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Content marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, and with over 2.6 billion social network users worldwide, it’s not surprising that many marketers are actively pursuing strategies that incorporate content tailored for social platforms. It makes sense that you should be working on your own social media marketing plans, but as recent statistics suggest 83 percent of all marketers are using social media content and two million businesses use Facebook advertising, the competition is fierce and it’s difficult to make a lasting impression. As part of developing your content marketing strategy, it’s important to know as much as possible about how to increase your reach on social media.

What Is Content Marketing Reach?

When you’re attempting to build an audience and improve brand awareness, your content reach is an important metric to understand and measure. Simply put, reach is a measure of how many people see your content.

Reach vs. Impressions

Ideally, reach would be equal to the number of followers you have. Unfortunately, many of your followers won’t see your content (approximately 10 percent of your Facebook followers will see any given post). That’s why it’s important to measure reach and impressions, as well as your overall audience size.

  • Reach: When considering reach, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s a measure of unique viewers rather than number of views. For example, if you post a video and 1,000 people see it, your reach is 1,000. If 100 of those 1,000 people subsequently see the video again (perhaps because a friend shared it), your reach stays constant at 1,000, because the metric is counting unique views.
  • Impressions: Your impressions count is the number of times your content gets served. It doesn’t take into account unique viewers, or whether anybody actually interacted with the content. For example, if 1,000 people see your video, and then 100 of those people see it again, your impressions would be 1,100, even though you only reached 1,000 people.

Organic, Paid, and Viral Reach

Reach on platforms such as Facebook falls into three main categories:

  • Organic: The number of unique viewers who see your content for free. In other words, you didn’t pay for them to see it.
  • Paid: The number of unique viewers who saw content you paid to promote.
  • Viral: The number of unique viewers who saw content that one of their friends engaged with (for example, a shared story).

Top 5 Tips for Increasing Reach

The most important thing to remember when considering how to increase your reach on social media is that any social media platform is, at its core, a search engine. If you optimize your content for search, your reach improves. Here are five of the best ways to make sure the right people see your content.

1. Use the Right Social Media Sites

There are many different social media platforms, and unless you invest in a large marketing team, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to produce content across all of them. It’s a better idea to focus on the platforms that are best suited to your industry and the content you produce, and where your audience is most likely to spend time. For example, if you mainly produce white papers for business analysts, you should be posting on LinkedIn, which is a specialist site for professionals. If you produce videos, YouTube is a natural home for your content. Targeting your content increases the likelihood of finding the right audience, which encourages sharing and other engagement.

2. Optimize for Search

If you’ve created a social media profile page, you want Google to crawl it and push it up the search rankings. Google determines your search placing by taking into account factors such as your page name and description, so it pays to optimize. If possible, include the most valuable keyword in your page name, and also include important keywords in your description in a natural way. If you don’t know which keywords are important, hit Google and run some searches based on your industry to see what types of questions people are asking, and which keywords are gaining traction.

Additionally, make sure your profile is professional and packed with valuable content. Use a good profile image such as a recognizable brand logo, and clearly identify what you do and what kind of content you share. Complete 100 percent of the profile information, and include a link to your own website.

3. Learn the Algorithms

Different social media platforms use different algorithms for determining the value of content, so take the time to tailor your content to maximize the chances of being seen. For example, on Facebook, the algorithm prioritizes content that creates meaningful connections between users, so content that encourages comments does well.

4. Use Influencers

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly powerful, and is a good way to improve brand reach. By partnering with someone who is already an established name, you gain immediate access to that influencer’s audience. And because influencers operate on trust, their endorsement builds trust in you. The important thing is to find an influencer who is right for your brand. Influencers should have audiences comprising the same kind of people who like and buy your products. They should also have a voice that is in line with your brand message, and enough experience in your industry to talk with confidence. Using an influencer marketing marketplace is a good way to find someone who is the right fit for your marketing campaign.

5. Make Your Content Key

Content is king, and no matter what other techniques you employ, you should always aim to produce high-quality content on a regular basis. The reason this is so important becomes apparent when you consider how various social media platform prioritize and distribute material. For example, of more than 1,500 posts a user on Facebook might see when logging on, their feed only displays around 300, which Facebook selects based on user preferences and history. Having a large catalog of quality content improves your chances of selection for the feed. It’s also a good idea to keep your content evergreen. If you publish information that is always going to be useful, then there’s more chance of people searching for it and sharing it with others.

Takeaway: Reach Out

When it comes to ways to increase your reach on social media, all the same rules apply as for building a strong content marketing campaign: You need to focus on quality content, you need to produce content regularly, and you need to take steps to serve it to the right people in the right places. Make the right choices, and you increase potential for your brand to boom on your chosen social media platform.