There are over 2.77 billion social media users worldwide, many spending two to nine hours per day seeking connection, entertainment, enlightenment… and everything in between. What can you do to ensure more of those eyes are on your brand’s content?

What is Reach?

In social media terms, reach refers to the number of people who see your content. Is this just another way to track followers or fans? No; in fact, reach differs quite a bit. Say you have 1000 followers; not every one of them will see your content.

In an effort to bring users more personal content, for example, Facebook changed its algorithms and now prioritizes posts from family, friends, and groups to which users belong.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg says, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

A side effect of this change for businesses is that fewer people see their content in news feeds. Organic — or unpaid — reach is on the decline for brands. According to research from analytics and reporting firm Locowise, organic reach averages:

  • 2.27% for pages with over 1 million likes.
  • 7.47% for those with 500,000 – 1 million likes.
  • 9.62% for those with 50,000 – 100,000 likes.
  • 22.8% for those with below 1000 likes.

The good news for you if, as mentioned, you have about 1000 followers, is that your reach is typically higher. The not-so-good news is that you are still reaching fewer than a quarter of these people.

Why Reach Matters

But if you are connecting with the right people — your target audience — why is it important to increase social media reach? Ossi Ahto explains in a Think with Google piece:

…without first starting with bigger reach, many potential consumers are liable to never hear of your brand, message or proposition. The post-modern consumer is providing fewer and fewer hints on their media consumption and, as we know, can jump from content to content in the blink of an eye. This is why even in these days of sharp-edge targeting, broad reach is still important.

“Smart brands,” says Ahto, “use the broad reach of digital to tap into and understand audiences outside their preconceived target groups.”

Reach is potential. It’s time to expand yours.

Increasing Your Reach

Start expanding your reach by:

  • Optimizing Your Social Profiles. First, make sure your house is in order, so to speak. Take the time to fill in your profile information clearly and completely. Write a short, but descriptive statement about what you do or the products/services you offer with carefully chosen keywords, add an engaging brand photo or logo, and provide a trackable link back to your website.
  • Delivering Authoritative Content. Consumers gobble content voraciously; when you deliver high-quality posts, you position yourself as an authority in your field. This increases the odds that your content will be shared (expanding your reach even further).
    • Remember, this is social media. Do not post an overwhelming amount of promotional content. No one wants to hear, ad nauseum, how great you are. Show them, instead of telling them. A mix of promotional (no more than 20% of your total content), owned (your original content), and curated (that which you share from reliable sources in your space) helps you hit the sweet spot in terms of consumer attention and value.
  • Knowing What — And When — To Post. Posting great content in the right format can help you increase your reach. Research shows that video has an average reach of 8.7%, compared to 5.8% for a status update. This is not to say you should post nothing but videos; it is to say that you should experiment with finding the right medium for your message.
    • Finding the right time and frequency to post is another key component of expanding your reach. By reaching out during non-peak hours (on Facebook, for example, this tends to be Thursday-Friday between 1:00pm and 3:00pm), you can avoid being lost in the deluge of other content being released.
    • And, as is usually the case, it’s about quality over quantity. If you essentially spam your page with low-quality, uninteresting posts, people (and platform algorithms) tune you out. While there’s no exact number, two great posts per day is far more effective than 10 mediocre-poor ones.
  • Promoting Your Social Presence. Don’t let your social profiles languish. Actively promote them. You can add follow buttons on your website, allowing visitors to easily and conveniently share content or interact with your page. Cross-promotion on multiple social channels is also important. A reminder to your Twitter followers to check you out on Facebook, for instance, can help you expand your reach and provide a consistent brand experience.
    • Don’t forget to announce your digital presence in traditional settings as well. For example, you can add a “Follow us on Facebook” to your email signature or add a line to your business cards.
    • Interacting Meaningfully with Your Community. If you provide quality content and interact with people on a personal level, they will actively seek you out. They’ll be interested in what you have to say — and just as engaged in what they want to say to you. This increases your reach organically, creating a digital word-of-mouth that is powerful.

Wendy’s is well known for their fun and engaging replies on Twitter that frequently go viral:









These tips will give you a good start. Even if you increase your reach by a few percentage points, they can be critical in helping you reach (pun intended) your brand-building goals. For additional guidance on expanding your reach and telling your story to the right brand of client, download our free eBook, 9 Steps to Effective Marketing in the Design and Construction Industry.