A couple of weeks ago, I ran across the Tweet above from Anne McColl (@anncmccoll). Although I had no context for Jay Baer’s quote, it made me think about how fast social media marketing is transforming. Remember when it was important to monitor social media for conversations about your brand? Remember when it was exciting to build relationships with your fans and customers? I look at that quote and “commerce” means two things to me. First is our own return on investment (ROI) of our social media marketing. Then, Facebook’s evolution (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 used to be.
Initially, we saw a nice comment or a question and it was an invitation to start a conversation. We saw a complaint and appreciated the feedback. We were able to take part in all these conversations we could never see before. The fun was in posting our own messages and then watching the replies, shares and likes. Engagement was what we were seeking.
Then, questions came from executives about what we were getting from all the social media activity. What’s the ROI? We revisited our strategy to align it with the company’s business goals. Engaging with our customers is no longer enough. It has to be the right engagement that drives purchases 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 with useful content, Facebook changed the game on us. 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 continues to increase while the number of customers that sees it decreases. Our jobs are getting harder.
So what can we do? One 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 are sharing your content, the more customers will see it. You still need to produce epic content in which your customers engage.
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 educational guesses on 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.