Grow organic: Three ways you can amp up your social following without ads

There are many ways to see organic results on social media, but here are a few of our favorite, backed, of course, by solid data.

With the way social media is discussed these days, you’d almost think advertising is required. Don’t get us wrong—at Fifty & Five, we can make a healthy ad budget go a long way in terms of results for our clients.

But across platforms, you really don’t have to pay to play—you just have to get creative. We love a good challenge, and we’ve crafted those creative strategies time and time again for our clients.

There are many ways to see organic results on social media, but here are a few of our favorite, backed, of course, by solid data.

  1. Drive engagement with a contest. Who doesn’t like winning? If you give users a good enough incentive, they will often go to great lengths to have a shot at the big prize. This gives brands an opportunity for valuable word-of-mouth and user-generated content, with avid fans sharing the message with their personal followers. Fifty & Five used this strategy in a partnership with NETGEAR and the new Godzilla film. Though the whole campaign used some paid promotion on Facebook, the contest itself was wildly successful, with 16.1 million Twitter impressions from the tracking of the contest’s custom hashtag, #MonsterWiFi, which was used as entry.
  2. Connect with key influencers. Influencer is a one of the biggest buzzwords in social media today. That’s because when used correctly, they can make a huge difference—and it doesn’t have to be through paid partnerships. Brands can build custom lists of influencers who best reach their target demographics, then engage them through sharing compelling and targeted content. With this very strategy, Fifty & Five helped raise the profile of Mezzacorona, which is now consistently ranked as the No. 1 wine brand in social media. We were also proud to implement a systematic Twitter program for Fireman’s Brew, helping them rise from 630th among craft breweries to No. 8.
  3. Leverage live events and coverage. In this day and age, reaching people digitally is important, but nothing jump starts a brand’s social media like a live event. When people connect with your brand in person and love what they see, they’re much more likely to connect and keep up in the future. Live events also give you the opportunity to leverage media and blogger coverage, which extend that same reach even further. Fifty & Five employed this technique with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, which had a three-day cultural event in Los Angeles. We created live day-of coverage and made it easy for those at the events to connect, gaining more than 7,500 followers on Twitter, more than 1,600 fans on Facebook, and boosting the page’s Facebook reach and impressions in the U.S. to the No. 1 and No. 2 position.

So before you click the Boost button, try some of these creative solutions. With them, you’ll be reaching customers and fans and driving engagement in powerful ways—while on a budget.


Lauren Sedam