Do I need to pay for people to see my posts?

Originally posted May 13, 2020, updated October 13 2022.

With marketing budgets being constantly under the microscope, we know many of you are re-evaluating business spend and wondering if you should be investing money into your social media advertising or simply working harder to boost your organic reach.

​"Organic reach on social media is how well your posts perform without any money behind them​" — Hootsuite​

Everyone who is doing social media right now understands that pure organic reach has been declining over the past few years and that you can't get away with simply relying on organic reach to get your messages seen by your audiences. 

The truth of the matter is that many companies — large and small — have to boost posts and pay for advertising to reach their current and new followers.

Each strategy positively impacts the other, so if you didn't have a budget for 2022 and are planning your spend in 2023, we suggest you plan to include social advertising in your spend.

However, not all hope is lost and the work invested in understanding how to boost your organic reach is valuable. This is because it forces us as page managers to create GOOD content. Additionally, the better our organic reach, the more effective our paid advertisements are in the long run.

Here's a high level summary of our deep dive into the world of organic reach. We’ve done the hard yards to find the relevant research, recent articles and top tips from trustworthy sources to help.

How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2022 and How to Make it Work for You - Hootsuite Feb 2022

Hootsuite offers an interesting look into the history of the Facebook algorithm, where it is going and 8 practical ways you can make it work for you. 

Key Takeaway: Facebook has now given users complete customisation of their 'Feed' and if you're not creating bite size videos i.e. Reels yet, you best get on this band wagon quick! Read more for how you can do this on your platform.

5 Ways to Increase Organic Reach On Instagram

We liked how this global social media company quickly sums up many of the tips we are seeing other places. This quote catches it all.

“…all the algorithms and features are designed to make Instagram users happy. If you focus on finding out what your audience wants and delivering content they find valuable, you’ll work with the algorithms and features instead of fighting them.”

Key Takeaway: Post when your people are online, post user-generated content, be transparent, talk with - not just to - your audience. Read more here.

56 Important Social Media Advertising Statistics for 2022

You can't just throw money into the social advertising world and expect to have your campaigns stick. You need to understand where your audience is hanging out, what content they're loving and what messages really resonate with them to have a successful campaign. 

Key Takeaway: Ad spend is increasing and the focus is on authentic video content on new social media platforms (that's right think TikTok). Read more from Hootsuite on how you can harness social advertising power.

Extra Tips

Here are a few extra tips we are seeing in our experience, research and scroll time.

  • Post when your people are online - track your insights to understand these days and times.
  • Use video, this includes Reel and long form - the higher quality the better!
  • Be mindful. Be genuine. Try posting LESS often but BETTER content.
  • Posting Youtube video links on Facebook is often downgraded as Facebook is a competitor. Try Vimeo or posting videos directly to the platform.
  • Avoid “engagement bait” with words like comment below, please like, and please share as this can often be downgraded as well. What are other ways you can invite conversation? For example, what do you think about this? or How do you feel about that? or What do you think?

Do you have anything to add to this list? Feel free to let us know and give us a squawk for your free 30-minute consultation if you have any more questions!

From the original blog

COVID-19 and the Organic Marketing Opportunity - April 2020

Heather Morris wrote this opinion piece for The Drum Network addressing how COVID-19 is shaping organic reach. 

Key Takeaway: Consumers may not be purchasing right now but they are researching. Now’s a good time to build brand affinity and trust by the type of content you share. Now is the time to win hearts and minds.