2.5-minute read | With the recent controversies, social media has become a place where users are treading lightly. When social platforms change, users drop off. This creates a difficult decision for brands: how should you use social media marketing?
The Big Player
Facebook has seen significant shifts in 2018. The main ones — aside from privacy issues — involve the changing of algorithms and deteriorating of organic reach for businesses’ social media marketing. In January, Facebook changed its feed like never before: showing the content of family and friends first. This move was, in part, to help keep scrollers “active” on the platform, and in turn, on Facebook — since users increasingly wear blinders to branded content. Unfortunately for marketers, Facebook’s push to make happy users created unhappy brands. But this wasn’t Facebook’s first clash with brands. Due to recent privacy issues and the cambridge analytica scandal, many of Facebook’s users have ended their relationship with the big player of social, with 44 percent stating they’ve deleted the app entirely. Add that to a recent Pew report stating 40 percent of U.S. Facebook users have taken a break.
The Battle for Relevance
Analyze this: ten years ago Netflix delivered DVDs in sealed red envelopes to front porches. Also, Myspace was the place to be. Brands are not bulletproof; not even Google. In fact, Google Plus (finally) shut its doors at the start of Q4. And then there are influencers. Aside from massive, and inflated, follower counts, it turns out, many lack the influence or reach that they claim.
We’re moving into a time where brands are beginning the shift from a Facebook-first mentality. And for a good reason. Promotion costs are increasing, audience reach is decreasing, and user base is declining. It’s simple math. And at the same time, other platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn are widening reach. The social media strategy a brand uses depends on its offering, its user presence, and its goals.
The Right Social Strategy
Is social media still worth its salt in a brand’s social media marketing mix? Unquestionably. Social media provides access to the widest, and most diverse, audience available. Also, since we humans are social by nature, and are now accustomed to communicating online, social media should remain a core part of your brand’s social media marketing strategy.
Find What Works and Go There
For years, brands thought they had to be on all the big platforms due to the amassed audiences. But that isn’t the case, especially when the biggest is watching numbers dwindle. Figure out which social media platforms work for your brand, learn why, and focus your efforts there.
Paid vs. Organic Social Media Marketing
Organic social media marketing seems attractive because it’s organic, and because it’s free. And while the reach is becoming, somewhat, more relevant, you can’t choose your audience. With paid social media marketing, brand’s can create different versions of content to begin to figure out what works for their audience and get to know who they are. If brands do it right, they’ll reap the rewards. And when stuck, an agency can help.
Create Meaning or Go Home
Ad blindness is real, and now, so is content blindness. What this means is the increasing race for users’ attention, or eyeballs, on content online. Brands want their content seen. Of course they do. But users often see too much of it, aren’t interested in it, or aren’t interested at the time. The solution is to do it well. Very well. Make it worthwhile, make it have meaning, and make it highly useful. Make it something that users want. Just like the stuff they give hearts to online. When you can do this, you solve two needs: 1. you meet brand goals and 2. you meet customer needs. And with that, no one’s blind and everyone wins.