We spend a ridiculous amount of time talking to our client about why everyone MUST publish on their own website “real estate” first, and then distribute the link out over whatever social network takes their fancy.
There have been quite a few very good articles lately focusing on this simple truth:
If you “share” this article with your fans/followers on your business’s social pages, hardly anyone is going to see it.
The organic (read unpaid for) reach on both Twitter & Facebook is continuing to crash-dive as these social networks try hard to actually make some money, and in the process are dramatically changing their search and display algorithms.
Bottom line? They are now requiring that companies and brands, even the small SMEs like you and I, actually have to pay hard cash pay to reach their fans/followers.
According to a recent study by Forrester Research:
the average Facebook post from a large brand will reach just 2% of that brand’s followers, and less than .01% of the audience will engage with that content.
That is shocking return on time and investment in anyine’s books!
In a post from Facebook’s own mouth (well their blog actually) FB warns:
Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content [promotional page posts] in their News Feeds,” and admitted that brands that post promotional content “will see a significant decrease in distribution.
The raw truth is that if you just post your news and info on the social media sites directly, and you don;t spend money to promote or “boost” the post,then damn near non-one will ever see it in their timelines/feed.
For many years we have been spouting this, and the time is nigh for all social media marketers to refocus and control their owned channels as a first level priority.
The good old days when we could spend time (and only time) in producing quality content and garnering hundreds, and hopefully thousands, of likes and followers on social networks. We as online professionals used to be able to lean heavily on Facebook and Twitter to produce chatter, increase brand awareness, and engage users to share your content. And once upon a time, it all used to be free.
Unfortunately was with most “once upon a time” fairy stories, that has come to and end.
It’s Not ALL OVER for Social Media of course
Now lets have this said as well, that it is not THE END for Facebook and Twitter as far as reach is concerned. They can still be used as extremely valuable distribution channels, and for the foreseeable future will be an important part of any savvy marketer’s marketing mix. However it’s now important to understand their limitations.
Firstly, although it’s free to create a page and gather as many likes as you can, there’s only so much you can achieve before you have to start paying for the privilege. These social networks have the right to change their reach algorithms or payment methods at their discretion.
More importantly though is that Forrester found that visiting a company’s website is the number one way fans prefer to stay in touch with the brands they love, outranking Facebook in thier survey (FB was all the way down at number five!).
Facebook is all about friends, family and immediate (and some same intimate) social interactions. Not really perceived as a venue to be sold to by companies.
Get yourself a good integrated website
A well-designed, diverse, and most importantly social-media-integrated website offers so much more than the old school approach throwing stuff up on traditional social networks. It works perfectly to increase engagement, boost customer loyalty, and encourage people to always come back for more to your website (i.e. your store!).
If you can shift your focus to your own, easy to manage, WordPress website, you can utilise resources such as your website, blog, and mobile app and transform them into social hubs for your communities.
Instead of worrying about whether Facebook or Instagram will change their algorithm (again, and again, and again), or that your tweets are getting totally buried in your target’s feed, you can fully measure, monitor, and engage your community within a structure that you own, and a set of rules that you have established. It really IS all about you at this level…
This is a call to action to show your owned WordPress website some serious love, and understand the very important difference between what you do and what you totally-don’t control.
If you can warp your head around this vital distinction, you can reconsider your ROI, and re-evaluate your social media investments in order to get maximum reach and engagement out of your content.