Organic reach on social media is going down, but can you beat the algorithms?

A few years back, those of us promoting via social media would have measured success by the amount of likes and followers generated. This was true across the board from Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

However as the social network giants changed their algorithms to prioritise the most relevant content for its users, a lot of likes are no longer a guarantee for reaching your fans. Now, your posts will only reach a small percentage of your followers through what we call “organic reach” (the amount of people who see a post without you paying for it). It’s the social networks’ way of encouraging businesses to pay for promotions, ensuring the ‘social’ aspect doesn’t drown in a sea of brand promotions.

These changes have made it increasingly difficult for businesses to reach their consumers without breaking the bank on sponsored posts, no matter how amazing the product is. To help you along, we have compiled some tips on how to maximise your social media strategy:

Twitter’s organic reach is 3.61%, meaning if you have 500 followers, your posts will reach 18. You can improve these numbers by commenting on current news and trending hashtags. If you post about today’s big news from the perspective of your business, you become visible to the thousands of Twitter users following current events. You can also collaborate with people and organisations around you, when you tag them in your posts and vice versa, you will reach new followers - a win-win situation!

Facebook has the lowest reach, with an average 2.6% of users reached per post. To get your posts into more newsfeeds, you should feature more video content as they are favoured by Facebook’s algorithm. Make your content shareable; whether it’s by including cute cats, cool facts or amazing achievements, you want people to share your post with their friends and family.

Last week saw the rollout of the “Explore Feed”, this new feature can be found in the menu with your groups, pages and events - look out for a tiny spaceship in a red circle! This new feed is designed to show you posts that Facebook thinks you will find interesting from pages you may not be following yet.

In a few countries (not the UK), an alternative version of this feed is being trialled where the original news feed is reserved for posts from friends, family and advertisers and the pages you follow are pushed into the Explore feed. Countries in the trial are reporting a loss of around 60% in both organic reach and number of interactions (likes, comments and shares). Facebook says there are currently no plans on taking this feature globally, but with it already being tested in six countries, we will be keeping an eye out for it as a UK rollout could mean big changes for us and our clients.


Instagram used to be the king of organic reach at around 20% thanks to its chronological news feed, but since introducing a new algorithm to show users the posts they would “care about the most”, this number has gone down.

Instagram does still favour more recent posts however, so it’s important to know when your followers are online and post at those times. Another way of increasing your Instagram presence is by using hashtags, but make sure they are specific and relevant to reach the people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say (stay clear of #LikeForLike and #FollowForFollow!). A good idea is to look at which hashtags are frequently used by your friends and competitors and use these. A word of caution though; if you use the same hashtags too often this can lead to what is known as a “shadowban”, where Instagram flags your posts as spam and blocks you from showing up in some searches without informing you. Hence it’s always best to keep your content varied and original.

If you have done all of the above and still wish to take your social media presence that little bit further, paying for sponsored posts doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you know who you want to target. If you’re not sure how, we’re here to help. Call us on 01202 293095 to find out more!

Instagram Update – Interactive Polls

You may have noticed in the last few weeks that Instagram has introduced a new feature that allows users to add polls to their Instagram stories. The new ‘interactive poll sticker’ enables users to upload a photo to Instagram stories and create a simple two option poll which they then place on top of the photo. The poll collates the results in real time and then like a normal Instagram story, it disappears after 24 hours.

As the creator of the poll you’ll be able to see how many votes each option receives, along with the choices that each voter makes. It provides direct interaction with your followers and has proven very popular since its launch at the beginning of the month.

Simply create an Instagram story, swipe up and choose the poll function, customise the options and then the app collates the results for you.

Simply create an Instagram story, swipe up and choose the poll function, customise the options and then the app collates the results for you.

There are a number ways that this new fun feature can be used to boost your Instagram game. Below are just a few suggestions to get you started…

1)       Ask for feedback

There’s no better way to find out what your audience wants than to come straight out and ask them. The new poll tool is a quick and effective way to do this. Questions could include:

·         Do you like our new packaging design?

·         Would you like to see our product in a bigger size?

·         Would you like to see more blog posts with tips? Or fun personal blog posts?

·         What flavour do you prefer?


2)       Jump on the back of trending topics

If there’s a trending topic or current event, then join in the discussion and engage with your audience. Pose questions around the topic in a way that will relate to the majority of your audience, whether that be through playful questions or questions of a more serious nature. It shows that you’re aware of the events that are important to your consumer and that you relate to your target demographic.

Remember the trending photo of the trainer that recently divided the nation? Some people were adamant that the shoe was grey and aqua, others convinced that it was pink and white. This would’ve been a brilliant time to harness the new Instagram poll feature in a fun and engaging way.

pink shoe.jpg

3)      Market Research

The new poll tool can be used as a free way to collect data from your audience. If you’re sourcing responses from other social media platforms then including your Instagram stories audience will boost the volume of data collected.

There are many creative ways to incorporate the new polls feature into your social media strategy. It’s a useful and fun feature that can easily be used to engage with your audience. Give it a go today!