Ice Ice Baby

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Whenever your business makes a post on social media, it's immediately taken captive by an algorithm that determines who and how many people see it. 

Have a following of five thousand? Somewhere around one thousand of those followers will actually see that post over the course of a day or two. While one thousand isn't "no one", it's not five thousand. 

So how do you reach the other four thousand people who won't even know that post exists?

If you have the budget, the answer is "money". Money takes the pin out of the floodgates, and how wide the gates open depends on how much money is being pushed towards the post. The efficiency of that money is determined by how enthusiastic the audience is combined with the accuracy of the ad targeting. 

Lots of money + fanatic audience + great content + good ad targeting = you can change the world. 

But what if you don't have any money for ads, a small/developing audience, and pretty OK content?

Step 1: Post great content. If you can't be great, try to be different. What exactly that is depends on what your business is, who your audience is, and what they're looking for. Hint: "Great" content doesn't have to mean lengthy, IMMA GONNA BLOW YOUR MIND-style blog posts, or leg-trembling, toe-curling video content. But it does have to contribute positively to people's lives in some way - think educate, inspire, or entertain - AND it has to fit the audience. If you love photography but your audience froths at the mouth every time you post a meme, give the people memes.

Engagement with content determines how many people see it, and if the Algorithm sees high, consistent engagement with the post from multiple networks of people, it will push it to more people. Your best chance at harnessing this  is by posting great content that your audience wants.

Step 2: STOP. Grow your audience through likes, comments, DMs, emails, etc. BUT ONLY target the kinds of people you want to be in your audience. Stop trying to cast "make everyone your audience". You want people who will engage with your content through likes, shares, and comments. If you try to grab EVERYONE, you're going to rake up a lot of lazy, lurking accounts who will follow you but never interact, hurting your engagement rate and making it harder for people to see what you post. 

Step 3: Collaborate... feature other people, accounts and organizations on your feed. A fun testimonial is not only good for your business, but whomever is featured in that testimonial is going to point people to it - at the very least you'll attract family and friends of that person to a moment you gave someone they knew a public spotlight for being awesome. This is what good humans do, and it gives you an opportunity to interact with already-development audiences and connections as well.

Step 4: ...and listen. Followers will indicate what direction they want/need you to go through interactions. The kind of content people are looking might align with the kind of content you think they want OR it might be a complete surprise. Had a mini-blog post that was a home run? Make them a regular part of your content calendar to see if you just got lucky or if it's the yellow brick road.