Stressing Over Social Media? 3 Reasons to Let That *&^% Go

Marketers have kept a close watch on the effectiveness of social media in 2014, a year of drastically declining organic reach. The results are in, and they’re not looking good for social. Many brands are wasting a ton of money on Facebook and Twitter. It’s more important to invest first and foremost in the digital marketing channels that your business owns (such as its website, blog, and newsletters). Check out these statistics from Forrester.

1. “Facebook and Twitter posts only reach around 2% of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1% of fans and followers actually interact with each post on average.”

2. “A recent Forrester survey shows that US online adults who want to stay in touch with your brand are almost three times as likely to visit your site as to engage you on Facebook. Most companies still don’t offer branded communities — but smart marketers are already finding success building social relationship tools into their own sites.”

3. “US online adults who want to stay in touch with your brand are almost twice as likely to sign up for your emails as to interact with you on Facebook. Plus your emails get delivered more than 90% of the time, while your Facebook posts get delivered 2% of the time.”

How do consumers say they want to stay in touch with your brand?

1. Visit your website (45%)
2. Go to a store or physical location (35%)
3. E-newsletters (29%)
4. Loyalty Program (24%)
5. Facebook (16%)
6. App (11%)
7. Snail mail, branded communities, and all other social media platforms (less than 10%)

I would never recommend discarding a social media program entirely. As you know, your brand’s social media presence plays a role in how well your website or blog will perform in organic search engine ranking results (SEO). However, as you consider your 2015 social media program, do …

1. Take a very thorough look at 2014 results. Does the budget or team time spent justify the number of leads or customers you have acquired? How much did you actually pay per lead?

2. Consider if “lesser” platforms may be more effective (and less budget eating) than “biggies” like Facebook. Instagram, Pinterest, and other visual platforms show good growth.

3. Put most resources and effort into brand-owned channels, such as your website and e-newsletters, where you are in direct communication with your audience. Focus on building subscription lists rather than just soliciting consumers to follow you on social media.