| Jun 22, 2023 | | 12 min read

Accelerate your organic social media growth with these 20 tips and strategies


Paid ads deliver reach as long as the ads are running, but when you’re growing social media followers organically, you’re nurturing valuable long-term relationships. This gives you a ready-made audience every time you post to your accounts, which can translate into repeated conversions without draining your budget.

Ensure you create social media content that connects with your audience by downloading our free “White-label social media checklist” now.

We’ve compiled 20 tips for fueling organic growth on social media. Add these strategies into your playbook when you’re providing social media management and help clients build a thriving online community to meet their business goals.

What is organic social media growth?

Organic social media growth is an increase in followers, reach, and engagement through non-advertising means. When you publish compelling content, interact with users online, and employ no-cost strategies such as hashtags, you connect naturally with audiences interested in your client’s brands and products.

Content creation strategies

1. Create shareable content

One of the best ways to get more eyes on your posts is to leverage the connections of your audience and create content they’ll share. Beautiful images, interesting videos, snappy captions, and sharp infographics lend themselves well to sharing.

You’ll need to brainstorm content ideas that resonate with your target audience, but it’s worth the investment of time if you can spark emotion and reel users in. Try grabbing attention with traditional storytelling techniques that focus on a character, problem, or resolution.

  • Pique curiosity by presenting a challenge and offering a solution
  • Weave a narrative, such as a before-and-after story
  • Get up close and personal with a central character, such as a customer, staff member, or company founder
  • Enlighten customers with useful tips that spark an “a-ha!” moment
  • Give users a glimpse at a photo shoot, product testing session, or other behind-the-scenes moment
  • Make customers laugh or offer inspiration
  • Post content with a human element that audiences can relate to

2. Consistency is key

As your audience grows, post regularly to your channels to keep your client’s brand front of mind and deepen customer relationships. Use an editorial calendar to plan your strategy, experimenting with live Q&As, videos, images, blog posts, giveaways, and other content that your research suggests your audience is interested in.

You can compose and schedule posts with a tool such as Social Marketing to keep your strategy on track and ensure you don’t miss seasonal promotional opportunities. Social Marketing also lets you analyze post performance to see which content types generate the best engagement.

3. Focus on quality

You don’t want to bombard audiences with content simply for the sake of posting. Instead, build your organic growth social media strategy around high-quality, original content your audience wants to consume.

Use market research to learn about audience behaviors and pain points, and develop content to match their interests. Emphasize sharp writing, polished visuals, and solid research to establish your client as a professional authority in their niche. Remember to stay true to brand voice and image to deliver a seamless user experience at all touchpoints.

4. Encourage user-generated content (UGC)

Another sure-fire way to grow social media organically is to invite audiences to create content around your client’s brand. Ask users to create a caption, make a video, or take a selfie with your product front and center—you might be surprised how creative customers can be.

User-generated content puts the heavy lifting into the hands of your customers while shoring up trust among a wider audience. In fact, consumers often consider UGC as more authentic than branded content (BusinessWire). Engage with every piece of UGC your followers create, even if you’re just tapping the like button on Instagram. Share your favorites to expand your reach and make your content creators feel a sense of community.

5. Stay up-to-date with social media trends

If your agency is offering social media management, you’ll need to keep tabs on developments and trends to ensure your clients stay relevant. Social platforms are constantly introducing new features, so explore ways to leverage reels, live videos, stories, and other content formats to keep your client’s online presence interesting and vibrant.

You can also zero in on pop culture trends that your audience is talking about. Use these themes to spark fresh content and appeal to the passions of your followers. Don’t jump on every trend, however, and take care to be genuine in how you enter the conversation. Make sure the movement is something your target audience will recognize or respond to, and that it fits with your client’s brand image.

Hashtag and discovery strategies

6. Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags are a vital part of social media organic growth, helping to expand your reach beyond your immediate followers.

You can use a few types of hashtags to broaden your audience.

