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The Secrets To Winning At Organic Social

The 6 reasons almost all business profiles are considered “a waste of time”.

Let’s start by acknowledging that not every business should be on every social media platform.

In fact, not every business should be on any social media platform.

I’m going to help you figure out if you should be on social, and how to actually make that work for you.

But first: Social media is not what you likely think it is.

Most business pages neatly fit this list:

  1. They only post about themselves, their achievements, their products and their partnerships.
  2. Nearly every post has 1 or 2 likes on average (probably the managing director and the social media executive).
  3. Posts appear infrequently. Maybe once a week.
  4. No posts are shared by followers.
  5. No comments from people who don’t work for the company.
  6. The follower number is mostly static month over month.
  7. £0 revenue has been made from the social media page this year.

Sound like the business you work for? Probably.

If not, perhaps you’re nailing it and/or the business is a naturally good fit for organic social.

For the rest of us, that list should act as a wake up call.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

This is because a lot of business owners feel the need to be on social media, but don’t really understand it.

The poor marketing executive tasked with posting is merely following orders.

👉 So, here’s the first lesson:

Social media will rarely sell products and services.

Why? Because it’s a cold channel. ❄️

People browsing social media are not looking for products and services.

They are busy humblebragging about the holiday they just had in Mauritius, and liking pictures of Aunt Edna’s elderly cats.

The last thing these people want to see is a post about the exciting new partnership Generic SaaS PLC just sealed with Boring Admin Ltd.

You see the issue here?

So why should you bother to be on social media? To build awareness and position your brand.

Organic social should rarely be about selling directly. Instead, it’s selling the idea of your brand, and associating it with values.

Organic social can be a great way of building up a committed fanbase for your brand. Hopefully, some of those will turn into customers.

👉 So here’s lesson two:

80% of your business posts should inform, entertain or educate. 20% should gently introduce your products and services.

Let’s take a quick look at Surreal as an example of organic social done right:

Surreal’s self-deprecating, straight-talking social accounts are smashing it at the time of writing this article.

Why? Because they actually engage people. They’re funny and relatable.

These guys sell cereal. Not exactly an exciting product. But their social media makes it exciting and associates the brand with fun stuff.

Look at the engagement metrics … 76 reposts.

That means 76 people have shared this post to their own social network.

This is huge, as that means Surreal’s post is now being shown to a new audience – not just the people who are already following their page.

As such, Surreal are likely picking up new page followers.

👉 So, here’s lesson three:

If you don’t get shares, your posts only get seen by a small percentage of your existing followers.

That’s pretty fundamental, as it’s the core reason why a lot of businesses complain that they aren’t growing their followers.

Well, of course they aren’t. They’re just shouting their boring messages at the people who already follow them.

“How do I get shares!?”

Post stuff worth sharing. 🤷

We go back around to inform, educate, entertain.

But, how do you then grow a page if it has no followers to share posts?

You have a few options:

  1. Ads – run awareness ads to drive followers to your page. Make them fun, or informative, or educational.
  2. Boosting – Chuck a few quid (bucks, if you’re ‘murican) at an organic post and boost it to a relevant audience.
  3. Engage – Spend some time every day engaging with other posts and leave comments.
  4. Use Other Channels – Make sure your social accounts are listed on your website and email footers. If possible, use incentives for those who sign up as a follower.

But before you do that, you need to figure out a core fundamental.

👉 Here’s lesson four:

Know what your audience wants to see.

Your audience consists of anyone who is looking at your content. Not necessarily just prospective customers.

Every digital channel has a slightly different audience.

One person can be multiple different audiences throughout their buying journey. Don’t confuse “audience” with “demographic”.

Demographics is about attributes, like age, gender, interests etc. Audience is more about mindset, backed up by demographics.

So, we have to tailor our messaging and content to the people with the appropriate mindset.

In the case of your product pages on your website, perhaps the mindset is “I want to buy”. As such, you focus on conversion messaging, like features, benefits, costs and promotions.

For social media, the mindset is usually “I want to be entertained“.

An analogy for the circus that is social media. Be a gladiator, not a lion.

Your job here is to figure out who you want to target with your messaging.

Do you want to target prospective customers? Maybe a new audience who you want to sell to, but aren’t currently?

Maybe you just want to have broad appeal and reach as many people as possible. This is Surreal’s method.

With the basis of “They are here to be entertained” at the back of your mind, you can now figure out how to tailor your content.

Why is your chosen audience on social media? What is a common theme in their demographics? What kind of content do they share?

Here’s an example:

There’s no quick way around this bit. It’s just leg work and research, unfortunately.

You’ll know if your content is resonating if you get engagement. It’s a pretty stark and factual metric.

👉 Lesson number five:

Quality over quantity.

Almost every small business is incapable of following social media “best practice”.

This is because “best practice” is largely unattainable due to the time demand.

For example, to perform well on X, you would need to post upwards of 8+ times per day.

Maybe once or twice a day on Facebook and Instagram.

At least every couple of days on LinkedIn.

It’s not feasible for a small team or solo marketer to hit that level of productivity without massively sacrificing quality.

Every post on social media should have a purpose.

I made this big because it’s important.

If it takes you a week and a half to make a post that is worth posting, don’t sweat it.

That’s a much better strategy than putting up 5 posts a week of uninspired, pointless rubbish.

👉 That brings us nicely to lesson number 6:

Your social profile is your storefront.

Not in the practical sense – we’ve already agreed that people don’t usually buy stuff on social media.

But, from a metaphorical sense, it is one of the avenues prospects use to judge your business.

If you’ve done a good job in growing your following and posting decent stuff, your social profile will look lively and helpful.

This is a great first impression and will support your website with credibility.

A good profile gives some lovely signals to buyers, such as:

If you’re smashing it out of the park compared to your competitors, your social profile will give your brand a nice boost.

If you want more content like this, whack your email in the box below and I will send you a couple of emails a month with actionable ways to level up your marketing career. 👇

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Written By

Founder of Latent Clarity and author of the Clarity newsletter.

I help new and solo marketers be the best they can with practical, actionable, (and sometimes funny) advice.

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