Having a presence on social media as a business isn’t easy these days. Organic reach is going down across channels, and the only way it seems is to start paying up for promoting your business on social media.
This change in social media algorithms has forced marketers to think of other techniques, and come up with unorthodox ways to boost their organic reach and grow their page. I’ve listed some of the best ones I found here for you.
1. The $1.80 strategy
This comes straight from Linkedin influencer Gary Vaynerchuk, who swears by it. Although the strategy was conceived of for Instagram, it can be implemented on other channels too where hashtags play a big role, such as Linkedin and Twitter.
The idea is simple. For every post that you create on Instagram, you comment on 90 trending posts that use hashtags you want to be associated with.
Commenting on 10 top posts across 9 relevant hashtags gives you:
9 hashtags x 10 top posts = 90 comments
I’ve personally come across different views on how effective this strategy is, but I stand by it for a few reasons. Social media algorithms are moving in a direction where community building is super important. If you keep pushing your product into people’s faces, they’ll stop interacting with you, and if they stop interacting with you, the social network will stop showing your content to them.
Leaving short comments on Instagram allows the person to check out your profile. This is more likely if your comment is not generic, and makes a genuine observation about their post.
This is not to say that this strategy is not time consuming, but if it delivers results, then it is worth taking the time.
2. Please like my post
Neil Patel has come up with a similar way to grow his own Instagram channel. And he’s tested it out with smaller accounts than his own too. His strategy is slightly more difficult because of different reasons. But again, it’s worth it.
The strategy entails you asking a bigger account in your network to interact with the post as soon as you post it. Of course, the difficult part of this is finding a more influential person to do that for you, but if you manage to do it, you’ll effectively be tapping into their huge network every time they interact with your post.
On Linkedin and Facebook, initial interaction on your posts makes for better visibility for your content. So your content can remain visible long after it is posted, and drives engagement and follows due to that stamp of approval from a more popular account on that platform.
3. Engage with your Audience
I touched upon this in the past two points too, but the best way to grow your page and reach is to interact with your audience. This can mean your existing followers as well as your target audience. Social media is a two-way communication platform by definition, and not using it in that way is penalized by social media by a kind of a shadow ban.
Marketers and influencers realized that and started using bots to do that interaction for them. Sure it’s easier, but (a) it costs you some money, and (b) it’s pretty easy to spot as a bot because of the generic nature of the interaction. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve received comments like “This is amazing!” on your posts when your post is actually just a meme.
Take time out to take part in conversations online, so people feel like they're talking to a human. This reinforces a human brand image which is easier to approach for people, who can then interact with your content a lot more comfortably. You can find a few more tips on how to reinforce a brand image in this article too.
4. Make a Niche Group
You’re probably thinking that’s like shaking hands with the enemy. Maybe it is. You surely don’t want to promote your competition. But when you’re starting from scratch it can become about targeting the right kind of people.
Make a group with Facebook pages that are influencers, are passionate about, or are involved in the same discussions are your small business. Having your own group allows you to have more control, but it’s not out of the question to join an existing group. An exclusive group for a sizable number of people can allow them to help make each other’s pages bigger.
By interacting on their posts and expecting the same in return, all the pages in that group can see growth in their followers in a way that doesn’t lose sight of the niche they want to be targeting.
An alternative exists for Linkedin and Twitter too. On Linkedin, niche hashtags and niche Groups can be leveraged to promote your page. Targeting broad hashtags and groups might cause your content to be crushed under content by more popular accounts. Lists on Twitter can work the same way. Adding like businesses or niche players in the same list can allow them to keep track of what you’re posting and like, retweet, or reply to it to boost its reach within their networks. Boosting your list can also allow people to go the List’s members and follow them.
5. Good Content
Of course, there’s no substitute for good content, for lack of a better word, to grow your brand’s page. And even though you’re thinking to yourself, “this is not why I started reading this article,” I’ll still risk reinforcing the importance of this point.
What, then, is good content? Sales and marketing professionals have realized that people will won’t take an action that you want them to take until you provide them with something that is valuable to them. This is still pretty broad. Thankfully some good (again that vague word) people have done a lot of research on what content resonates with people on Facebook. A study of 777m Facebook posts by BuzzSumo revealed some clear trends about what people consider good content. We summarized the 5 Key Takeaways in a nice infographic here. And I’ll mention them briefly for you:
- Videos continue to be the most engaged form of content.
- Inspirational, Funny, or Practical content gets engaged with the most
- Love & Haha make up 81% of all Video reactions: Make your content human or delve into some humor sometimes.
- Leverage trending topics to get more audience to see your content.
- Use curated content. You don’t have to create every piece of content. Post content that’s trending in your space to drive engagement and follows.
Marketers and growth hackers use a lot of other ways to grow channels, and a lot of them can verge on being unethical or against the platforms own regulations. Since small businesses which expertise-driven cannot afford to come across as unprofessional, or growing their pages in a way that alienates their audience, I’ve focused on the ones that are effective and don’t break any hard rules.
What are some things you’re doing to grow your business online? I’d love to hear about it!