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Social Media Marketing 10 min read

Organic Social Media Growth 101 For Small Business Owners

Natalie Yelton photo

Written by Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 18 Aug 2021

If you’re a small business that’s putting building a social media presence on the back burner because you’re not sure where to even begin, don’t stress! Let Galactic Fed be your social media growth guide. 

In this article, we explain how to use social media for small businesses, and we provide a foolproof, 7-step plan of action to grow your own small business’s social media presence. 

Before we begin, let’s go over the basics of what organic social media and organic marketing are…

What is organic social media?

Organic social media is made up of any and all activity performed by your small business through various social media platforms - whether on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, or others - that isn’t paid for. 

For example, if your small business shares a post on LinkedIn that includes a link to a recent blog you’ve written and it gets several thumbs-ups and claps from your followers and your followers’ followers, that’s organic social:

Harvard Business Review LinkedIn post

Source: LinkedIn

Organic social takes advantage of free tools and techniques that help your business build and engage with an active audience online. Whereas paid social media charges a fee - most commonly pay-per-click (PPC) - for sponsored or promoted posts and advertisements, displayed to a targeted group of people you desire to engage with beyond your existing followers:

Women's Networking Society's LinkedIn promoted post

Source: LinkedIn

Galactic Fed gets the best results for small businesses with a combination of organic and paid social media activity, though this article sticks to what your small business can do when it comes to organic social media growth, in particular. Organic social media is an optimal strategy for small businesses because it’s free. We know a lot of small businesses don’t have the budget to allot towards paid media.  

Now, let’s clarify what precisely organic marketing is and how organic social media fits into it. 

What is organic marketing? 

Organic marketing refers to all forms of digital marketing or online marketing that do not involve paid ads. Organic social media plays a part in your small business’s organic marketing efforts but also includes your company’s SEO, anything your company does with influencers, and video sharing. 

For example, if you optimize your website for SEO and it drives more traffic to your website as a result - that’s organic marketing - as you didn’t pay for the increase in site traffic. 

How to market your business on social media 

Social media marketing offers your small business a plethora of benefits, including:

  • Increasing web traffic (for free)
  • Humanizing your brand 
  • Allowing for social listening 
  • And building brand awareness 

We recently explained why your business needs social media marketing ASAP if it’s not already following a social media engagement strategy. Check out our recent blog, where we outline four reasons why you need social media marketing.

We’ve hopefully won you over on the benefits of social media marketing. The next step is putting it into action. How best do you market your own small business on social media? 

Galactic Fed has created a 7-step plan of action to market your small business on social media that will lead to impressive results.

From developing a social media engagement strategy and creating a social media calendar to dealing with issues fast if and when they arise, our step-by-step guide will help your business grow through social media today:

Develop a social media engagement strategy 

First things first, your business will benefit greatly from having a social media growth plan in place. With an established social media engagement strategy, you can ensure you’ve set the right goals for your business, clarify how you will measure success, and make adjustments further down the line to make the most impact possible with your social media following. 

What goals should your business set? And how best do you measure the success of your social media growth efforts? 

The Galactic Fed rule of thumb for social media growth is to set SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.) When it comes to measuring the success of your engagement efforts on social media, don’t just measure how many more likes you can get. Instead, focus on customer acquisition through your organic social or improving your conversion rate is another excellent indicator of effective organic social media activity.

Choose the right platforms for your business

If your business has unlimited time to spend engaging on all of the social media platforms out there, then we’re sure there would be people to engage with across each and every one. Realistically though, your time is precious, and some social media platforms aren’t worth your effort and energy because they aren’t where your customers are most commonly found. 

For example, if your small business is a restaurant, you may decide to focus your efforts on growing your presence on Facebook and Instagram over LinkedIn. LinkedIn may be helpful to you when it comes to hiring staff. Still, following research into where your customers spend most of their time online, you may find you’re able to engage with your target audience organically and more effectively through Facebook and Instagram. 

Always choose which social media platforms to use by researching your customers, which will also help you identify which sites fit best with your products and services. 

Create a social media calendar

Drafting social media posts on the fly can lead to poor-quality content that doesn’t get the social media engagement your small business wants and needs. Without an organized approach, it’s also possible to create unnecessary gaps or lulls in engagement and lead to accidentally posting the same thing twice. 

Creating a social media calendar helps your business deliver the most effective social media posts possible. You can also map out which strategic goal each post is helping your business achieve and more easily track how each stacks up against these. 

There’s a bunch of free online tools, including Planoly, that can help you simplify your organic social media marketing, even allowing you to schedule your posts in advance so you can set them for future delivery and get on with other vital tasks that need to be dealt with in your business.

Encourage your followers to engage with you 

Instagram story question if you ever had to sit on your suitcase to zip it closed.

Source: Away

Your company’s social media posts should always have a call to action for your followers to help encourage engagement and a connection with you. Many social media sites have these tools built-in ready for your business to utilize, providing you with robust research findings from your customers in the process. 

For example, you could insert a poll into your next social media post to gauge which new products your customers love the most. Or offer a multiple choice of potential services your business is considering and see which ones your following express the most interest in. 

Focus on videos 

Last year, 96% of people increased their consumption of videos online, with 9 in 10 viewers saying that they want to see more videos from businesses and brands. And by the end of 2021, the average person is predicted to spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos.

So it should come as no surprise that firms who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. 

It’s a no-brainer to try and shape your social media posts into video format if it makes sense. Think product reviews, testimonials from happy customers, demos, and product guides, to name but a few organic social media video post ideas. 

Don’t over-promote yourself 

This step can be tricky, and it’s definitely a balancing act when it comes to over-promotion on social media. 

There’s a general rule gaining popularity in the digital marketing world, and that’s the 4-1-1 rule when it comes to posting content across a specific social media platform. This means that out of 6 six posts, 4 of your posts should be about one type of content, whether educational, thought-provoking, or engaging. 

Further, one post can be a soft promotion (news or shared content,) and the remaining post can be a hard promotion with a call-to-action for your followers (sign-up to our newsletter, etc.) The approach of the 4-1-1 rule allows you to vary the content of your posts while keeping them new and exciting but not constantly posting on the same topic.

Deal with issues in a quick and transparent way 

Our final suggestion for social media growth of your small business is tackling problems that arise on social media swiftly and openly. 

Having an active social media presence nurtures 2-way communication with your target audience, meaning customers can immediately give feedback on your product or service on your wall or in the comments section of one of your posts. 

Have a strategy in place for responding to customer’s comments on social media in a timely way, and we don’t mean posting that same stock response any time you get an alert of a new comment. 

Social media marketing management - what is it?

For many small businesses, tackling their social media growth on their own isn’t realistic, but they are acutely aware of the benefits it provides. 

Queue social media marketing management. 

You can outsource the handling of growing your business’s social media presence, allowing you to focus on other essential aspects of your business. 

Galactic Fed has partnered with several small businesses over the years, assisting them with their organic social media growth. Reach out to us today, and let’s get your business building strong connections with your social media following, leading to an increase in happy, repeat customers.

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed