After 10 plus years of social media growth, we’ve finally come to the place where we can admit, social media is media and you have to pay to play. Boutique platforms and quirky accounts will still occasionally go viral, for a time, but with Twitter and Instagram joining Facebook with algorithmic timelines, we now have to look at social media just as we would any other marketing tool and allocate resources accordingly.
If you’ve done any marketing on Facebook in the last year or so, it has become clear to you, that without boosted posts and paid ads, the level of traction and engagement that you can get organically is limited. Facebook’s algorithmic timeline (showing you what you are most likely to want to see based on what/who you liked/clicked in the past) effectively blocks traction for new content that isn’t pushed out by Facebook ads or supported by other advertising or P.R. efforts (hopefully both.)
Now Twitter and Instagram have joined Facebook, print, T.V. and radio in offering real value for advertising dollars. Yes, it’s still important to create content and have a P.R. program, but perhaps even more than in traditional media, it’s really important to have an ad plan. In other words, please stop believing that social media is the “cheap” way to market a business. Social can be viewed through the same lens as any media, as a tool – it’s part of the P.R. plan. It’s part of the advertising plan.
In some ways it’s more expensive that traditional media. It’s much more content heavy. It requires a high level of skill that has to be both quantitative and qualitative. It’s constantly changing, so it’s difficult to devote the resources to manage it in house.
On the other hand, it’s a key part of any marketing plan. Network TV watching is dropping rapidly as binge-watching on Netflix, etc. increases (up to 35% less!). Print has been on a downward slide for years and radio is impacted by the rise of music apps. On the other hand, over 80% of consumers are on social media.
In some ways, it’s a relief that the top social channels are acting more like traditional media. Less mystery and more strategy will make it easier to create great programs and effectively measure the results.
MARYANNE CONLIN IS AN CPG TRAINED MARKETER AND AN AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL EXPERT. SHE SPECIALIZES IN HELPING GROWING BRANDS DEVELOP STRATEGIC MARKETING PLANS AND EXECUTE THEM EFFECTIVELY.
CONTACT HER AT REDROPESDIGITAL.COM
FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @maryanneconlin