How to Improve Social Media Reach Without Advertising
Some businesses have a pretty difficult time when it comes to improving social media reach. Social media platforms like Facebook algorithmically limit the organic reach of commercial content, both because making companies pay for better reach is how social networks earn their revenue and because the average social media user’s wall is already filled with more commercial content than that person could possibly read.
There’s a simple solution for improving social media reach, though – right? All that you need to do is identify the content most likely to lead to conversions and pay to promote that content.
Not so fast; if you’re in certain industries, paid social media amplification isn’t available to you. That’s the case if you’re in the casino industry. It’s also true if you run a US vape shop or a UK CBD oil company. If you attempt to run a paid social media ad in any of those industries, your ad will be cancelled, and you may even find your account disabled. Those limitations don’t necessarily make social media useless for you, but they do make it difficult to maximize the number of people who will see your content.
So, how to you improve social media reach when you can’t advertise? That’s what you’re going to learn from reading this article.
Grow Your Follower Base
The first thing that you can do to increase your social media reach is to simply get more followers. Even if the percentage of followers that your average post reaches doesn’t change, having more followers means that you’ll touch more people with each post.
The best way to get social media followers is by offering a reward in exchange, and it should be something good. A single-use coupon code might have sealed the deal in the past, but it’s not going to work today because online shoppers will simply assume that they can find the same coupon code elsewhere – and if they can’t, they won’t buy.
Instead, try a contest in which you give something substantial to a random follower each month. Suppose, for example, that you gave a complete set of your full product line to one person on the first of each month; that’s bound to get some attention. It’s easy to drive traffic to giveaways because there are websites all over the Internet that exist solely to provide links to contests and freebies. If you reach out to those sites, you’ll get plenty of links and will earn no shortage of new social media followers.
Create Truly Unique and Shareable Content
After increasing your follower base, the next best way to improve social media reach is by creating content that people want to share – and that’s going to take some creativity. People have already been exposed to a million forms of social media marketing over the years, and many social media users have become numb to it. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- Create something that doesn’t exist anywhere else. In 2018, a medical journal published a landmark survey of more than 2,000 CBD users. You could have created a survey just like it.
- Conduct independent research. You could, for example, retrieve every known published study examining CBD’s potential effectiveness for a specific medical condition. For each study you find, determine the CBD dosage used, the route of administration and whether the study found CBD to be effective for treating that condition or not. Publish your findings in a format that’s easy to read and digest.
- Create something more engaging than plain text. Infographics don’t receive the number of shares that they once did, but video content still gets plenty of attention when it’s good. A series of short documentaries might get a lot of attention on social media. You could make a short film about how hemp is grown, a film about how raw CBD oil is extracted from hemp and another film about how the raw CBD oil becomes a finished product.
- Tell human interest stories. If you can’t get your followers’ attention by informing them, get their attention by appealing to their emotions instead. Although companies in the vaping and CBD industries can’t make medical claims about their products in most regions, you’re unlikely to violate any regulations by allowing your customers to tell their own stories. How has CBD changed your customers’ lives? Would any of them be willing to appear on camera for a short interview?
Use Influencers to Expand Your Reach Further
You’ve maximized your efforts to expand your own follower base, and you’re working overtime to create content that people want to enjoy and share. Is that the limit of what you can do to reach more people on social media? No; when you’ve reached as many of your own followers as you possibly can, the next step is to reach someone else’s followers. Hundreds of people around the world have created full-time jobs out of social media and work exclusively as paid influencers for brands. Those people are actively looking for brands to partner with and will happily promote your products to their followers for a price.
Before you start to plan a social media influencer campaign, know that influencers don’t work cheaply. If you’d like to work with an influencer who has more than 100,000 followers, you should plan to spend at least $1,000 on the campaign – and that means there’s some significant risk involved because it’s entirely possible that the return on your investment will be nothing.
Maximize the potential return of an influencer campaign with these two tips.
- Make sure you’re dealing with someone who hasn’t cheated to inflate their follower base. One glance at a website like Fiverr shows that there are plenty of people who will fill a social media account with fake followers for a few dollars. According to CNBC, brands will pay $1.3 billion this year on “influencers” with fake followers. Don’t become one of those brands, and don’t assume that someone can benefit your company simply because they have a large number of followers next to their name. Study that person’s previous posts. Look for evidence of real engagement.
- Ask a potential influencer for metrics from their previous campaigns. If you’re considering working with someone who has a large enough number of followers, that person is a professional and should be able to provide analytics and testimonials from previous brand partners to prove that his or her posts get results.