If you are posting content on social media, and want to be successful marketing your business online, it will serve you to know the difference between what an organic post is and what a brand post is.
According to Soccial@Ogilvy, if your Facebook fan page has less than 500,000 likes, your organic reach is 2%, or less. This means that if you have 1,000,000 likes on your page, your post would reach about 20,000 people that have liked your page. If you have 1,000 Likes on your business page, your post will reach 20 people. For a page with 500 Likes, your reach would be about 10 people. These numbers appear to be pretty grim, right?
This post is the beginning of my research to share with my findings and how you, as an entrepreneur, can beat the algorithms put in place by social platforms to increase your reach. But first, we need to define what organic reach is, and the difference between an organic post versus a brand post.
Organic Content, Organic Post, Organic Reach
Organic content is a social media posting that shows up on the platform's newsfeed. Simply put, when it reaches a person's newsfeed without paid distribution, it is termed organic reach.
A brand post is a business posting to provide content and information about the brand. Prior to 2012, the content posted by businesses would show up on a fans news feed timeline through organic reach. People would see the content and "like" it and "share" it. When a person likes or shares a page, the reach of that original content gets shared and thus organically, without paid destruction, reaches their friends.
Their message would reach their audience through an organic process of posting it than others "liking" it and "sharing" it with their respective communities.
However, modern algorithms put in place by social platforms benefit the organic reach of personal postings, often to the detriment of a commercial brand.
Social media algorithm changes have been a wonderful evolution for users because this allows them to see only the most relevant best content in their newsfeeds that serves and informs their very specific and particular interests.
Why it's important to know about organic reach.
Although personal users are seeing more relevant content in their newsfeeds, this has excluded many brands because algorithms are very specific and discriminatory.
As an example, you may be interested in attracting folks who are interested in spirituality. Your awesome post may be optimized for SEO, with key words that speak directly about the tools that are ideal for those seeking spiritual comfort.
The problem is that masses are simply not seeing your post because it does not show up in the newsfeed. In this scenario, nobody is benefitting from the awesome tools and knowledge you are offering - not those you are seeking to serve and not you!
Most members of social websites such as Facebook are using the platform to share social updates and events in their life. Most engagement (comments, likes, shares, and invites) come from stories of people's personal lives. The content that is considered most relevant are those that get the most engagement.
Content offered by brands, however relevant, are in direct competition to win the valuable time that is allotted for internet interaction. Now every bit of organic content posted by brands must compete for visibility with cousin Elvis' wedding or some political message that resonates with the user, all the while, the algorithms favor cousin Elvis' wedding.
Bottom line is, the business that is making a post on Facebook or Instagram needs to speak directly to the users wants and needs in the language that the user is familiar with.
Brands that do not post in the user's language and do not post often never even get any exposure to the user.
As you may imagine, the creative geniuses at Facebook and Instagram have figured out a way to capitalize on this dilemma - they sell advertising.
Curiously, this is a win for everyone.
"How?" you may ask. The means of advertising and vetting advertisements has created a system where members of these websites get advertising that is keenly focused on exactly what their interests are.
Imagine for a moment that you are super hungry. You really love Indian food and sushi and frog legs. Now imagine if various people kept walking up to you and offering to sell you burgers, hot dogs and dog food. You are currently hungry and irritable so chances are, you will not stay around to keep getting offers you do not want, right?
Instead, wouldn't you rather be learning about great Indian food, sushi and frog legs? Chances are you would...and that is exactly what the social websites have engineered.
Engineered algorithms provide you with information about those exact things that you are interested in knowing more about.
This translates to you getting more of what you want, the advertiser selling more of what they sell, and the social website making money on advertising and serving you (the client) in an excellent way.
For brands, organic reach have decreased significantly and continue to be challenging - their content has decreased to less than 2%, making it even harder to get through a very noisy landscape of social media.
The result is that brands have embraced advertising to increase their visibility in the marketplace-like it or not!
At the bottom however, the ingenuity and magic of algorithms in social media platforms win. The end-user, receives more relevant personal posts, the platform receives more advertising revenue and the advertiser gets their message to the people who are most interested in seeing it.
Brands and businesses, and people like you and me, get to do business by purchasing advertising directed to the precise audience who wants to see it. In a sense, this is the free market working optimally.
The biggest down side is that many, if not most, of the folks out there trying to get their message out don't yet have the knowledge base or the time to take advantage of all of these optimizing tools.
One of the most effective ways to get your message out is through creating awesome content for your website, blogs and social posts.
Content is king and is a major buzzword. Content is the message that provides a way and a means to attract the right and perfect customer to you as an authority in the marketplace.
Content marketing enables everyone to get their message out in a way that is very similar to advertising in that it gets to the people who want to know about it organically.
That is to say that in the same way algorithms serve to get messages to those interested, if you can create content that speaks directly to the needs and desires of an end user, you will get a similar net effect as paying to advertise.