consumers through comment moderation and give them the answers and content that they’re seeking. Create a space for organic social media wins and build upon those for paid successes.
Until the next algorithm change,
Read next: Content Marketing vs. Advertising: What’s the Difference, Again?