Is it still worth investing in social content?

In the age of paid Facebook, is it still worth investing in social content to take advantage of the platform’s organic reach potential?

A recent comparison we did on a client’s Facebook account points to a resounding YES as answer to this question. Careful planning and execution of messaging boosted the return on investments of time and advertising spend by up to 180%.

Here’s the background

YB offers a social content support service where we create on-brand, in-strategy content for clients. This acts as a backup to the client’s own social content efforts. Typically, these are business owners or marketers who recognize the value of their social accounts and are active there already. Our backup provides peace of mind about the heavy lifting even when they get too busy.

We reviewed one of these content support clients, comparing the performance of our content with the client’s own.

Our social content acts as a skeleton of high quality visuals and messages following a strategic content plan. It unpacks the brand for the benefit of followers as well as people who stumble on the brand through social search. We carefully curate our content for its branding value and to maximise organic effect.

The rest of the content on the page is posts by the client, who posts on the fly from events, activations and the shop floor. This content often has great potential for organic effect, as it is full of positive energy and the taggable faces of happy customers.

The combination of our efforts works great, portraying the brand as active and vibrant while also taking care to portray a multidimensional image of the essence and values of the business and what this can mean for the target audience.

Planning pays off

The results pleasantly surprised us. Our strategically crafted and managed social content delivered up to 180% more organic engagement. The organic reach of our posts was also significantly more than that of the more spontaneous content. That is a significantly bigger return on the investment of time and sometimes advertising budget.

We found that, while the client posted 5 posts for every 3 we did over the preceding 28 day period, our posts generated 25% more organic reach and impressions and engaged 175% more unique users.

On average our posts were shared 136% more and got 97% more reactions and 183% more comments than the client’s own posts.

Especially surprising

This was quite a surprise. We expected the fun, taggable event pictures to have a built-in advantage above more sedate branding messages.

Interestingly, it wasn’t just the content we planned according to content strategy that outperformed event photographs and posts. Event pictures that the client forwarded to us to post on their behalf also attained significantly more reach and engagement.

What made the difference was good technical habits like posting at optimal times for the audience. Also, we took decisions about angles, phrasing and tone with the target audience in mind. The on-the-fly event posts were usually more generic in tone, with less considered angles and less care given to editing.

What does it prove?

A solid social content strategy with a clear objective and target audience – and the time to execute it carefully – is still a good investment even in the age of paid Facebook.

It emphasizes the importance of insight into the essence of the brand and its target audience informing content strategy. Also, that content strategy is then consistently and carefully executed with good planning and regard to platform best practices.