Organic social media refers to the free content (posts, photos, videos) that all users, including businesses and brands, share across their feeds. The audiences for this content include:
Today, the most effective B2C and B2B organic social media channels are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube—listed simply in alphabetical order, as the efficacy of these channels is dependent upon an array of factors per organization, goals, and target audience.
Organic social remains an essential pillar of an integrated communications strategy, used in combination with other organic and paid digital and public relations solutions. According to market research leader GWI’s 2023 social media trends report³, organic social media is the top channel for consumer brand discovery. 57 percent of users surveyed said that they find out about brand offerings via organic social, while 28 percent cited social advertising as an information source.³
Typically, organizations develop organic social content to accomplish six PR and marketing objectives:
Authenticity is the unifying element of these objectives, and authentic communication strategies are what enable organic social media to effectively achieve brand goals. That’s not to say that social content that feels grounded in truth can’t be promotional. However, authentic social content must be easily distinguishable from an ad.
Authenticity in social media is content that has one or more of the following:
When those four factors are used as the rubric for a brand’s organic social content, it’s possible for a company to earn brand trust electronically.
Connection, relatability, and trust with social media users can be easily lost if a brand’s voice is misaligned with organic social’s authentic tone and channel-specific best practices. The same copy that works for a website, brochure, magazine ad, or even paid social advertising rarely communicates with the same efficacy on organic social channels.
Brands that are too explicit about selling and transaction-focused promotion may see limitations to the reach of their content in organic feeds. There is studied speculation that social algorithms are programmed to hide overtly sales-focused posts so that the brands are forced to purchase social advertising to distribute those messages.⁴ Recently, LinkedIn updated its algorithm to prioritize organic content grounded in knowledge, advice, and resources over promotional posts.⁵
Organizations can communicate authentically on organic social media while still being strategically focused on their goals. Agencies work with clients to develop custom organic social strategies, content plans and calendars, and produce posts that communicate beyond the “head-on promotion” employed for advertising channels.
Unlike AI-generated social content produced by ChatGPT or Google’s Bard, content that is produced by an agency’s collective human expertise can have the true personalization required for optimization. Agencies optimize content per individual social channel and post medium to support an organization’s business goals. These goals include:
Every social media channel is unique, and the algorithms and favored content types are constantly changing. However, a solid, general rule for all channels is to post a variety of organic social content types. Switching it up between long and short form text posts, shares, videos, graphics, audiograms, photography, and more content types increases the likelihood of non-paid posts breaking through to followers and non-followers’ feeds. Likewise, an array of different types of organic post formats is interesting for follower audiences.
Here are some examples of effective organic social content types that are part of a diverse posting calendar:
From an analytics standpoint, the more format types an organization tries, the more data it will have available to determine the types that work best for message reach, engagement, click-through, and conversion. This way, the organic social strategy can be continually optimized, and future posts can resonate even more with audiences.
As a fully integrated communications agency, the FOVNDRY team believes in the organic social strategies we have shared here and we employ them on a daily basis. And, we’ve put together a helpful device for remembering them. As you develop your own organic social, remember FOVNDRY:
Just because organic social is short and free does not make it less important than other editorial and paid communications. Intentionally plan, craft, edit, and proof all content before publishing.
Optimize all post content word counts, image specs, video lengths, and publish times per individual social media channel.
Posts that receive the most views and clicks are not necessarily the ones that take the most time to produce. Sometimes, simplicity is best.
Organic social content must be authentic in tone and distinct from paid advertising. Audit organic social to eliminate overt advertising angles.
Consult recent social data and website analytics to determine the most effective content for your channels, and double down on what’s working.
Develop content calendars and posting schedules, and post to each channel with a regular cadence.
Is this post something that YOU would like to encounter when you’re scrolling?
Interested in learning more about FOVNDRY’s organic social media strategy, content development, public relations, and channel management services? Let us know — we’re here to help.
¹ Hubspot, 2023 State of Marketing Report.
² Hubspot, 2023 Global Social Media Trends Report.
³ GWI, 2023 Social Media Trends Report.
⁴ Sprout Social, Social Media Algorithms.
⁵ Entrepreneur, LinkedIn Changed Its Algorithms.
FOVNDRY is an award-winning, fully integrated communications agency that has made its mark in the public and private sectors, plus a variety of membership-based associations since 2004. The firm crafts custom solutions for multiple industries, including: Health & Science, Transportation, Real Estate, Professional Services, manufacturing and more. With offices in Rockville and Baltimore, the Maryland-based PR and Marketing firm also fulfills the Creative and Branding needs of businesses and organizations in the DMV and beyond. FOVNDRY is an SBA-certified woman-owned small business (WOSB), as well as a minority business enterprise (MBE)/disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Delaware, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Get to know FOVNDRY better at 301-836-1516 or Fovndry.com, and connect daily via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.