Anytime a social media network changes its algorithm, digital marketers find themselves in the same situation: frantically Googling the latest tips and digging through their analytics, desperately trying to figure out what’s no longer working. When the Chicago Tribune documented its failing organic Facebook reach on Medium, many more publishers echoed similar sentiments. They, too, have felt the rug pulled out from under them.
It’s no secret that organic reach is becoming more elusive on all social media platforms, and that an effective social media strategy requires buying ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other platform you use. Without paying for a boost, posts are less likely to be seen. So how can marketers reach their audiences using existing resources, without feeling like they’re on a hamster wheel chasing the latest algorithm tweaks?
Use digital signage as a venue
Let’s start by rethinking the meaning of organic reach. Facebook defines organic reach as “the total number of unique people who were shown your post through unpaid distribution.” In other words, free exposure naturally, without the artificial mechanism of a paid ad forcing people to see your post. Organic, by definition, means “of, relating to, or derived from living organisms.” If you consider organic in that sense, consider the power of reaching people live, in person through a digital display. Rather than catching their attention as they scroll through their social media feeds, you catch their attention in their physical surroundings.
Seenspire’s Social Media Wall redefines “organic reach” by combining online and offline opportunities to connect with people. Seenspire enables companies to create their own social media channel with live updates, images and videos and display them on their digital signage. With the Social Media Wall, you benefit from having a captive audience at your location using the instantaneous impact of social media.
Picture a digital display featuring a mix of user-generated content, originally produced content, and curated content produced by other influencers in your industry. Audiences stop and watch posts appear from fellow enthusiasts. The real draw, though, is the thrill of interacting with your brand live. A customer might post a photo of herself with the official company hashtag and seconds later, see that same photo appear publicly on the Social Media Wall.
Social media “impressions” via foot traffic
Every business has opportunities to expand their “organic reach” live with Seenspire’s platform. If you’re a retailer, you understand how important the in-store shopping experience is. If you’re a service provider, you’ve most likely participated in conferences or trade shows. If you’re an employer, you have people coming in and out of your offices every day. Why not take advantage of the foot traffic already coming through your doors?
In the United States, the average cost per click of Facebook Ads in late 2016 was about 27 cents. For 1,000 impressions, the average cost was $7.19, according to research by AdEspresso. On Twitter, a thousand views costs between $9 to $11. Clicks on Twitter cost 25 to 30 cents, according to Follows.com.
Consider these very rough estimates of people walking in and out of retail businesses: The average family restaurant chain might serve 150 people per day. The typical U.S. supermarket takes in a whopping 7,500 customers per week. For each of these customers, there is no need to pay for “impressions” as we refer to exposure in social media.
Social media will only continue to expand its influence, despite marketers having to spend more on ads. We’re learning that No. 1 rule in investing also applies to marketing: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, diversify. Find new ways to reach people in person and create your own organic reach.