Social Media

Organic Reach on Social Is Dead. Here’s What to Do Now

If you're a business posting to social media, very few people are seeing your content. Here's what to do about it.

Is anyone seeing your business's social media posts?

"Organic reach" is defined as the percentage of your business's followers who see your posts, on average. These people have opted-in, clicked "follow" on your page, and have, in essence, agreed to receive the posts that you put out. Guess how many of them are actually seeing your posts, though? Probably not as many as you think.

Organic Reach Has Plummeted

In 2021, organic reach on Facebook is down to about 2.2%. That means if you have, say, 652 people who follow your page, only about 15 of them will see your post. On LinkedIn, your organic reach is around 5.3%, and on Instagram, it's about 9.4%, according to findings from Ignite Social Media.

It didn't used to be like this. Before these networks were so saturated with accounts (people and businesses alike) looking to get their messages out, there was more opportunity to break through the noise when you posted. Now, everyone is on social media — so you can't simply post and mentally check a box, thinking that you're all set...your effort has to go a bit beyond that to ensure that your message hits home.

What Now?

So, then — what should you do? If you have tons of followers, it's still well worth your time to post organically to your feed. If, however, like most small businesses, you have a modest (in the hundreds or low thousands) number of followers, a little more thought should be given. Think about it — if you're spending 15-20 minutes crafting some sort of post, from inception to creation to posting, and only 8 people are going to see it, is that worth it? Maybe...but there are other ways to make your time count a little more.

Here are a few alternative approaches to managing your social media feeds in an era of over-saturation:

Option 1: Boost Your Posts

You probably saw this one coming! It's pretty straight forward. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all have options to let you "boost" your organic posts. In other words, you post to your feed, and then you spend a few bucks (or more) to make sure your followers (and/or potentially their friends, and beyond, depending on your selections) see your posts. This is often well worth the cost, since you've already spent the time to create a post — might as well make sure people see it. (Also: here's a step-by-step guide for how to boost posts.)

Option 2: Maintain a Static Feed

Maybe you don't have the time to put in a full effort on a certain platform, but you also don't want your profile to be a ghost town. Or maybe you're not sure what you have to contribute yet, but rather than leaving your presence blank, you want to have some sort of identity.

For the O'Kane Marketing Instagram, we put together one long narrative...a single graphic, split up between many individual boxes in our Instagram grid, that leads to a CTA at the bottom of our feed. In doing this, we're (at least temporarily) not posting anything else to our feed, because we don't want to break up the story we've told there. We chose this option because we didn't want our feed to look like every other agency's...and we've gotten great feedback on it!

Instagram, in particular, presents an opportunity to treat your profile like a mini website. There's a great canvas (the grid), a place for links and a description of what you do (your bio), and another place that gives you more content options (stories highlights.) You can take advantage of all these things while maintaining a static feed, and not posting day-to-day.

Option 3: Run Ad Campaigns Only

Another option — and this is the approach Apple takes on Twitter, so you'd be in good company — is to only reach people via advertising on a social media channel. In other words, don't worry about your feed at all, but instead, each time you have a message you want to get out, you create an ad for it (and you can get very specific with your messaging, since you'll be choosing the audience) and run that.

Need help on social media? Shoot us an email— we'd love to help!