Navigating the social media landscape has been a trial of patience and strategy

Contributed by Idea Collective Member:

Pat Miller

Pat Miller

Founder of the Idea Collective Small Business Community

The dream that crafting the perfect post or sharing the right story could catapult a business to stardom is a common one.

Yet, the reality of organic reach statistics paints a different picture.

With Instagram’s organic reach hovering around 7.6% and Facebook’s at 5.9%, the promise of organic growth seems more like a myth.

This realization forced me to reassess.

Like a playhouse, the content we create—our play—needs to be outstanding. But without the spotlight of advertising, or paid social reach, how will new audiences find their way to our show?

My experiments on LinkedIn offered more insights.

Investing an hour a day resulted in 16,000 impressions over 28 days, equating to about $5 an hour when considering the potential cost of paid advertising.

This equation of time versus reach was a hard pill to swallow.

Embracing paid outreach as a necessary companion to our organic efforts appears to be the key to unlocking real growth and extending our reach beyond the confines of our current audience.

It’s a step I’m prepared to take, and I invite you to join me on this journey. As we experiment, adapt, and learn, the goal remains: to grow our businesses in a digital age where visibility is currency.

We took this question to our community: 

Have you grown your business using organic social media? If so, what did you do specifically to make it work.

Here’s what they said:

John Anderson

I didn’t start social media positing about my company for my first 3 years (just had year 5 anniversary). I tried a different approach. I grew it organically by showing people my skills and work. All word of mouth. My only social stuff now is when I see something cool or when my assistant gets a good angle of me. I’ve had a positive review from my peers that my social media is different and inviting as I’m Not blasting repetitive stuff.

Katherine Capps

In the dynamic landscape of today’s digital era, social media stands as a formidable ally for small businesses like mine, offering an expansive platform to amplify brand presence and reel in potential clients. In the realm of photography-based ventures, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram serve as veritable treasure troves of opportunity, allowing us to not only exhibit our craft but also forge genuine connections with prospective clients sans the need for paid advertising. Delving deeper into our strategies for leveraging these platforms, we prioritize a trifecta approach: Consistent Posting: We understand the importance of maintaining a consistent presence on social media. By adhering to a regular posting schedule across our Facebook and Instagram profiles, we ensure that our brand remains at the forefront of our audience’s minds. This consistency not only fosters brand recognition but also nurtures a sense of reliability and trustworthiness among our followers. Targeted Ads for Specials: While organic reach forms the backbone of our social media strategy, we also recognize the efficacy of targeted ads in driving traffic and unlocking new opportunities. Leveraging the ad features on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, we strategically promote our specials and mini-sessions to a tailored audience, maximizing the impact of our marketing efforts while optimizing our return on investment. Visually Engaging Content: As purveyors of visual artistry, we understand the transformative power of striking imagery. Our social media content is meticulously curated to captivate and enthrall our audience, showcasing not just our work, but the essence of our brand. Each post is a meticulously crafted piece of visual storytelling, designed to evoke emotion, spark intrigue, and ultimately, compel action. In essence, our social media strategy transcends mere promotion; it’s a manifestation of our brand ethos, a conduit through which we communicate our passion for photography and our unwavering commitment to excellence.

Check out our work in: 

Kate Huiskens

My small business has been mainly grown by the good old face to face interaction. I show dogs as a hobby so I am surrounded by hundreds of my target audience on weekends during show season. My success is mainly off this versus social media. I do have social media platforms for my business and it’s all organic. I would say about 30% of my sales are via online through social media. The rest is through in person at events.

Gregory Fink

Hi Pat , A positive advertising method I have used is old school but effective. 70-75% of my advertising is word of mouth through past clients. It’s amazing what people talking to people can accomplish. Even if it does not end up in a new job offer or bid it helps spread the word of what can be offered. Growing in my opinion through raw social media is about who is networking for you through pure first hand reviews. This may sound cliche although I do believe a good word from a client goes to the stars.

Navigating the Social Media Landscape has been a Trial of Patience and Strategy

To everyone who shared their thoughts on organic social media, thank you. Let’s continue this conversation and explore new strategies together in The Idea Collective. Our mission, after all, is to navigate these challenges as a community, supporting each other every step of the way.

Pat Miller

Contributed by

Pat Miller

Founder of the Idea Collective Small Business Community

Pat spent two decades in broadcasting management and hosting. After leaving the radio industry, he spent time consulting small businesses and realized the support system for entrepreneurs was broken. Where could you find help for improving small businesses and building real connections with other like-minded people. In June of 2020, the Idea Collective Small Business Community was born.