Is organic social media costing you customers?

By signal

paid social media strategy

A recent article on the popular Occam’s Razor marketing blog caused a stir by suggesting that marketers stop all organic social media marketing activity. We compiled the key points – and a suggestion for how you can get the biggest bang for your buck with social media.

The dream of organic reach

When they first launched, popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter offered an exciting opportunity to relate to customers on a more personal level and to build meaningful, long-term relationships. Brands began to have actual conversations with their customers, becoming a presence in their lives. Some companies got on the content marketing bandwagon, using the opportunity to share interesting content worthy of customers’ attention.

Unfortunately, many brands fell into the same old sales pitch habits on social media. And as customers ignored the “buy me!” messaging, platforms like Facebook restricted how much organic brand content users saw. This triggered a “death spiral” of ever-decreasing brand reach as brand posts saw even less engagement. The result? An almost negligible return for time spent creating all that social media content, across many platforms.

The low value of organic social

Want to gauge the value of your own social media posts? It’s pretty simple:

  • Measure your likes, shares and other engagement against the number of times your post was viewed.
  • Measure your post views against your total page likes.

Your numbers may shock you, but you aren’t alone. Consider a major customer management software company:

  • More than 30,000 clients
  • Facebook page with 1,433,784 likes
    • Most recent share was for a giveaway (a post that naturally draws more attention than others) and has been viewed 24,000 times and shared 59 times
  • The post has 743 likes and 141 comments

Those 24,000 views (.02% of the 1,433,784 page likes) are actually high for a post. Still, of those views:

  • .03% clicked a thumbs-up or other happy icon
  • .002% found the content worth sharing with friends
  • .006% left a comment

All that engagement still doesn’t come close to 1%!

What’s the return?

On the other hand, the company claims to reach more than 4.5 million readers each month with its blog. Based on the numbers above, it’s a sure bet those readers aren’t coming from organic social media marketing.

Is it really worth the company’s time, energy and marketing dollars to reach less than 1% of their page followers for not even half a percentage point in engagement? The math just doesn’t add up.

Now, consider the more than 4.5 million people who read the company’s newsletter, most receiving it by email on a regular basis. Even if only 1% of those folks actually read the content and choose to interact with the company, that’s 45,000 people.

The solution: Move to a paid social strategy 

Organic social media marketing may be on the way out – but social media is here to stay. Make one change and you’ll start seeing results: switch from a “fuzzy” organic strategy to paid social marketing.

  1. Test different targeting tactics in multiple channels to reach your ideal audience.
  2. Refocus your KPIs to metrics that show a direct line to company profit.
  3. Measure your impact and improve or eliminate under-performing efforts.

Don’t ditch your social media strategy – make it better! Reach out to see how we can help you shift to targeted paid social media marketing.

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