Organic Social Isn’t Dead
It just isn’t guaranteed.
Last year I spoke with a potential client who told me they had “given up” on organic social and moved all their budget to paid social. There are countless articles with the headline Organic Reach is Dead. There are tweets like this.
It can feel very bleak out there when it comes to organic social.
But from my experience, organic reach isn’t dead. At all. It just isn’t guaranteed.
So many of the brands that I see claiming that all their organic reach is gone are the ones that are implementing the exact same strategy that they were a few years ago. Organic reach is dead if you’re still posting a stale product shot with a robotic caption! You used to be able to post content (good or bad), and your audience was basically guaranteed to see it. It doesn’t work like that anymore.
There’s one defining characteristic that brands who are seeing good organic reach right now have: shareable content. Posts that make you want to add to your story, DM to a friend, or tag someone. Not only does shareable content get you in front of new audiences, but “shares” serve as a powerful algorithm cue—signaling to platforms that the post is worth exposing to an even wider audience.
I’ve been re-reading Jonah Berger’s book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, where he breaks down the drivers behind word-of-mouth and social sharing. I, of course, can’t help but relate it back to organic social. Below are the six principles that Jonah outlines as to why ideas spread.
For today’s newsletter I am going to use this framework and outline what each of these principles looks like in the format of an organic social post from a brand. What does a post that’s shareable because it tells a story look like? And what kind of posts earn people social currency? Let’s dig in.