  • Hashtags relevant to your niche. Industry hashtags help customers to find your posts. For example, a skincare company might use the hashtags #skincareproducts, #organicskincare, and #antiaging.
  • Branded hashtags. Customers find each other and share opinions online with hashtags that are unique to your business. You can create branded hashtags for the company as well as specific products, and add them to your posts so followers start to get familiar with them.
  • Popular hashtags. While these are unrelated to your niche, popular hashtags offer a chance to participate in a wider conversation and boost brand awareness. You might create a lighthearted #MondayMood post that resonates with audiences or #TBT content about the early days of your client’s business.

7. Hashtag research

While you might be tempted to pull a few hashtags from thin air and call it a day, relevant ones will improve your chance of success. Take time to find high-performing hashtags your audience is using, as they might be choosing different language or terms than you think they are.

Look for industry-related hashtags to give your posts context, starting with ones used by competitors and influencers in your niche. Tools that suggest hashtags based on keywords can be helpful.

It’s useful to click on the hashtags to see if your content fits with the posts that are surfacing, and to consider their popularity and traction. To increase your client’s brand profile, use a mix of targeted industry hashtags and popular ones to cast a wider net.

8. Engage with hashtags

Hashtags open the door to interactions with new audiences so you can begin building relationships. Look for opportunities to interact on posts from influencers or potential customers to amplify your reach.

When you like a post, follow an account, or join a conversation, other users, including the original account holder, will see the activity. If your comment captures their attention, they may be curious enough to visit your profile to learn more.

A response can be an emoji, cheerful comment, or witty joke. You can also answer questions or offer helpful advice to extend goodwill.

9. Explore discovery features

Most platforms enable you to explore top posts by theme or popularity. Browse through recommended posts to find trending content and topics to engage audiences.

These tools are also useful for finding influencers in your niche. Analyze popular accounts to see what content followers are responding to, and use this insight to guide your own online strategies.

Collaborations and partnerships

10. Collaborate with influencers

Influencers typically have upwards of 100,000 followers interested in their content. Look for ways to partner with trendsetters who share a similar target audience.

These collaborations give you exposure to potential new customers, and an immediate boost in credibility. The trust the influencer has built with their audience rubs off as a form of social proof for your client’s brand.

You can arrange a one-off or ongoing partnership that may include:

  • Sponsored posts promoting the brand
  • Giveaways and contests
  • Exclusive promo codes for their followers
  • Product reviews
  • Social media takeovers that draw followers to your platform
  • Brand ambassador relationships

11. Cross-promote with complementary brands

Some companies may sell products and services that align with your client’s offerings but aren’t in direct competition. For example, a yoga studio and athleisure wear company might both target a certain demographic of women interested in fitness.

When you have a target audience in common, pool resources to broaden your respective customer base. Promote each other’s products with discount codes, run a joint campaign, or host giveaways. You’ll engage your own followers as well as tap into your partner’s audience.

12. Engage in social media chats and communities

For some brands, social media is a great way to show off authority in a field. Whether your client is an expert in technology, finance, education, or another specialty, their knowledge is a valuable entryway into online conversations.

Join chats or discussions on relevant topics to share insights, answer questions, and post helpful links. This type of engagement expands visibility and connects you with others in the field, which can translate into additional followers.

Engagement and community building

13. Actively respond and engage

Organic social growth comes from a brand’s ability to cultivate an emotional connection with audiences. Be proactive about starting a dialogue, as 70% of people are more likely to use a brand’s products or services if the company interacts with them online (SproutSocial).

Anyone who reaches out to your brand should receive a friendly and helpful response. Monitor and reply to comments, mentions, and direct messages as soon as you can. A prompt response is especially important if people are sharing negative experiences as part of your social media reputation management strategy. If you catch it early enough and remedy the situation, you can turn a frustrated customer into a satisfied one.

