How to Boost Organic Reach by Growing Your User-Generated Content

High organic reach is serious #goals for any brand. Keep reading to find out why and learn how to boost yours.

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Who wants to do this? @haydenhintz

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Irl organic reach.

Paid social has been a hot topic recently. It's increasingly important for marketers to prioritize it, but that doesn't mean the organic dream is dead. Far from it.

Let's discuss.

Organic reach is one of the major Instagram KPIs, even as paid social begins seeping into the status quo. Businesses should be monitoring it because their social proof grows as more people are exposed to their account. More eyeballs are explicitly correlated to brand equity, awareness, clout, and subsequently, sales. Encouraging user-created posts is the best tactic to ensure your organic reach doesn't decline.

In fact, abundant user-generated content is what social marketers should fantasize about. The ultimate scenario being instagrammers—big or small—tagging their brand in quality posts to make their organic reach soar.

In this day and age, marketers must harness fan power if they want the world to know their brand and use their products. In theory, it sounds like an easy enough thing to achieve, but it's a lot trickier in practice. Nevertheless, it's very much worth mastering.

It's in a social manager's best interest to create a strategy around acquiring and boosting organic reach. The higher the number, the bigger the clout. If you're still trying to find your footing in that department, we're here to help.

Below are five things to implement to help you grow your user-generated content and increase how many eyes land on your brand.

@apartmenttherapy's custom hashtag gathers amazing quality UGC for the brand.

1. Make it a Content Pillar

Reposting user media prompts your community to create content around your brand, which makes for a very positive catch 22: followers feel loved and valued when they see you regramming their images, which motivates them to keep producing more in the hopes of being featured again, which also serves as free widespread publicity for your business.

Whatever content themes you've got going that make up the big picture of your brand image, make one of those repurposed UGC. Only regram the best, spotlight it fairly often, and feature the rest on your Stories. Even better, create an entire Stories segment around it.

2. Embrace Influencer Marketing

Spoiler alert: one of the most effective tactics to grow organic reach is through influencer marketing. These trusted tastemakers not only lend credibility to brands in the eyes of followers, but they make them desirable as well.

Influencers also tend to have big audiences, making their tagged content sizably more impactful than that of a regular fan. Whether you're running big activations or only have the means for a gifting program, getting your product in the hands of those that can spread the word is ultimately one of the greater reach vehicles of this modern marketing age.

3. Prioritize Community Management

Being an active brand on social media doesn't entail posting at your leisure and then logging off. That's probably the biggest misconception about the job. If you want your consumers to feel tight enough with your business to willingly create an image and then tag it to get your attention, you have to build those bonds.

Fostering your community should be one of your biggest priorities. When you have loyal users who are also your brand's cheerleaders, user-generated content will ensue, with organic reach as a derivative.

If we think of brands like Glossier and Everlane, both rose to cult status by embracing their tribe. They succeeded at building channels with intangible cachet thanks to the power of fan love, which made people want to champion them. The results were some of the biggest word-of-mouth endorsements in modern business history: priceless, brand-building publicity and an endless stock of user images for their social managers to choose from.

4. Create a Custom Hashtag

This one comes with a caveat because hashtags are not for everyone, and their usage is tricky. If your brand has a robust gifting program or receives a fair amount of user media, instating a brand hashtag is a great way to keep encouraging people to tag it in photos. Fore example, REVOLVE's #revolveme.

If one of your content pillars is UGC (see point #1), doing a custom hashtag is a smart tactic to both put the emphasis on community (see point #3) and to seamlessly find quality posts to regram. Using a branded hashtag also gives your brand a chance to be discovered by more people, as they can drive reach from additional accounts that are discovering posts through them.

@asos likes to regram its stylish followers.

What organic reach boils down to is that your brand receives impressions every time another account mentions it in their caption or tags it in a photo. It's also known as earned reach, and it can only occur through other users. It’s priceless exposure and it's technically free.

With most brand hype now occurring through social visuals, photos are the most powerful tool there is for a business—especially when the dialogue is happening externally. When your business is in front of audiences other than its own, it unequivocally receives a business boost.

The best part is that Organic reach is cumulative—the more users see others mentioning your brand, the higher the chances of them checking it out, on or offline. And that is precisely why encouraging the creation of UGC can drive significant growth.

Header image: @tezza

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