Growing a strong social media presence through organic growth is vital for any company, whether it’s a small startup or a Fortune 500 firm. According to Pew Research Center’s latest “Social Media Update,” 79% of total online adults use Facebook. That number increases to 84-88% for adults aged 18-49. Twitter is used by 24% of online adults, and, on average, a higher percentage of Twitter users have a college education and earn $75,000+. Companies around the world are taking note of these numbers.
In the past two years, worldwide spending on social media advertising has doubled. Facebook’s ad revenue grew 59% in 2016. Facebook Business Pages is used by more than 50 million businesses, 2 million businesses advertise on the platform, and 88% of businesses with more than 100 employees use Twitter or marketing purposes. Despite a sharp increase in social media advertising spending and the growth of marketing budgets, there are still plenty of ways to generate organic social media growth on Facebook and Twitter.
Organic growth is defined as using the free tools provided by each social network to build a social community and interact with it.
Here are some tips on how to take advantage of these tools to build organic growth without spending a cent:
- Generate a steady stream of content – Having quality content, in the form of graphics, informative blog posts, etc., showcases your business and brings more customers to your website or social media page. This increased traffic will lead to increased business.
- Add an infographic, image, or link – Readers, on average, spend more time looking at information-carrying images than they do reading the text of the page, and infographics are shared 3x more than any other visual material. Tweets that contain images receive 150% more retweets than those without, and Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement. Furthermore, Tweets containing links receive 86% more retweets than those without.
- Link to your social media presence across all mediums – Make sure your social media presence is easily visible on your corporate website. On any email marketing campaign, include links to each of your social media accounts. On any print materials make sure your Twitter handle and Facebook name is visible.
- Use each social media network to its best ability – Don’t just copy and paste content on both Facebook and Twitter. Each platform presents different opportunities to engage with possible buyers or clients. Facebook caters to a larger and more general group, and is better suited to pushing promotions and company messaging. Twitter allows for a more intimate connection with your followers and address specific concerns.
- Have social media contests – Sharing an image takes less than a second, and if you connect that simple action to the opportunity to win free stuff, your followers are much more like likely to engage with the post.
- Follow and engage influencers in new markets – Every market has recognized influencers like entrepreneurs, celebrities, journalists, academics, or other thought leaders. These influencers often have large bases of support, and by engaging with these “gatekeepers,” you may find success with their supporters.
- Post a call to action – having thousands of followers doesn’t mean much if they aren’t engaging with your content. Make sure your followers are raising awareness of your brand by calling on them to like or share your page. Don’t execute an awareness campaign very often, but do it to prove results.
- Engage your followers – Engage with the people who engage with your pages. When someone posts on your page or tweets at you, respond back to them. Let your followers know that you are reading what they post and listening to what they want.