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Be more social

As organic content reaches less and less people on social media, clever and insightful paid social strategies can boost audience engagement

An engaged and inspired audience is the dream for every brand, but it’s definitely not easy to achieve. The unglamorous work of cultivating a following can seem like a game of luck, where trial and error is the hopeful route to loyal followers. In truth though, audience building is a bit of a science, and there are proven strategies that can push your carefully curated content to as many followers as possible, while also increasing potential for new followings.

Firstly, consider organic reach. It’s how the vast majority of social media users share content and a good move for start-up companies with minimal budget. When it comes to brands that want to reach as many of their following as possible however, organic posts might not always be the best strategy. Sharing posts through unpaid distribution is now roughly at 2% on Facebook, reports AdWeek. So if your following stands at around 10,000, only 200 people (give or take) will have seen your post. This is mainly due to algorithmic changes. For instance, at the start of the year Facebook altered its algorithm to place priority to posts that were from friends and family over organic posts from brands.

Graduating to paid posts can help strategically target your audience, while also tracking the return on investment from each click. Boosted and promoted social posts aimed at specific audiences is a great stepping stone for brands looking to venture into paid social without spending time and resources creating custom-made social adverts. The extra capability you have to boost a post on Facebook, for example, will allow you to tailor your reach according to the budget you are willing to spend. An estimated audience reach is then be calculated before you pay.

3CC developed a Facebook-led campaign for a boutique airport, which offered discounted flights for a limited time in order to create a sense of exclusivity and urgency. We boosted posts so that they could reach a greater audience, encourage people to take advantage of the offer and to add to the email database. By boosting Facebook posts we saw a 1,000% increase in reach and clicks to the website database sign-up in comparison to organic reach. On another occasion we ran an Instagram and Facebook campaign to win flights to a range of destinations across a one-week timeframe. Promoted Instagram posts made up 99% of overall reach on Instagram, and 79% on Facebook.

Reach can also be evaluated when eyeing the cost per engagement. The lower the cost the better. When the post was set to target a wide-ranging demographic, the cost per engagement was higher than when we targeted the core users of the chosen platform, and narrowed the demographic by age group. We also tailored it to go to people interested in travel using key words, phrases and search terms such as ‘frequent flier’ and ‘travelled within the last month’. As a result, each social media platform campaign could be tailored to reach users who would be most interested in the promotional content.

Paid-for social is an investment in your brand and by adding boosted and promoted content to you digital marketing strategy, you may well multiply your wins in more way than one.

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