If you’re a brand, we bet that your organic reach on Facebook has taken a nosedive. You’ve devised a Facebook marketing strategy, but getting no traction.

You can thank Mark Zuckerberg’s changing Facebook algorithm for that. The decline in organic reach isn’t only a reality on Facebook, but also on Instagram and other social media platforms.

This wasn’t always the case. Declining organic reach means your piece of content is not reaching your target audience like it was before. And when Facebook began pushing brands to pay to reach their audiences, many began finding alternative channels. Instagram says it doesn’t discriminate users based on their status as a business (though some believe it does). Even so, active advertisers on the platform are doubling every two quarters. What used to appear in chronological order now appears in an order dictated by the Mighty Algorithm.

And Instagram is “Facebook’s new Facebook,” meaning it is today’s best platform for brands to implement social media marketing strategies. Facebook, owner of Instagram, makes most of its money off advertising. Facebook both decreased organic reach with the News Feed algorithm and increased the cost of advertising. Instagram is its new meal ticket, and it’s not going to risk making it “too expensive” to advertise on. So what’s it going to do? Probably decrease organic reach as well, forcing brands to pay for advertising.

Social media managers are now dealing with their Facebook page getting under 2% organic reach on social media. On top of that, the Instagram algorithm is joining the hard-to-get-to-your-audience category.

So what is there to do to get your customers to really engage with you, without resorting to click bait content?


Incentivize Customers to Share Your Content

Organic reach is grown through an active engagement rate. Active engagement means people sharing and commenting your post. A simple like is considered passive engagement, which doesn’t get as many brownie points with Facebook. You can incentivize your customers to actively engage with your content by rewarding them for doing so.

Create an engagement-based loyalty program that tracks shares and comments generated by a single user. In return, give them discounts, free goods, or even cash! This program not only helps your organic reach on social platforms, but also builds loyalty and increases customer satisfaction.

Another option is to do a social giveaway. In return for a Super Cool Prize, have customers enter in the sweepstakes by sharing, commenting and tagging somebody in your content.


Encourage User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content (UGC) is the easiest way to encourage people to engage with your content. Fashion brands love it, tech companies praise it — UGC works for all brands and is extremely effective and increasing organic reach.

According to a 2012 Nielsen survey, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family and 70% trust online reviews. Most don’t trust content shared only by the brand itself.

You know that guy at the party just goes on and on about how successful he is, never letting anyone else talk? That’s how good your brand looks when you’re the only one talking about yourself. Unauthentic.

What is authentic? Having your customers tell their stories themselves. This works well if you have a branded hashtag and if your engagement campaign is based on a value proposition. 45% of marketing professionals surveyed by Social Media Today agreed that UGC increases social media statistics.


Create a Facebook Group Community

Creating a Facebook Group creates a venue for people to talk about your area of expertise. A Facebook Group community is not a place to market your product. Rather, it’s a place to engage your audience, ask them questions and help them out with issues.

As an admin of the group, you can help lead discussions and provide quality content (without trying to sell things). This helps build trust — and thereby a loyal community — and helps your brand gain credibility and authority in your specific niche.

Engaging your audience in Facebook groups naturally helps raise awareness about your brand and its Facebook page. These people have already indicated an interest in your niche. They are actively looking for content like yours. Give them what they want!


Work with Influencers

Another excellent way to increase organic reach on social media is to work with influencers. Today, influencer marketing trumps traditional marketing methods. There are many kinds of influencers to consider: mega, macro, micro, or nano influencers. Huge brands, like Adidas Original, will use celebrities and mega influencers. Startups and budget-conscious brands tend to collaborate with nano influencers, which are influencers with under 5,000 followers on a given social media platform.

But these smaller influencers are good for brands of any size. Micro and nano influencers tend to have higher engagement and a more loyal community. The budget you would use on one celebrity can be divided among a set of nano influencers, and your content will reach a wider span of targeted readers.

Influencers are experts at engaging their highly loyal audiences.  Influencers can work both as a distribution channel but also as relevant content creators. Working with influencers can help reduce costs for Facebook and Instagram ads (since you’ll be bypassing paid advertisement entirely) and gets a very wide, organic reach.


Organic Reach is Dying

Rumors say organic reach on Facebook is now at 2%, and soon to be at zero. That means if you don’t consider a distribution strategy for your content, you’re wasting your time creating it. Distribution should be as high of a concern as the quality of your content.

Which of the above techniques do you use to overcome the declining organic reach? Do you combine them? We’d love to hear your success stories!
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