A couple of weeks ago, I ran across the Tweet above from Anne McColl (@anncmccoll). Although I had no context for the quote by Jay Baer and how it was used, it made me stop and think about how quickly social media marketing is transforming. Remember when it was important to monitor social media to participate in conversations about your brand? Remember when it was fun and exciting to build relationships and engagement with your fans and customers? I look at that quote and “commerce” means two things to me. First is our own ROI of our social media marketing. Second is the evolution in Facebook (primarily) and the decreasing reach of our fans. Now we have to look at how much we need to spend in ads to keep our reach where it was a few months ago.
Initially, we saw a nice comment or a question and it was an invitation to start a conversation. We saw a complaint and appreciate the feedback. It was fun to have a viewpoint of all these conversations that we could never see before and be able to participate. Next, the fun was in posting our own messages and watching the replies, shares and likes. Engagement was what we were seeking.
Then the questions came from executive teams about what we were getting from all of the social media activity...what’s the ROI? We revisited our strategy to (hopefully) align it with the overall goals of the company. Just engaging with our customers is no longer enough. It has to be the right engagement that drives purchases or recommendations or whatever we deem the proper end result. We shifted from participating to driving our customers towards a certain behavior.
Just as we were getting our heads wrapped around building our strategy, being useful and creating truly great content, Facebook has changed the game on us. Very quickly, our organic reach is decreasing. Our posts are being seen less and less in our audience’s news feeds...the audience we developed. To maintain how many eyeballs see our posts, now we have to pay for the exposure. The amount of content out there continues to increase while the number of customers that see it continues to decrease. Our jobs are getting harder.
So what can we do? The obvious choice is to pay for ads to keep your reach consistent. Another option is to take advantage of the advocates in your company. Use this internal resource and educate them on how to tell or share your stories. The more people that are sharing your content, the more customers will see it. Obviously, while still producing epic content that your customers engage in regularly.
It’s scary to think that we’re already referring to “Remember when...” when talking about the work we were doing only months earlier. Social media marketing is evolving fast. It’s more important than ever to track industry trends and make some educational guesses as to where it will go next.
What's your take on this ever-changing landscape? How often do you have to adjust your plans? Or, do you not plan out too far ahead? Thanks for reading and, if you like this post, please share it with your friends. Also, sign up to have my blog posts emailed to you.