The Sky Alphabet Definition of Organic Social Media: anything you do on social media that you don’t pay for

The world’s best organic social media network isn’t Facebook or Instagram. It’s Twitter.

Facebook used to show up with a softball to a hardball game. Now it doesn’t even bring a ball.

We’re going to talk about organic social media. There used to be a time when all social media was organic, but then Facebook discovered that it could start charging people to show posts to people and the whole thing spiraled out of control.

Facebook didn’t warn anyone it was going to do this. Like the proverbial frog boiling in water, slowly over time people realized that fewer and fewer of their friends would see their status updates. For brands that built huge fan pages this became a massive problem, mostly because they had foregone building websites for Facebook pages.

We’re going to show you a new case study involving Twitter that will blow your mind. But first let me tell you something about Facebook.

Have you ever received a notification from Facebook telling you to post something? What's the point if no one see it?

Why Bother Posting on Facebook?

Everybody knows social media marketing can be a perfect way to make an impression with audiences that can be difficult to find. Or, difficult to find without wasting a lot of money targeting people who are not relevant.

Ironically, everybody knows this because everybody is on Facebook. But one thing a lot of people don’t know (unless you’re in the media business) is that Facebook only surfaces 1 to 6% of what you publish to your audience.

Think about that.

If you have 1,000 friends, only 60 of them will get the “Steve Yanor shared a post” notification. Or, if you have a page with 50,000 fans maybe 3,000 of them will see your post.

Twitter surfaces all your posts; Facebook not so much.


Facebook doesn't show your posts to everyone. In fact it shows it to very few people -- even if they are your friends. Recent estimates peg Facebook's reach at 6% of your audience. It's pathetic.

A lot of people don’t know that Facebook doesn’t automatically show your content to everyone. In fact, every year they show less and less.

Facebook pulled off the largest bait and switch in the history of mankind.

It’s so bad now that posting on Facebook without having a budget to boost your posts is a total waste of time.

We DO LOVE Facebook ads, though. Love them!

Playing Organic Hardball With Twitter

If you’re a brand (or in charge of a brand) you don’t have much choice but to use social media. I mean, you’re crazy if you don’t.

Social media is such a huge opportunity. It has massive audiences. It influences purchases. It provides multiple data points to people who use the internet to research purchases. Not to mention the creative possibilities! The targeting. The retail investors. The VCs. The entrepreneurs. I could go on and on.

The thing is, we just saw a Twitter account with 24 followers (it’s a new account) get 1,940 clicks over a three day period. Without paying one cent for ads.

Just because we’re, like, the only social media agency in Canada that pushes Twitter on our clients doesn’t mean we think Twitter is a fit for everyone. No. Twitter can be a tough slog. It can appear as if nothing is happening.

But just because it looks as if nothing is happening doesn’t mean that nothing is happening!

Walk Softly And Carry A Big Tweet

We have a client that provides career guidance and coaching for university students. Selling career coaching to students is not easy; it’s a long sell involving many data points on the prospect’s journey.

The other factor is that it’s not the students who pay for the service. It’s the parents that pay.

For this client we created a series of ads to run on Facebook and Instagram. We also wrote a calendar of content that revolves organically on Twitter and Facebook.

We find that combining paid social posts with organic content works well.

Ad that runs on Facebook and Instagram

One of the Instagram ads. This had a 3% CTR (click through rate).

The Organic Social Media Calendar

Content calendars are the backbone of any organic social media program. Sure, you can wing it day to day — and a lot of brands do — but it sure helps to have some rails to run on.

Those rails are a content calendar.

Around here, we try to populate at least two week’s worth of content ahead of time so that we know what’s coming up. Maybe it’s #internationaldogday in a week. Or Saint Patrick’s. As social media managers we have to know this stuff.

The calendar has separate sections for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit and whatever else is involved. Blogs. SEO content.

With this particular client that got 1900 clicks in three days, we noticed this after the first week into the Twitter calendar (we tweet three times a day, every day). We were seeing some remarkable numbers showing up in their analytics account.

We actually couldn’t believe what we were seeing so we looked into it.

Thousands of clicks from a single week of tweets?

This is a great example of how still waters run deep. Look at this perfectly innocent little tweet:

1 like. 2 retweets. Big whoop.

This tweet does not look like anything special. It has only two retweets and one like. Big whoop, right? So why am I showing you this?

Here’s why. Check out the analytics behind this tweet:

566 clicks from a single tweet

566 clicks! Are you kidding me? Where else are you going to get 566 clicks for free?

You are probably wondering how many followers this account has. To get 566 clicks it must have 100,000 followers. How big is this Twitter account?

The twitter account with 28 followers got 1900 clicks in three days

28 followers!? In the twittersphere this account isn’t even a speck of dust! It’s nothing.

Yet there it is, a tweet with 566 clicks from an account with 28 followers.

But this story does not end here. Nope. Over a seven day period we find several examples of other innocent looking tweets that are raining clicks:

233 clicks. Pretty good!

1,000 clicks?! Holy smokes. One thousand clicks! How much would that cost you on Facebook? Probably $1,000.

We found more examples of 100+ clicks in the seven day time frame but you get the point. This is a Twitter account with barely any followers that pulled in 2,000 clicks in three days.

Gotta love Twitter.

Try that with Facebook or Instagram

What this data shows is that even with a small Twitter account, you can reach a big target audience:

This graph shows the performance of our retweets one week later.

This is the Twitter account’s analytics the following week. We didn’t see how well these tweets were doing until a week later. As soon as we did, we retweeted the tweets.

As you can see, an account with 28 followers on Twitter can still reach 5,600 people in a week!

For those of you starting to plan organic social media campaigns, don’t forget about Twitter! It’s the only game in town when it comes to organic social.

Happy tweeting!