5 Tips for Dominating Organic Reach in 2021
As multi-location marketers, many of you are probably already aware that organic reach is on the decline. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketers to reach their target audience through organic efforts alone. While this doesn’t mean you should completely abandon your organic efforts, it is time to reconsider your strategy. Working smarter, not harder, when it comes to driving organic reach is vital.
While organic reach applies to various local social platforms, we’ll be focusing on Facebook for this blog. We’ll dive into five take-home tips you can implement into your organic Facebook efforts to strengthen its reach and ultimately increase visibility online within this blog.
Tip 1: Understand the Platform’s Algorithm
Although it might seem pretty straightforward, your multi-location business must understand Facebook’s algorithm to create the best possible content for its organic efforts. And news flash – it changes constantly. Facebook recently released a video speaking to how the News Feed works. For instance, is Facebook showing videos more frequently than still images? Are family and friends getting shown more often than businesses a user follows? What can your business do to work with Facebook’s algorithm? These are questions you consider when creating your organic social strategy.
At the end of 2020, the average reach for an organic post on Facebook was 5.2 percent. This number has steadily decreased over the past few years. Similarly, the average engagement rate for an organic Facebook post was 0.25 percent. As you can see, organic reach is on the decline, so understanding Facebook’s algorithm can help your business’s chances of getting its local content shown. Earlier this year, Facebook released details about its algorithm to help marketers better understand how Facebook chooses which content to show in a user’s newsfeed.
First, Facebook looks at predetermined ranking signals like post recency and the relevancy of the post. It then considers whether the user is likely to engage with the post. Later in this blog, we cover how your business can increase the likelihood of your target audience engaging with your local content. Facebook also considers how well others are receiving the post in terms of reactions and comments and the relationship between the poster and the user. While your business can’t control the relationship between you and your target audience on Facebook, you can adjust other aspects of your local content strategy to work with Facebook’s algorithm rather than against it.
Tip 2: Engage With Your Audience Base
For instance, interacting with your target audience on local social platforms can help boost your business’ visibility organically. Creating a loyal following that regularly engages with your content is essential. So how do you build a loyal following? As an easy first step, your business locations can respond to their engagement on local social content. For instance, if someone comments on your post, your local business should respond in a personalized and timely manner. Not only will this show the person who commented on your post that your business cares enough to answer, but it will also show others interested in your company.
Building a community on Facebook is a must. Three out of four consumers say they’ve discovered a new local offering based on recommendations and posts on social media. While it can be challenging to build a loyal following from the ground up, your local teams might be able to help kick things off. If local employees share hyperlocal content, it will be more likely to receive engagements, which thereby gets more eyes on the content and helps build your community, ultimately increasing organic reach and engagement. Your business can also encourage your target audience to respond to each other. The more conversations that are happening on your content, the larger audience it will reach.
Tip 3: Find the Best Time to Post
While engaging with your audience is essential, another great way to boost your organic reach is to consider when your business is posting organically. To determine this, your business should test posting at various times and see which posts get the most engagement and highest reach. For some industries, posting first thing in the morning might receive the best results because their target audience has just gotten to work and are on social media before starting the day. Similarly, the restaurant industry might have better luck posting around mealtimes when their target audience is getting hungry. What works for one industry or one business might not work for another, so your multi-location business needs to test.
Similarly, each business location might find that a different time works better for their specific audience. For instance, a post at 8 am in NYC would be too early to post in Los Angeles. Taking time zones into consideration is critical, as well as other factors like what your target audience does on a day-to-day basis and when they’re most likely to be on social media. Once you find which posting times work best for your business, you can schedule content at the highest-performing hours. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid posting at any other time, but you can use it as a frame of reference when choosing when to schedule flexible content.
Tip 4: Test Different Types of Content
Similar to testing what time your business locations should be posting on local social, you can also test the types of content. Content that performs well in one area or for one industry may not function as well for another. One of the first and most critical tactics your business should include in its content strategy is localization. Data from our Localized Social Content Guide found that content that is considered localized performed 12x better than content that isn’t localized. Consumers crave a local connection and providing that through local content will help boost engagement, therefore helping your organic reach.
If your multi-location business is stuck on which types of content to try, consider the following:
- Community based content and local stories
- Cute and/or funny content
- Feel good stories
- Updates to your individual store location – any upcoming events or promotions
- Short videos – under 30 seconds
- Authentic imagery that’s not overly produced
Once your multi-location business tests various types of content at the local level, you’ll be able to get a better feel for what works best for your audience.
Tip 5: Use Authentic and Local Images and Videos
Finally, the types of photos and videos that you include in your content can contribute to how your posts perform organically. Imagery that is real and not overly produced helps boost performance. For instance, when deciding what image to share along with an update about your business location, think about using a photo with actual store employees helping customers, as seen in the example below. This type of imagery lets consumers know what to expect when visiting your business and typically performs better organically than a stock photo. It’s also important to keep in mind that your images should be high-resolution and easy to understand. A picture should be able to get your point across quickly.
While it’s unrealistic to think that your multi-location business has the time and resources to create video content for every local social post, it is essential to note that short videos typically receive the highest engagement organically. Videos less than 30 seconds in length typically outperform content that links to a generic blog post or article. Anytime Fitness’ post is an excellent example of using a short video to drive engagement. Anytime Fitness posts videos highlighting workout routines or team workouts frequently, increasing their local social content engagement.
Now that you understand what it takes for your multi-location business to dominate organic reach, it’s time to start re-inventing your local social strategy. It can be challenging for companies with 100s or 1,000s of business locations to manage local social efforts across locations, but that’s where SOCi comes in. SOCi’s Social Solution enables multi-location businesses to manage and deploy localized content at scale while maintaining brand consistency at both the enterprise and local levels. This tool built specifically for multi-location marketers will allow your business to elevate its digital presence for consumers everywhere, increasing your organic reach and engagement.
While SOCi is a great tool to leverage for local social, we have other tools available to help you crush your other localized marketing goals. SOCi is the central command™ for multi-location marketers and the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs. For more information on how SOCi can help you level up your localized marketing efforts and stand out as a leader in your industry, request a demo today!