Can we please put social media marketing to bed?

urlThe “golden age” of social media marketing is dead, finished, barely alive.  Even though users spend a lot of time on social media, estimated at 28%, they are using the channels as news aggregators and to keep in touch with friends not to be “marketed to”.

Why would any brand budget dollars for social media marketing? Because they are sheep, and sheep get butchered.  Too many pseudo experts and fallen social media marketing stars are trying to keep the conversation going, but the fact is consumers want brands to leave them alone on social media.


As Augie Ray said “not only is reach falling but social has never succeeded in delivering reliable marketing scale, no matter how many case studies suggest otherwise. Social does not deliver purchasers (accounting for 1% of e-commerce sales, compared to 16% for email and 17% for CPC [cost per click]). Social delivers poor conversions (with a conversion rate of 1.17% compared to 2.04% for search and 2.18% for email). Social fails to deliver trust (with B2B buyers rating social media posts among the least important for establishing credibility and just 15% of consumers trusting social posts by companies or brands.) Nor is Social media a major factor in search engine rankings (placing dead last among the nine major factors affecting SEO [search engine optimization] according to MoZ’s 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors report.)”


Twitter is nothing more than a news feed, Facebook is a news media with media, and Instagram does not lead to conversion.  So the question is why are there so many people still talking about it?  The answer lies in personal branding and refusing to acknowledge that their buy-in was a mistake.

What is so puzzling is that while brands still mentally masturbate over social media their branded websites have become disasters.  They don’t conduct usability testing and they really believe that a content strategy is necessary to succeed.  Sigh..



About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

View all posts by richmeyer →

6 Comments on “Can we please put social media marketing to bed?”

  1. Interesting take, thanks for sharing. I work in brand management and see firsthand just how much investment now goes into social. Most companies have a 30%+ benchmark for media investment nowadays out of the total budget, so this is a really important question.

    Just have a couple of challenges and thoughts. Firstly, in terms of traditional media you could say there is the same issue; consumers don’t want to be interrupted here either, they never really do, unless they see something interesting and relevant. I’ve seen social campaigns deliver amazing reach and engagement for a fraction of the cost of TV. Secondly, agree, there are so many contrasting data points on this – do you know of any meta analyses comparing results across multiple categories and markets so we can get to a definitive answer? I’ve certainly never seen email deliver 16% conversion!

  2. Definitely true that the consumers don’t want to be interrupted. In the back of their mind there is a quiet a bit of annoyance. I work closely with businesses who try to use “social media” and it has not generated them any real returns at all. Well written.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.