It’s commonly understood that social media algorithm changes over the past few years have not played favor to organic content. Ever since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, a growing emphasis on paid advertising has resulted in organic posts reaching practically nobody. Even your followers are less likely to receive your content amongst a monsoon of paid advertising.
However, that doesn’t mean that organic social media growth is obsolete. You just have to work a lot harder to achieve the same results.
While social media advertising is considered a ‘pay-to-play’ arena, you can still acquire strong organic growth by blending digital marketing channels together. Rather than operating isolated campaigns and channels, integrate your strategies and drive towards a common objective.
Take a look at our top 5 ways to leverage your website in the pursuit of social growth. Here’s how you can turn website visitors into your biggest brand advocates.
1. Social Commenting Tools (Quick Win)
Keeping it social across all your platforms is critical to growing your accounts. By leaving social comments on your social pages and website comments on your website pages, you are missing out on huge cross-pollination opportunities. Remember, some people will subscribe to your website, whereas others will favor your social channels.
Why not invite them all to the same conversation?
By simply installing a plugin for your WordPress website that synchronizes comments across both platforms, you’ll be well on your way to driving a community. But be warned, you may need more fingers to keep up with the natter!
There are lots of different social commenting tools available for free. However, we would recommend looking at Super Socializer as your ultimate integration.
2. Gated Content & Social Lockers
Gated content on your website is any content that is accessible once your visitor has performed a certain action. The most common instance of this is to request a visitor’s email address to download a free guide or education material.
For nearly a decade, content marketers have been acquiring email addresses from website visitors through this type of baiting. Thus, making gated content an extremely viable strategy to acquire new leads for your business.
But how does that play into growing social media accounts?
Well, whereas a business would typically ask for an email address to acquire a new lead, you can instead ask for the visitor to like, follow, or share your social media pages. If email addresses are not that important to you, funnel your website visitors to your social channels before releasing your prized possessions.
Take a look at some ideas for your gated content:
- Information eBooks.
- Cheat Sheets & Proven How-To-Guides.
- Media or Media Kit Downloads.
- Tutorial Videos.
- Free Product Trials.
If you are using a WordPress website this can be made very simple by downloading a social locker plugin such as OnePress Social Locker free of charge.
3. Free Contests & Social Promotions.
Who doesn’t love a free giveaway?
Similarly to gated content, contests and action-specific promotions are awesome techniques to funnel website visitors into organic social subscribers. By affiliating yourself with a free giveaway (or giving something away for free yourself), you will be amazed at how many people are willing to join your social tribe.
Okay, so contest followers are not always the stickiest. However, when funneled from your website you are instantly acquiring a better-suited individual. The user is already on your website viewing your content and are not in this just for the reward.
Therefore, they are less likely to unfollow immediately afterward. In fact, it is highly likely that the majority of your website’s visitors just need a little bump to go that extra yard and join your social ecosystem.
Remember, social share and liking buttons are so common these days that they just blend into the background. Therefore, it’s important to provoke action and a free giveaway or contest is the perfect bait to reel in your new audience.
Additionally, this type of activity can be totally free of cost for you. Other than your time to source a credible supplier, businesses are often looking for external websites to post opportunities for brand awareness. Therefore, you can leverage your website traffic to acquire a free giveaway item and in turn, acquire new social media followers totally free.
4. Social Proofing (Quick Win)
One thing we know about social media is that there was complete uproar at the removal of like counters on Facebook & Instagram. Whilst somewhat hilarious, this tells us a lot about the type of people that are heavily active on social media.
For one, they love to feel loved and for two, the herd mentality is prominent.
With this in mind, social proofing plays a huge part in spiraling future organic social growth. Depending on brand image, you can manipulate your website content to be seen as an expert, celebrity, bastion of wisdom, or a certified professional. By showcasing that you’re a popular, new website, visitors are likely to like, follow and share your content.
Why? Because who doesn’t like to feel a part of a crowd?
Some top tips to socially prove your credibility include:
- Display social share counts on your articles.
- Display total like and follow counts on all subscribe buttons.
- Brand call to action forms with messages like ‘’Join 10,000+ people who also….”
- Get references from other top social influencers.
- Collaborate with other top social influencers on joint media.
- Share milestones of fame (e.g. when you’ve reached ‘x’ app downloads).
- Share customer love for your products (e.g. testimonials).
There will also be many other ways to establish social proof on your website. The task for you is to understand what your future followers need to qualify that you are a worthy addition to their social media feeds.
Remember, people will not only find you from your own website or social pages. There are plenty of platforms that you can showcase your business or brand. So, be sure to make your entire digital presence as uniform as possible.
5. Website Content Syndication
An extremely important element to growing your organic social presence is regular content. Unless social media is your full-time gig, we can assure you that you’ll be stressed out when trying to slide regular quality posts into your hectic work life. So, how can you ensure that your social media pages do not go through spikes and lulls of media?
For WordPress, you can use a simple plugin called ‘Revive Old Posts’. This plugin works by syndicating all of your content at a time, schedule, and order that you want. By using hashtags to organize your content, you can ensure that even when you are not active your social media, your website is working overtime for you.
But wait, there’s a slight catch.
As with any social brand, the quality of your content will always supersede quantity. If you always publish the best content on your website then sure, schedule away. However, if some of your content is sub-standard then be careful about what you automatically syndicate.
Speaking with Ricky Sam, founder of Forksake (and home to 57,000 Instagram followers), when asked about regular content challenges, he stated:
“It’s interesting. There is no one solution that fits every brand. Yes, it’s important to post regularly, however, social media is not only about being seen. The greatest benefits derive from being seen with the right type of content for your audience. I guess the saying ‘’if you do not have anything good to say, then say nothing at all’’ really fits well here. With Forksake, I understand that my audience thrives off a snapshot of some of Melbourne’s best food offerings. For me, my website content is less important as my audience does not want to read long-form blog articles. Whereas, for another business, this may be the other way around. It’s important to really understand who your audience is and what their immediate needs are before scheduling content.”
The Final Word
Leveraging other platforms to grow your social following is a necessity. Pay-to-play arenas are now commonplace and you need to leverage whatever you can to keep your earned follower or subscriber count heading in the right direction. By implementing simple tactics like social proofing and additional share features to locking certain content behind social lockers, your website will work for you whilst you sleep.
Keep it real, but keep it active. Social media never sleeps and your potential followers could be online at any given moment. Your active posts will only remain at the top of feeds for a few moments so be sure that you are posting regular, quality content and using tools to help with the workload. Automation can literally save weeks of your life.