Put organic social at the centre

This post has been adapted from ‘Time for marketers to take organic social seriously’ in MediaCat

In this current climate brand marketers can’t afford not to put organic social front and centre of their plans

As budgets are being squeezed and uncertainty rising, the full impact of a looming recession is still not clear. In this environment, it’s time for marketers to invest their time with the channels that cost very little and potentially make a huge impact. 

As clients take a more digital-first approach, paid social has become a staple of the media plan. And it has its place. But the real spotlight needs to start shining brightly on organic social, which is ready to take its rightful place as the go to powerful tool for brands to reach and connect emotionally with their consumers. 

In fact, no other channel has the ability to do this authentically.  And the best part is you get a response back from consumers, effectively sparking an incredibly valuable two-way conversation with the people you are so desperately trying to reach. That conversation is based on a wanted interaction with your brand, and not how much the brand has paid to get their attention (which as we know consumers are getting wise to).  

Seeking opportunities to amplify and engage

One of the best ways to harness the power of organic social is to use it to support a sponsorship or PR activation, enabling you to amplify the content and potentially engage with a far wider audience.  By doing this you are able to build a valuable community around your idea, or event, which can live on way past the moment itself.  

We loved working on the Women’s Euros for Visa. Visa was invested from the start in creating emotionally engaging conversations around female empowerment and inclusivity, showcasing the Euros and women’s football to encourage new audiences to be inspired to get involved.

We worked closely in partnership with the Visa team by deploying Social Listening to fully understand the conversations already happening and know which ones we wanted to proactively jump into.  We had a full engagement team ready to react, the volume of noise and number of assets required meant we had to be on hand around the clock to stay ahead and lead the conversation, with the goal to to embed ourselves into everything that was happening and would be positive for the brand and its objectives. 

The investment paid off with us enabling Visa to achieve its highest social engagement levels, significantly enhance the campaign audience reach, whilst emotionally connecting with their target audience through 1-2-1 conversations. 

Here are some tips if you want to give this a go: 

Your content shouldn’t be overly polished. A bit raw and rough around the edges actually works better on social media. The time investment really comes in understanding who you are talking to and nailing your brand’s human tone of voice.  This is the voice of your brand acting as an actual person. 

Be topical and relevant. Invest in good listening tools to ensure you understand what your audience is already talking about and how they are responding. Don’t be afraid to take things slowly. Do a spot of what we call ‘social lurking’ before you decide to join the party, check out the scene and make sure you are comfortable before you dive in. 

Be ready. There’s nothing worse than waiting too long to respond to a conversation or content trend and then being out of date – social moves fast, so lurk, get ready and go go go!

Create a social playbook so you know how you want to play. Define your tone of voice, the topics you want to be part of and talk about, and the things you want to celebrate with your audience. Think of it like a party – who would you invited and who would come? Think about who you are as a host on your own channels, and what sort of guest you want to be when you’re in someone else’s space. 

Your strategy should be flexible enough that your content can change in real-time, based on instant feedback from fans and what is happening.  

You need to really listen to your community. 2023 is the year of the community and all eyes are on community and social media managers, as brands refocus on creating that strong emotional connection with their audiences.

Organic social content is really the beating heart of social media.

It’s what social media is all about – building and maintaining genuine human relationships through one-to-one conversations, listening and, ultimately, great content based in the moment.

If you enjoyed this post, read the first of our 2023 trends series, on Cultivating Your Communities.

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