How To Get More Impressions on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter Without Paid Advertising
When you are first starting out, social media can feel a little bit like quicksand. You put up post after post, but can never seem to get any traction to break free. The primary reason for this is that without putting advertising dollars into it, you are limited to the size of your audience (or page followers) for the potential reach of each post. This means that no matter how many times you post, you are still only reaching the same small amount of people with little growth in between. Think about this in a real life scenario. No matter how loud you yell in a room of 5 people, your best possible scenario is that all 5 people hear you, which is still not going to take your message very far. Yelling again and again will not change those results unless more people eventually enter the room.
Every time you post something to social media, you should always look to use this as a way to grow your audience, increasing the potential reach on every post thereafter. As I mentioned before, the simplest way to do this is with ads, however this can be too expensive for those who are not willing to invest in this “top of funnel” audience growth. If this is your situation, there are still tactics that you can use to grow your reach without cost.
Share From Your Personal Accounts
You don’t need a marketing expert to tell you that sharing a company update from your personal social media accounts will help to increase the reach of your posts. Even though this is such a widely known tactic, it is still one of the most under-utilized. Most social platforms favor posts that come from personal accounts over those published by businesses. This is why always sharing from your personal account can help take your post further, even if both you and your company have the exact same following.
That being said, the chances of your following being the same are nearly impossible. It is very likely that you have a large number of connections that do not follow your company page and vice versa. By sharing from your own account, this helps to extend the reach of your post and will often result in the gaining of new followers to your company page and/or personal profile, which is the ultimate goal.
Ask Your Employees or Coworkers To Share
In the same way that you share your posts from your own profile, you should always look to have your Employees or Coworkers do the same. LinkedIn makes this quite simple, as it has a feature that allows you to notify your employees each time you create a new post. Again, this is just another inexpensive way to expand the reach of your post and help to build your following in the process.
If your employees are not necessarily comfortable doing this, or fail to do it for some other reason, then consider compensating them in some way for their contribution. For example, you could have a raffle each month for a gift card or something of value and enter the names of all the employees that helped share your posts for that period. Depending on the amount you offer, this will still be a small price to pay for the additional reach you will gain as a result.
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Use Hashtags That Your Audience Follows
Hashtags are another way to have your posts show up in people’s feeds that may not follow your company. The amount of additional impressions that you receive from the inclusion of these hashtags is completely reliant on how many followers each hashtag has and whether or not those followers have engaged with this type of content in the past. Platforms tend to use these impressions as “feed filler” for users that are active scrollers that consume more than what their followers produce.
When deciding which hashtags to use, always remember that the purpose of this inclusion is to expand your reach beyond your page’s immediate following. Using a hashtag such as #cybersecurity might be relevant to your post content, but it is likely only followed by other IT people (including competitors). Try to include hashtags that may be more relevant to your audience’s industry than they are to you, such as #retail, #accounting, #finance, #energy, #healthcare, etc and then reframe your content to be more relevant to the particular audience that you choose.
Post When Your Audience Is Most Active
There are certain times of day (and days of the week) where your audience is most likely to see your posts and engage. Scheduling your posts during these times will not only increase the percentage of your followers that see your post in their feed but it will also increase engagements (such as likes, comments and shares) that help to distribute your post beyond your immediate network.
Different platforms have varying times of high engagement. For example, we found that posting to LinkedIn in the morning (7-8 AM) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday seems to produce the highest levels of engagement of any other platform we post to. Other platforms (such as Facebook) tend to receive higher levels of engagement later in the day. Activity levels tend to peak at night on these platforms, but the key is to not necessarily post at the time when the most users are online, but more so to post when they are most likely to see and react to your content.
Tag Relevant People or Pages
Social media is meant to be conversational. Consider leveraging this aspect of it by including others in your posts. There are likely a lot of other companies that want to reach the same audience that you do. By setting up a cross-promotion or collaborating on one another’s content you can gain additional impressions of your posts in a win/win scenario. This is very common in the IT Channel as you see vendors co-hosting events, talking on podcasts, guest posting on blogs, etc.
In order to find companies or individuals to collaborate with, try searching a hashtag that your audience would likely follow. Chances are there will be many other vendors also creating posts using that hashtag to grow their social reach. For example, if you search the #legal hashtag you are likely to find posts from case management software providers. Sending them a direct message will ensure that you are reaching the person responsible for managing their social accounts who may ultimately champion your idea if you make a strong case for it.
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Use Copy That Prompts Engagement
According to research by Hubspot, posts that contained the word “like” received almost double the amount of likes compared to posts that did not. While it is hard know whether or not this data would reflect your own results, it is certainly worth experimenting to find out for yourself.
In addition to simply asking for engagement, you should also try to create content that people will share through your copy writing. We found when it comes to sharing, posts that are either very positive or very negative are more likely to be shared than those that are neutral. For example, if your post was titled “The worst possible mistakes you can make online…” it would be more often shared than “Try to avoid these things while browsing the internet.” While over-exaggerating can lead to an underwhelmed audience, look to find a good balance when writing your post copy.
Embed Posts To Your Website or Blog
Have you ever read a blog post that was just a series of tweets embedded onto a page (with a few sentences in-between)? While this somewhat lazy journalism, it is very beneficial for the original publisher of the social media post as they now receive more impressions of their post outside of the platform itself.
You can recreate this same scenario yourself by embedding your social media posts on pages of your blog or website that are already frequently trafficked. You can also create new spin-off content from your most popular posts so that they can exist in a static environment, rather than getting buried in your feed never to be seen again. This one post can now net you new followers for months (or even years) after it has been posted simply by copying it to a permanent page.