I attended a session on social media strategy last week where the presenter emphasized the point that “social media levels the playing field,” in the sense that a tiny start-up or a grassroots not-for-profit are on the same level as major consumer giants like Nike or Apple.

This…might be a stretch. Nike and Apple have teams of graphic designers pushing out special visuals, they have community managers talking to different audiences online, celebrities being paid to share their content and they’ve got the money to boost posts and run highly targeted ad campaigns. Compared to your one-person shop and limited budget.

But perhaps, there is some truth to it. It is true that for organic content, you are using the same medium and once you’ve built an audience and earned Page Likes, you are delivering your message in much the same way every other brand in the world is. Even if Facebook limits organic reach to about 3%-5%, here are three quick ways to help reduce the gap between your organization and the bigger players.

Use photos and graphics

Countless studies have proven that people are more likely to engage with content that includes a visual of some kind. Visual content is forty times more likely to be shared than content without visuals. Needless to say, you need graphics to make your social media pop.

Unsplash

This can be scary at first, but there are easy solutions out there. Grab free, stock images from a site like Pixabay or Unsplash, throw a pull quote on top using Pablo and voila-you’ve got a compelling photo to accompany your tweet or Facebook post at no cost. As a bonus, include the graphic in your article or blog post to increase your views even more.

Respond quickly to your audience

With how fast content flies on social media, wasting any time in engaging with content about your organization can hurt your opportunity for a serious dialogue. With how easy it is to get notifications sent directly to your phone, a big part of your focus on social media should be talking with followers who engage your content.

Death to Stock Photo

Someone leaves a positive comment on a Facebook post? Like it and write a brief comment thanking them. Someone shares misinformation on Twitter? Post a response linking them to the proper info. Get a new follower? Go through and retweet one of their more recent posts.

Show that you are paying attention to your audience and they’ll be more likely to engage with you.

Use stats to improve

Facebook and Twitter both have detailed analytics programs built into their platforms that you should take full advantage of. While bigger, more advanced options are available for a cost, you can make do fairly well with these.

One of the biggest benefits of social media is the ability to test with ease. Share the same piece of content, but change up the copy or the image or the time of day you share it. Then, check your analytics and see what’s working best, and focus your efforts on that area. You can also tailor content depending on your audience’s age, gender and location, to make sure you’re presenting what your audience is interested in.

 

Do you have any other tips you’d share to help compete with major brands and their content creation for social? Share them below!

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