Have you been hearing a lot about the decline of organic growth & reach on social media? Maybe, you’ve heard people talking about it, but you don’t really know what they mean when they say: “organic growth slowing” or “organic reach declining”.

You’re in luck! In this article, we are going to breakdown just exactly what social media marketers & Instagram users mean when they say “organic growth”.

Key Take Away

Organic growth on social media occurs through social activity such as posting content or engaging with users to build an audience. Accounts on social are able to grow organically because of organic reach. Which is the unassisted reach of your content on a platform, meaning without any advertising dollars to boost it. Your organic reach is determined by the platform’s algorithm for content distribution. Therefore, organic reach & growth go hand in hand.

Not only is social media marketing a complex topic. In addition, social media algorithms evolve rapidly, so maintaining consistent organic growth on any platform can be a challenge. However, while many marketers rely solely on paid social media growth, organic growth is by far a top contender for creating a strong social presence.

What is Organic Growth on Social?

Organic growth is often viewed in contrast with paid social media growth, but the two ideas go hand in hand. With organic social growth, companies do not pay for social media advertising or campaigns in order to attract new followers, leads, and clients. Organic growth on social media occurs through branding, social activity, and considerable social media marketing efforts to establish your image & audience. 

On the other hand, paid social media growth occurs through paid advertising. Businesses place content on social media sites to draw in clicks, new followers, and potential leads. However, while paid social media marketing is more heavily relied on these days to distribute content to target audiences, 86% of businesses rely on paid and organic marketing tactics. 

Organic and paid social media tactics have different goals. Paid social media marketing is used to distribute content widely and filter audiences based on certain criteria. While for organic growth, a company has to leverage social media in order to cultivate their brand identity, brand recognition, and loyalty from their followers. 

organic growth on instagram

Organic Growth on Instagram

In order for a business to thrive on social media and experience organic Instagram growth, it must offer valuable content. Every post should be engaging and targeted specifically to the brand’s audience. To achieve organic growth, posts on Instagram must increase the value of a brand and provide something to followers in return for their time and attention. 

Organic social growth and paid social growth are similar in this way. Both are encouraging people to view a brand’s content and engage in some way, thus the content must be valuable. From sharing relevant information to offering a coupon, entertaining audiences, or providing a forum for discussion, there are countless ways to make social media posts valuable to a company’s followers. 

What is Organic Reach?

Organic reach refers to the number of people that see a brand’s social media content without paying for distribution or advertising.

organic reach on instagram

For example, if a company posts a photo to their Instagram account, their organic reach is the number of people who viewed the photo based on the Instagram Algorithm. In contrast, paid social media reach refers to the number of people who viewed a brand’s paid advertising content, which will be showcased in the backend of the Ads Manager. 

Organic reach includes the number of unique accounts that saw a specific social media post or piece of content. The metric is displayed as a number and excludes any content that used paid promotional tools to boost visibility. While organic reach and engagement are two separate social media marketing metrics, overall engagement depends heavily on reach. The more people who view a post, the greater potential there is for engagement with the content. 

Is Organic Reach Declining?

Many marketers have been abandoning the concept of organic reach in favor of paid advertising on social media. Studies have shown that organic social growth is declining, and organic reach on Facebook has dropped to 2% or less. The reason being social platforms are benefiting from a decline in organic reach. By updating their algorithms, companies can start reducing organic reach which causes more people to pay for advertising. This is their tactic for increasing ad spend on their platform.

However, organically growing your following on social media should not be discounted. It is true that brands have a greater chance of reaching their audience when they pay for social media content. But, organic reach is still an essential branding and marketing tool. By creating a robust presence on social media, brands can speak to their audience, increase brand recognition and loyalty, and offer real value to their followers. 

Paid tactics on social media are best suited for growing your overall audience, gaining new followers, and attracting new leads. Organic reach, including organic growth on Instagram, is well suited for reaching your existing followers. Engaging followers can strengthen your overall brand and help retain existing customers. Best of all, organic social media strategies are free advertising for your business that can carry a great impact. 

How to Grow Organically on Social Media

If you want to organically grow your following on social media, it is important to keep organic and paid activities separate. Realize the benefits of each strategy in order to maximize your efficiency and make the best use of your content. Just below we have given you the following tips to organically grow on social media. 

7 Proven Methods for Organic Growth on Social

  1. Show your brand’s personality with organic content:
    Save promotional content for your paid efforts and infuse organic content with brand identity. 
  2. Harness the power of hashtags:
    Your organic reach is next to nothing if you do not boost the visibility of your posts through hashtags. Dedicate time and attention to researching effective hashtags and include them on every post for your brand. 
  3. Understand the platform:
    Different social media platforms cater to different audiences and have unique expectations. You cannot post the same content across all platforms and expect organic growth. Tailor organic content to the specific social media platform for the best results. 
  4. Know your audience:
    Organic social media content must provide value for your followers. Understanding the needs and wants of your audience is crucial when creating organic campaigns and posts. What does your audience want to see? What will engage your audience?
  5. Be consistent with your posting:
    An empty account or one that hasn’t posted in weeks or months is not likely to attract much organic social growth. Create a social media plan and stick to it, including campaigns, posting schedules, and interactions with followers. 
  6. Diversify your content:
    Posting the same images or text every time will get old very quickly. Seek out trends or content styles that align with your brand and audience, then incorporate them into your social media strategy. From Instagram stories to IGTV, there are many ways to produce social media content. 
  7. Engage your followers:
    In addition to posting content, your audience wants to see, spend time engaging your followers on social media. Answer questions, respond to comments and stay active on your own accounts. Connecting with followers can help build brand loyalty and turn your existing customers into advertisers for your brand.

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