14. Host contests and giveaways

People love getting things for free, so consider giveaways to generate buzz and encourage audience interaction. Giveaways and contests can be a cost-effective way to build loyalty and make followers feel appreciated.

Giveaways typically involve asking users to follow an account, tag friends, share a post, or add a comment in exchange for an entry. With a contest, you can ask entrants to fill in a form. You might also combine a contest with user-generated content and ask your audience to name a mascot, create a video, come up with a summer drink recipe, or perform some other creative task that you judge. Run your promotion across all channels for maximum exposure.

15. Encourage discussion and feedback

Polls are an easy way to get audiences involved online, as it takes little effort for someone to click a button. A poll doubles as a way of collecting market research about customer preferences when it comes to products, services, and content.

Another way to generate dialogue is by inviting comments directly on a post. Users can provide more detailed feedback than with a poll and respond to each other’s comments. This interaction spurs conversation and forges an active community around a brand.

16. Build relationships with followers

Strengthen your connections with customers by communicating in a genuine, sincere way. Warm interactions personalize a brand and show customers there are caring people behind the name.

Users expect a high level of customer service online, so respond to posts, comments, and direct messages quickly, professionally, and with empathy. Customers will also appreciate a like, comment, or share to amplify their posts. It’s an easy way to acknowledge loyalty and show that you appreciate their opinions and support.

17. Collaborate with micro-influencers

The influencers you partner with don’t have to be public figures with massive followings. Micro-influencers, generally defined as having up to 10,000 followers, have cultivated a highly targeted niche audience that can be valuable to access.

These content creators often have a faithful following as they can interact one-on-one more frequently. If you find a micro-influencer that complements your client’s brand, consider a collaboration to raise your client’s brand profile and attract new followers.

Analytics and optimization

18. Monitor social media analytics

In an ideal world, your efforts to grow social media followers organically pays off from the first day. The reality is, this type of marketing is often trial and error, as you don’t know for certain how an audience will behave.

Use metrics such as impressions, reach, engagement, and conversions to assess your progress toward your goals, regularly measuring performance to see how well you’re connecting with your audience. Incorporate high-performing content types in your future strategies, and try to fine-tune tactics that are falling short of expectations. When you use white-label social media services to handle analytics and strategy, you can free up time for your agency’s other marketing tasks.

19. A/B test your strategies

Sometimes, it’s hard to know why audiences don’t respond well to a post. Use A/B testing to dig into the nitty-gritty, running posts with variations to see which ones generate a better response.

You can test images, messages, hashtags, and calls-to-action. You might even post at different times of day to see if that impacts engagement. A/B testing helps identify the content that appeals to your audience so you can sharpen your strategies with data-backed evidence.

20. Update and optimize your profiles

In the same way a website represents a brand, your social profile needs to be professional and compelling. Make sure your client’s brand image and voice shines through.

  • Choose a handle or username that’s easy to remember
  • Select eye-catching profile pictures and cover photos
  • Write concise and descriptive bios that are consistent across platforms
  • Maximize available features (i.e., adding location and hours on Facebook or highlights on Instagram)
  • Direct visitors to your brand website, ecommerce shop, or landing page
  • Use keywords
  • Verify the account if the option is available on the platform
  • Link to your profiles from websites and marketing emails to drive traffic

Frequently asked questions

What is organic social media growth?

Organic social media growth is an increase in social media followers, reach, and engagement using non-advertising strategies. Instead of buying ads, you focus on attracting new audiences through dynamic content and online interactions. You can also increase your reach through the use of hashtags, partnerships, and influencer collaborations.

How long does it take to see results from organic social media growth?

It can take 4 to 6 months to grow social media followers organically as you must build relationships with customers, test content, and fine-tune your strategy to appeal to audiences. It also depends on how competitive your niche is, how established a brand is, and how consistent your efforts are. Once your strategies gain traction, you can expect to build momentum and see an acceleration in reach and engagement.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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