There have been a lot of conversations lately around the watercooler about social media engagement. About how brands are getting less and less of it, the platforms are charging you more and more to reach your audience (in the form of advertising) and the penalties that come after advertising. There is a reasonable amount of fear going on, that brands have lost their followers, and they are right to be afraid.
With social media engagement recorded at around 2-3%, brands are noticing that less and less of their audience is seeing their posts. And it’s true – and more importantly, it’s true regardless of platform and regardless of whether you grew your audience naturally or whether you bought your followers (a terribly shady practice that I do not endorse and will talk about on another post).
The social media platforms encourage you to “reach more people” with their boosted or promoted posts – people that you have ALREADY gotten to engage with your profile. They are literally getting you to pay to speak to your audience, without any guarantee of success mind you. And so, brands pay the money, engage the audience with the post, get views on the post – only to find that the next post, or the next few weeks of posts, are absolutely flat. Dead in the water, lower engagement than you saw before advertising. And so, you pay the money again, anything to get those likes, those clicks, those views, those doubletaps. And it keeps on going this way, taking money out of your pocket and into the Social Media coffers – it’s a vicious circle.
Cool, so it’s all doom and gloom right? Wrong.
Refocus your energies. Don’t invest all your time and money into social media. Focus instead on getting your clients phone number, email address or snail-mail address. Direct marketing methods like text message marketing, EDM’s and even letters, while a little old-school, still drive great returns and sometimes better engagement than we are seeing on social right now. EDM open rates have generally stayed the same across industries for the past 10 years and email will never switch off or become gated – it’s a guaranteed source of contact with your customers.
Reinvest the money you were spending on social advertising into producing meaningful content designed to educate, amuse or engage your audience. Blogging is one of the most powerful tools in a small business’s arsenal – it allows you to share your knowledge and showcase your skills, while providing constantly updating content for Google to index off, increasing your ranking in search results.
Invest in infrastructure for your website, rework it so that those people who DO hit your website are going to have a great experience, no matter whether they visit via mobile, desktop or tablet. Take the time to do an SEO audit on your site to make sure that your content is discoverable, both by Google and people seeking out your business or service.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying switch off your social media platforms and abandon them. But don’t let them be the core of your marketing tactics, or think that by having a profile on these platforms that this is enough to connect with or attract more customers. It becomes all about rented vs. shared media – you rent your place on Facebook or Instagram, and right now the rent is bloody high. You own your email list or your website, mortgage-free in most cases. So that’s probably where you should build your house and communicate with your audience to get true, meaningful engagement, without the risk of being kicked out. If you’re ready to try something new, engage with your audience in a more meaningful way, now is the time to get in touch. Whether it is a website refresh, a brand overhaul, a social media strategy or just some new ideas and new tactics, I want to help you grow and develop your owned spaces and get better bang for your buck on the rented spaces. So what are you waiting for? See the results that I have gotten with my other social media clients by clicking the link here, or get in touch via the contact page.