Have the days of free social media reach been and gone? No. But you do have to do more than ever to earn ‘free’ reach as social media channels increasingly become ‘pay-to-play’ platforms. If it’s organic reach that you’re focused on, then LinkedIn, TikTok and Clubhouse and our three suggestions as of mid-2021. From a traditional social media standpoint, we’ll break it down from the perspective of someone that’s relatively new to social vs someone that’s been actively using social channels for a number of years.
You’ve recently (within the last 12 months) set up an Instagram and Facebook channel, have a small but engaged community and you’re creating awesome content – chances are that you don’t view organic reach as dead. How else could you spend 2 minutes and no money to get a message out to a bunch of people who care what you have to say?
Newbie verdict = not dead
The Seasoned Campaigner:
You’ve been around a bit longer, and we don’t blame you for exclaiming that organic reach is now dead. Facebook organic reach has dropped approx. 88% over the last 6 years and for those who remember the chronological Instagram feed, you’ll know history is repeating itself as Facebook continues to monetise their newer platform. The glory days delivered your post to a sizeable audience, delivered some good results and perhaps even gave you a sense of getting something for nothing.
The Seasoned Campaigner verdict = dead
Every man and his dog signed up for a Facebook account (or Instagram if you’re the dog) and started posting. More people, posting more often means more competition in newsfeed. It’s a simple supply and demand equation and it meant that Zuck and co had to prioritise what people were being served in their newsfeed. If people were liking (now reacting), commenting, clicking, watching and sharing then the Facebook algorithm would prioritise these posts in newsfeed.
Then just like every man and his dog created an account, so too did every brand and business. Brands and businesses started spending ad dollars to reach their audience just as they would on any other medium. Once again, organic reach declines at the same time as ad placements get more expensive. Supply and demand.
So instead of crying foul, ask yourself how do you grow your demand on social media? The answer to that is pretty simple – you provide value – just as you would in any other facet of your business. That value is providing something that people want in their newsfeed. This simple value exchange is the underlying principle of content marketing.