Since 2016 online marketers have been panicking about the steady decline of organic engagement on platform darlings like Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. There is no longer a taboo around paid engagement and popular markets are dedicating more and more of their budgets to online ads. This can prove a massive problem if you are a business with a limited marketing budget or one that has always counted on organic reach, since it can be difficult to reach your target audience.

The good news? Though Facebook or Google ads are still a great way to capture qualified leads, there are also some free & low cost ways to generate interest and build a thriving online community. Not every client of ours is able to afford thousands of dollars worth of Facebook ads every year, and for some, the economics of their customer acquisition cost simply don’t add up. So I’ve put together a list of some of the top ways that I help clients generate organic interest and conversions through social media.

LinkedIn!

LinkedIn organic reach is out-performing other platforms as many e-commerce sites have yet to figure out how to leverage it. Once considered a social media platform solely for businesses and business-minded individuals, LinkedIn has seen surprising creative growth in the last couple of years. What does this mean? Yes, you still need to tailor blog posts and content to professional needs, but if you are clever about it, it really doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you can reach any market you want. For example, you may not think that your jewelry line has a place on a platform like LinkedIn, but how about sharing a piece of content about “How A Statement Watch Will Make You Stand Out At Your Next Job Interview”? This article is bound to capture the attention of young professionals looking to land their next gig and guess what? You’re probably who they will come to when looking for that statement piece!

Micro-Influencer/ Brand Ambassador

The influencer market is getting more and more over saturated by the day and finding the right individuals to represent your brand on social media can be expensive. In this case, it is best to try to find micro-influencers or ambassadors. These are individuals with highly engaged followings within a niche. The key here isn’t follow count, it’s engagement rate and the loyalty of their followers (usually consisting of friends, family and other 1st circle contacts). Rather than paying an arm and a leg for one-off posts, this tactic is all about building relationships. Perhaps you find a company with a vision similar to your own, you can reach out to them and suggest something mutually beneficial like a giveaway. Though both brand ambassadors and micro-influencers expect something in return for their efforts, remuneration can usually be in-kind or in the form of a barter deal. Having worked with many e-commerce sites over the years, I often find that the organic nature of these types of relationships can also mean free exposure for both parties from time to time as they genuinely support one another!

Instagram: Post, Like, Comment

This tip will serve two purposes. It will work to both intrigue new users to check out your profile to see if you’re worth following, and it will also get you more engagement on your last post.

Step 1: Create a new Instagram post complete with killer caption & thoughtful hashtags!

Step 2: Post it!

Step 3: Immediately following posting, search one of the hashtags you just used and like/comment on the 10-20 most recent contributions. Make sure your comments are thoughtful (4 or more words) and consist of more than just smiley face emojis.

Step 4: Sit back and watch the engagement roll in! Even if you don’t get a follow right away, users are usually generous with likes in return for likes, and the sooner you get your likes up after posting, the sooner you’ll appear on the explore page.

Get Involved In Comments! (Even If They’re Not Meant For You)

Check out your competitors or find an account in your niche whose engagement you covet and take a look at their comment section. These are the engaged followers that you are trying to capture in your market. Like their comments, respond and/or check out their profile. You’ll have to use your judgment here, but if you are genuine and consistent, providing actual value, you’ll often get engagement in return and sometimes even a follow! Now you have new, engaged followers in your niche! This tactic might be slow-going at first, but these followers tend to stick longer and convert higher than the average passive user. Now, if you’re feeling particularly generous, give the accounts a follow-back! But only if you mean it.

As you can see, there is no silver bullet here. You have to think long-term and be authentic and consistent. If you’re not at a stage in your business where you can afford to just throw money at falling engagement rates, you can embrace these more guerrilla-style tactics to get the results you desire. After all, if you calculate the economic ROI on a free investment, you’ll find that the result is infinity!

Speaking of FREE, contact us today to set up a complimentary discovery session with our team. The examples in this article are just a few of the clever ways we help our clients gain long-term success in the world of digital marketing, so we would love to tell you more about what we can do for you and your social media strategy!

**A Bonus Tip From Our CEO Amanda Relyea-Voss: Start and Join Facebook Groups! This has been one of the main ways that I help our clients gain organic traffic through social media. Facebook groups and communities tend to be highly engaged, genuine audiences with lots of integrity – these are the loyal followers that stick! Keep in mind however that this is not a chance for you to broadcast your message, it is a chance to provide real value/depth, build authority in your niche and work on long-term partnerships.