13 Mar Automated vs. Native Posting: How To Increase Engagement for your Crafty Business
When you’re managing a crafting business, it can be tempting to sign up for automated services that promise to cross-post your social media posts for you. After all, time is a limited resource and the idea of having to go to several different sites to post content beyond your own website can be daunting. The idea of pre-scheduling your social media seems like a great idea that would save a lot of time.
Unfortunately, these apps can make it difficult to achieve the levels of engagement you’re looking for. As social media has evolved, many of the popular platforms now design their algorithms to favor native posting rather than third-party services – that is, a post that is published directly from your account enjoys a larger organic reach when compared to a post coming from an external platform.
Today, we’ll discuss why you should post content directly from your social media accounts and share some tactics you can use to maximize organic reach for your brand.
Why Native Posting?
Since Facebook is constantly changing their algorithms, we’ll use this platform as our example. According to Business Insider, in 2018 Facebook changed the way the API format works with third-party posting sites. Mark Zuckerberg specifically cites user feedback as the reason for this change, hinting that posts from family and friends will receive priority in the feed, and branded content will see decreased organic reach by proxy. Quality content and real-person connections are the ultimate goals, and the algorithm now filters content that is repetitive or spammy. If your chosen third-party posting app runs into any of these newly implemented screening tools, your content could be suppressed by the new standards.
Twitter also changed their rules in 2018, announcing in February of this year that they were restricting third-party posting sites from tweeting the same content repeatedly. If you typically schedule multiple tweets to promote a single piece of content, they will no longer make it past these filters. Instagram and Pinterest are less forthcoming about their algorithm changes, but evidence points to a dip in engagement for pre-scheduled posts on both of these channels.
What does this mean for your business? In a nutshell, brands can expect decreased organic reach, especially if they are relying on third-party apps to automate posts to their social media channels.
Tactics to Increase Organic Reach
The easiest way to ensure that your content reaches a broader audience is to post in the native applications as much as possible. Facebook allows business pages to schedule posts using their Publishing Tools, and there are many features that you can boost your organic reach even while you enjoy the ease and efficiency of scheduling posts in advance. For instance, you are able to upload and schedule native video posts, and can even set them up to post as a “premiere” which treats the scheduled video as “live” footage when it posts. In general, video content is still receiving priority in the feed for brands, be it via Facebook Live, an uploaded video, or even a silent slideshow created in the Facebook Scheduler using static photography.
While Instagram has yet to embrace prescheduled content, it does allow “draft” posts to be saved in a user’s account. This newer feature allows you to select your photos and write the captions with hashtags all in one session, after which you can log in and live post according to your preferred schedule. Video posts consistently receive more views and engagement when compared to static image posts, and Instagram Stories also play an important role in organic reach.
If your brand accounts for Facebook and Instagram are linked together, you may notice the option to share your Instagram Stories on Facebook, which is rumored to increase engagement. While you’ll also have the option to automatically post your Instagram content to your Facebook page, we recommend tailoring your posts to the specific platform. For instance, Facebook no longer emphasizes hashtag usage, but Instagram continues to do so, which means that you will want your Instagram posts to include a branded hashtag along with a small number of relevant hashtags to help users find your content (and Facebook posts needn’t include hashtags at all).
To learn more about how to increase your audience and effectively promote your business or craft blog to a bigger audience, click here to get more great marketing tips delivered straight to your inbox, or check out our Business of Craft Podcast here.
Patty McGuirePosted at 18:03h, 26 March
Actually Later.com has approval from Instagram to auto post to Instagram. It’s super helpful, but like you say, the reach is way down. But if you are looking to have an account stay updated on a regular schedule, it’s great for that.