Recently I was reading a thread where a couple of balloon businesses with mega large audiences on Instagram were complaining about a lack of reach and engagement on their social media. Some other businesses with smaller audiences were also experiencing the same issues so I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog article on 3 of the key reasons why your social media reach may be low even when you are spending so much time feeding your social media channels.

For most balloon businesses social media is the most effective way of marketing and gaining customers. Whilst it is also usually very cost effective, it can also be very frustrating at times. You can find yourself spending so much time on it without the results you might be expecting. There is no denying the algorithm is fickle and at times can have its own tech wobbles but there are some key things you need to be aware of to get the best reach and exposure to your customers.

1. Audience – bigger isn’t always better

When most people start growing their balloon business they spend a lot of time growing their social media followers. It goes without saying that you need enough people in your following to see your balloons and be ready to buy… a larger following also gives a sense of credibility and trust to potential customers… but there are a few things you need to consider…

You only want followers who can actually buy from you. You don’t want 50% of your followers to be other balloon business owners or general public who don’t live anywhere near you and will never buy from you.

Less than 5% of your followers will see your post in their newsfeed and you can’t control which 5% it is! If you have 100 followers 5 people are likely to see it. Now consider if 50% of your audience aren’t actually potential customers who will ever purchase from you, but just love watching the amazing designs you post in your feed. Or worse still are fake accounts created by bots used to build your followers…

To create sales success in your balloon business with social media it is actually better to have a smaller but perfectly focused audience full of potential customers only. That way everyone who see’s your post is a potential sale.

2. Engagement is key

In order to appear in peoples news feeds you have to compete with paid-for content and zillions of posts from pages and groups your potential customers follow. Facebook and other platforms, whilst making revenue from paid advertising, are committed to providing the user with an entertaining and fulfilling experience (otherwise they might stop using it and that certainly won’t be good for their revenue).

In order to ensure they are showing them content that appeals to them they monitor the way that person behaves whilst on social media. They collect data on what images they click on, what feedback they leave in terms of emoticons and comments they make. They gain an insight in to the type of posts they engage with the most and they show them more of them filtered in with some paid for posts that they are most likely to engage with. This algorithm, based on their behaviour, then dictates whether your post appears in their newsfeed or not!

It’s hardly surprising, then, that the key to growing your reach is to ensure potential customers engage with your posts. The more they engage the more posts the algorithm is likely to show them! You need to be posting content which will get customers to click on it for a closer look, give it some love, save it, share it or write a comment

You also need to be consistent with the content your customers engage with. If a customer hasn’t engaged with your posts for a while the algorithm will assume they are no longer interested and stop showing them your content.

You do need to be creative though because the algorithm isn’t silly… it scans all posts to see if you are using words and images to encourage what they term click-baiting behaviour and will actually penalise you for it. For example mentioning the words click, like, share or comment will automatically reduce your reach so you need to do it in a way that isn’t seen as click-baiting.

3. Not posting when your audience is active

Assuming you have only potential customers as followers and you are posting content they engage with there is another key reason why your reach might be low and that is the timing of your posts.

Your customers newsfeeds move fast and there is a lot of content in a short space of time. Realistically when they log in to social media they are probably only going to see the last 30 minutes to 1 hour posts. It’s therefore really important to be scheduling your posts at time you know your customers are going to be active on the platform you use.

All the social media platforms give you insights on your customers behaviours to enable you to find the best times to post but its also good to understand your different customers behaviour. For example if you are targeting Mums with your post its probably best to avoid the school run and bedtime routine times. Likewise for business people or retail customers – often they check in during the commute, their lunch break and the evening.

Finally be mindful of national and local events which are likely to dominate the newsfeed. For example, if you know that there is a local event happening and a large chunk of your customers will be off social media its best to avoid those times to post even if your insights say that normally it would be a good time to post.

BONUS TIP FOR POSTING – Avoid rounded up numbers for posting times when scheduling. A lot of people schedule their posts for on the hour, half past etc. Try scheduling for odd times like 26 minutes past the hour or 07.57 as you are then not competing with the majority of scheduled posts that go out at half past and on the hour!

Take a look at your social media if your reach is low. Audit your audience, their engagement and the time you are posting. Just a few tweaks here and there can help massively improve your reach and the exposure of your balloon business.

I hope you found this useful! Let me know by leaving some love in the comments section below. We would also be very interested to hear any top tips you have for increasing your social media reach below!

🎈Until next time… stay amazing!🎈
Sonia x

About Sonia

In today’s unpredictable world it’s not enough just to make amazing balloons. You also need to know HOW to grow your business.
Having run my own balloon business for over a decade I now help other balloon business owners, just like you, grow thriving and sustainable businesses.

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