All marketers dream of that viral post, that Oreo moment or that social campaign that exceeds all expectations. However, achieving it is an uphill struggle. Not only do we have to fight tooth and nail for every shred of audience attention, we’re also up against changing algorithms, newsfeeds and network policies. Just when you think you’ve hit the perfect mix, one of the network big guns announces a game-changer and…well, it’s back to square one.
But between you and me, there are a couple of tactics I use on a daily basis that have proven pretty successful in boosting our organic reach. While some might not be especially straight-forward, and require a little more effort than a typical post, they do provide creative alternatives to help you stand out in overcrowded feeds.
Here are the growth hacks I use for each of the top social media networks:
#1 – Facebook
Have you spotted these linked video posts, with a description and CTA (call-to-action), in your newsfeed?
Doing this in Business Manager when uploading a video isn’t an option as the video won’t be natively linked. If you want to attach a CTA you can do it by adding a link to the text. However, be mindful when doing this: Facebook have made it clear that they will “prioritize showing links in the link-format, and showing fewer links shared in captions or status updates” in order to minimize clickbaiting.
Here’s what you can do:
Go to your Ads Manager, select “Page Posts” in the “Create & Manage” section, and then publish the post without selecting paid distribution. It’s a little more work, as there are a number of fields to complete, so it’s probably not something you’ll be doing several times a day.
So unless everything you post is video (and that could soon be the case as Facebook continues its slow transformation into a video platform), I would recommend limiting this approach to once or twice a day for more special campaigns.
#2 – Twitter
Recognizing that video is becoming more and more the driver of conversations, Twitter recently enabled publishers to express their creativity in more long-form ways. Notably by increasing their upload limit from 30 seconds to 140 seconds (to match its in/famous character limit).
However, you may want to upload videos longer than the prescribed two minutes and 20 seconds. And with EMarketer predicting that the time spent watching mobile video content will increase from 29 to 34 minutes by 2018, you’d be right for wanting to do it. But how’s it done?
The secret is to go through the Twitter ad account. By using the Creatives video option in the professional publishers tools, you can upload videos of up to 10 minutes, and test various formats that can include a title and a description, giving you more characters to tell your story. The structure will be similar to an ad, but remember to post the tweet without backing it up with spend.
Here’s how ours look:
— Falcon.io (@FalconIO) August 15, 2016
#3 – LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the one network presented here that has yet to be affected by algorithms and newsfeed changes. This is a great advantage for marketers and really eases distribution. Having said that, boosting your reach takes some creativity, and LinkedIn’s business accounts can be quite limiting. So how do you overcome this and make sure your content reaches as many people as possible?
Our employees are the answer for us here at Falcon.io. We’ve long understood that socially active employees can be an awesome asset for brands. Their involvement helps to humanize our social messaging with their own personal twist. For example, during a recent quiz campaign we introduced gamification to the distribution mix and encouraged coworkers to share tracked links so we could monitor their performance. This resulted in 14% of the quiz page’s visits being driven by the efforts and the creativity of Falcon.io employees – a great showcase of employee advocacy in action.
Where to go from here?
Any Google search for tips on how to increase organic reach will turn up hundreds of examples – some interesting for the future, some that could be applied right way, and the majority packed with speculative or obsolete advice. Social networks evolve at such a pace that keeping up can turn a marketer’s well-planned marathon into a sprint, ratcheting up the pressure to discover new ways to be creative and delight audiences. You need to hit the right balance between business considerations and shiny new tactic temptations if you want to post content with both appeal and brand and business value. Understanding how social networks work, and how to combine traditional with non-traditional methods, is a must for social media managers in 2016. It’s how we can turn those new newsfeed algorithms to our advantage, rather than let them thwart us at every turn.
In that spirit here’s one last piece of advice. Be bold. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and test, test some more, analyze, optimize and test again.