Untangling the Web: Boosting the Organic Reach of Social Media Content

This is a Guest Post courtesy of our friend, Anne Thornley-Brown, MBA. 

It’s no secret organic reach of content on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter has declined significantly. Algorithms actually suppress the organic reach of content.

For over a month, I have been conducting some experiments and trying to figure out what works to improve distribution and what doesn’t. I have no magic answers but I have uncovered a few strategies that help.

Sharing across platforms increases the reach of content. For example, if you create a blog post on beBee, where there is no algorithm to suppress distribution, and share it on LinkedIn Twitter and Facebook, a multiplier effect kicks in.

Geocities was the first platform that I joined, it’s hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

One thing I have learned over the past 2 decades is that platforms evolve, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. One thing is certain. They don’t remain static and, eventually. some of your most favourite features will change or be eliminated. Platforms have to evaluate what is and isn’t profitable and make changes accordingly. We must adapt.

Here are some suggestions for adapting to the changes on specific platforms.

In Limbo on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has changed drastically.  I first joined LinkedIn in 2004 but I didn’t really become an active member until 2008. I’ve participated in just about every area of the platform including:

  • the old Q&A module
  • LinkedIn Publisher (formerly LinkedIn Pulse)
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Status Updates (on Home Feed)

The organic reach of LinkedIn Publisher has plummeted and posts perform poorly for all but a handful of non-INfluencer members.

By far, I have been most active in LinkedIn Groups. Community Leadership is nothing new to me, I cut my teeth in the Eureka Park community on Geocities when the Internet was in its infancy.

Up until a few months ago, I managed and/or owned 22 groups. I had done this for over 8 years. I have previously outlined why I decided to downsize to 6:

Personal Reflections of a LinkedIn Group Owner and Manager

LinkedIn Groups are no longer as active as they used to be. In fact, some of the tools like Announcements no longer work in many groups.

Hope From the Home Feed

One of the few areas where it’s still possible to get a lot of traction for content is on the Home feed. It doesn’t come naturally or easily though.

It’s been hit or miss but I have experimented and managed to generate between 8,019 and 9,215  for some status updates.

What’s the secret sauce?

When a member with a network of connections over 20,000 likes and comments on a status update shortly after it is posted, it’s widely distributed. Likes and comments from other members can help but it is the engagement by well-connected members that makes all the difference.

So, the most effective strategies you can use to boost the visibility of your content are to:

  • add as many highly connected members to your network as possible
  • grow your network
  • share content in status updates through the Home feed rather than on LinkedIn Publisher
  • ensure that as many members as possible view your content and have an opportunity to like and comment on it.


For Facebook pages, “pay to play” is the order of the day. Content is shown to a handful of members who have liked your page. Still, there are a few things that you can do to improve the reach of your posts. I’ve been experimenting and some of my posts have been viewed 1,593 – 2,811  people times.

How did I do it? 

If you can get as many people as possible to like and comment on your post shortly after you share it, this will quickly boost the number of people who see your content. This was not the most important strategy. I discovered that if I share the posts from my page on my profile and in a number of groups, the distribution climbs exponentially.

What strategies can you try?

As soon as you post new content, share it:

  1. on your profile
  2. in groups

team up with other bloggers in Facebook groups where bloggers have an opportunity to discover it, like, and comment on it


On Twitter, there has been an explosion in content. That combined with an algorithm that suppresses organic reach means it’s tough to get traction from Tweets. The way in which Tweeps engage with content has also changed. People are more inclined to like content than to re-tweet it and this does nothing to improve the reach of a tweet.

The best way to improve your results on Twitter is to use a tool like My Tweet Pack pack that shares your content many times a day.

On Twitter, don’t be afraid of controversy. Sometimes carefully crafted content goes unnoticed but one controversial tweet spread like wild fire.

I have been working with other team building specialists to raise awareness of bad team building. We been blogging, doing interviews, and sharing articles.

A couple of us have been pointing out frivolous activities that are being promoted as team building by using the #baaadteambuilding hashtag on Twitter. From time to time, it upsets people who are marketing these activities or selecting them. The goal of the hashtag is to raise awareness. If you feel passionate about something, there is nothing wrong with putting it out there. If it generates discussion, that will definitely boost engagement and the visibility of content.

There is Power in Teamwork

Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore.

As we’ve seen, teamwork and encouraging others to share your content is important for engagement on all platforms.

For this reason, I started the B2B Bloggers Network for business-to-business bloggers on 4 platforms. When bloggers work together, discover and share great content, everyone benefits.



Twitter List 


Join, post your content, and share the content of others and you’ll reap the benefit.

Anne Thornley-Brown, MBA is the President of Executive Oasis International, Toronto-based consulting firm specializing in the design and facilitation of executive retreats, team building, and meetings.

Sign up for her company’s monthly team building updates, customized by region, to receive immediate notification when her new Team Building and R.O.I. for Executives  e-book is released.

Thanks, Anne, very interesting reading! -Ed


If you’d like to speak with someone at Social Marketing Solutions about how we can help you optimize your social marketing efforts, feel free to get in touch.

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