In the past, social media platforms used to drive substantial traffic to publisher and brand websites. However, today, these platforms aim to retain user attention and interaction within their digital ecosystems.
Complicating matters further are the frequent changes in algorithms, impacting the organic reach of content. There are also legal challenges accusing major social platforms of causing societal harm, potential expenses associated with participation, and the uncertainty of a once-popular platform fading into obscurity.
Understandably, you might question the wisdom of investing your limited resources—time, budget, creativity, and energy—into social media. You’re not alone in this dilemma.
Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, suggests minimizing the allocation of time and budget to social media. “Our research indicates that social media contributes to only 2% of traffic and leads for most companies, and paid social accounts for just 2%,” he states. “Focus your efforts where people are willing and eager to engage.”
Given the current landscape of social media, it’s essential to evaluate what your content program could truly gain from these platforms. The following recommendations will aid you in deciding which platforms, if any, deserve your resources and how to optimize your investments effectively.
Experiment, Innovate, or Try New Things with Social, But Be Careful!
Experimentation and diversification are crucial strategies in the realm of social media marketing, but it’s equally important to exercise caution. Social media platforms primarily exist to generate revenue for their parent companies, not necessarily to benefit your brand. This inherent volatility necessitates a thoughtful approach. To mitigate risks, develop a strategy focused on owned platforms – such as your blog, website, or email newsletters – where you retain more control over your content and interactions.
The key objective is to maintain open lines of communication between your brand and your audience, even if some members navigate away from a specific platform.
By continuing to invest in channels owned and operated by your brand, such as your website, blog, and email list, you ensure constant contact with your customers. This approach guarantees your ability to engage with your audience regardless of the ever-changing social media landscape.
Match Your Social Plan with Your Audience and Goals
When you’re using social media for your business, not every platform will work well for you. To find the best ones, pay attention to what your audience likes.
Tools that listen to social media conversations and research about your audience can help you figure out where they talk about things related to your business, says Jill Roberson from Velir, a digital marketing company.
Also, look at how many people are talking about your business on each platform. If you notice that fewer people are interested in what you’re saying on a specific platform, try other ones where your audience is more active.
For example, a study by Pew Research Center found that many (approx 60%) users took breaks from a platform called X (formerly Twitter). Because of this, some businesses reduced how much they use X and other platforms like Facebook.
If you decide to use a new platform, study how people talk there and what kind of content they like. Each platform has its own rules about what shows up in people’s feeds.
LinkedIn is a popular choice for business-related posts. Many businesses find it valuable. According to a study by CMI, a marketing research company, 84% of business marketers think LinkedIn is the best social media platform for them. If you use LinkedIn, make sure your posts are suitable for that platform. For instance, Sprout Social, a social media management company, tested posts on LinkedIn and found that ones without external links work better.
Daisy Shevlin from Kaspr, a digital marketing agency, suggests adjusting your content to fit each platform. This way, you can keep people interested in what you are sharing for a longer time.
Embrace Your Creativity: Choose Quality and Originality Over Quantity in Your Marketing Journey
In the vast sea of online conversations, your content can easily get lost. To truly make an impact, focus on the quality and originality of your content rather than flooding the space with quantity. Leading conversations with fresh insights, thought leadership and innovative ideas is now more crucial than ever before.
To boost interaction with your audience, view your social media content as a platform for testing out new ideas and sharing unique perspectives on relevant topics. You can also share successful solutions to common challenges that your audience might be facing.
Social media conversations don’t always have to be serious and business-oriented. Injecting creativity, uniqueness, and humour into your approach can make your content memorable and much more impactful.
Explore the Power of Paid Social Ads Tailored for Conversions
As the reach of organic content continues to decline on social media and search ranking factors keep changing, investing in paid social campaigns has become increasingly crucial. According to CMI’s B2B research, 78% of marketers used social media advertising and promoted posts in the past year.
Using the right ad types and directly asking for conversions on the platform is more impactful than redirecting social traffic to a landing page. Holloway recommends offering valuable downloadable content like e-books in exchange for consumers’ permission to communicate, enhancing the user experience.
It’s important to note that paid promotion options vary across platforms and formats. To make informed decisions, refer to your buyer personas for engagement cues. Consider options such as ads, influencer partnerships, and promoted posts. Utilizing resources like a guide to paid social promotions on popular platforms can assist you in planning your strategy effectively.
Understand the Right Time and Approach to Scale Back on Social
If a platform changes for the worse, your audience might not want to stay, and your brand should consider moving on too.
When this happens, finding another platform is an option. However, due to declining reach and engagement on social media platforms (except for TikTok), it might be safer to reduce your investment in the channel entirely.
But be cautious about how you handle the situation, warns Adam Pierno, managing director of brand strategy at Arizona State University. If you need to pause your presence on a troubling platform, just do it without making a big announcement. This approach can prevent unnecessary attention and backlash. Regular meetings to assess what’s working and planning an exit strategy can help your brand adapt without scrambling when unexpected changes occur.