It’s a given that most great brands now have a solid social presence. In fact, your brand is likely to be posting multiple times a week, or a day, across several platforms. If you are, you most likely have a solid content strategy in place as well; you might be creating all sorts of content, from curating newsworthy social posts, to blogging, to creating bespoke surveys, white papers, studies, and mini-sites.
Marketers and brand managers may now realize that they’ll get more traction and reach if they boost or publicize some of this content across social media channels, as well as leaving some posts to gain traction organically. How do you select which posts to boost? What’s the formula for a great mix of organic and paid posts within a successful social media strategy that reaches your target audiences?
According to Forbes, “The free ride for brands on social media is coming to an end, and (users on) networks should now be moved into the ‘paid channel’ in the marketing budget.” This will come as no surprise to most social media managers, who have gone from results of 16% of followers of a brand page being shown a piece of content in 2012, to roughly 6% in 2014, to less than 2% (for large pages) in 2016, and dropping.
Reach now needs a budget, so once you have decided on your monthly allotment per channel, here are the 7 types of posts to boost across social media channels.
7 Types Of Posts To Boost Across Social Media
1. Posts that promote brand awareness
It goes without saying these days, if you’re trying to promote your brand with a traditional ad across social, this will generally need some budget behind it. Ads can serve many functions; they can bring awareness to a campaign, gain you more followers, gain new audiences, promote a special announcement/promotion or build brand awareness. Put simply, you need to factor advertisements into your social calendar every quarter or more and make sure these don’t “crowd out” other posts. Each platform now provides helpful audience segmentation metrics, campaign running times and budget settings, to assist you in your planning.
2. Time-sensitive & newsworthy posts
Moving on to content that has an organic feel, it might be worth throwing some budget behind any content that is particularly newsworthy or timely. Has your brand made the news for some reason? Has it been featured in mainstream media? Has there been a special event or sponsorship of a particular charitable or another day that is timely? This is one type of content that you should aim to reach the inboxes of as many of your followers (and beyond) as possible. Seize the day – if something newsworthy has happened to you, let people know about it.
3. Influencer posts
If you are working with a social media influencer, or if you have the luck to have someone of influence come across your product or brand organically, then amplify this content via a boosted post or paid campaign. Make sure you link back to them and give them credit: share the social love. Remember too that influencer campaigns are supposed to look organic, while still being relatively transparent when alerting the public to sponsorship arrangements. Influencer posts are terrific content to choose to amplify across social platforms because they have another element to them as opposed to a straight ad, and have the added bonus of providing quality content for your audience/s that is engaging, timely and bespoke.
4. Posts that are unique to your brand
Is there something that only your brand can do? Is there something that you do much better than your competitors? Is there a time of the year when your brand needs to be most visible and gain more traction, followers, and conversions? Then let your audience know this via boosted social posts. Alongside your organic posts, you need to seed out content that is unique to your brand, in a fresh, valuable, audience-friendly way. If you’ve done an expert blog post, opened up a new portal on your website, created a new app or made improvements to your site, this is all great content to boost across social.
5. Posts that are comprehensive and special (surveys and infographics)
Within your content strategy, you need to factor in as much special/comprehensive content as you can. For some brands, this might be several times a month, other brands might only manage a special content piece every quarter. “Special content” is anything that takes some planning and preparation to execute; whitepapers, surveys, infographics, mini-sites, apps, produced videos, or podcast series. If you’ve gone to a lot of time and effort to make something, you need to ensure this reaches your audience and beyond, so it goes without saying that this is content you definitely need to factor into your paid/boosted social calendar.
6. Posts that already have some engagement
Another type of post to boost across social is an organic post with no campaign behind it that is doing better-than-averagely on your social platform. In fact, a couple of social platforms even suggest this to you, with prompts along the lines of, “This post is doing better than 85% of your most recent posts. Do you want to boost it?” A successful organic post is showing you what your audience likes, and potentially what they want to see more of, so it makes sense to capitalize on this in your social strategy and to use it to reach new and varied audiences. Seize on current traction as part of this strategy.
7. Posts that “got lost” in the mix
Occasionally, you will have content that should perform – but doesn’t. The reasons for this could be quite broad. Perhaps you posted at the wrong time of day, perhaps your competitor posted similar or superior content around the same time. Perhaps the messaging was wrong or needed nuance. Whatever the reason, if you have posted something you feel should be performing better, it might be worth your while to ‘put your money where your mouth is’ and throw some campaign dollars behind it. Reward your post if necessary and consider other factors like time of day/year and see how you go.
A mix of organic and paid campaigns make for a smart strategy
Brands and individuals should not feel that they need to boost every type of social media post, in fact, a mix of paid and unpaid campaigns across social is still the accepted norm. “Organic is ideal for community management. You don’t need paid campaigns to listen to what people are saying about/to you,” says e-commerce consultant James Gurd. “However, you can use paid campaigns to reinforce core messages that you’ve shared via organic posts.”
Getting the mix right will take plenty of post-campaign assessment, as well as trial and error. Brands shift and change and so should your paid and organic social strategy.
See also: Boost Your Google Rankings And Brand Equity Thru Social Media