SUMMARY: Social media marketing is dead as organic reach nears zero as consumers don’t want to be interrupted, but brands still need social media to listen to what consumers are saying about them and competitors.
The “so-called” experts still have not apologized for enhancing their own brands while telling brands that they have to be on social media even as Facebook becomes more of a media company than a social media platform. Despite Facebook’s middle finger at user’s privacy the number of US marketers using Facebook for marketing purposes increased slightly this year to 86.3%.
Facebook has also gotten called into multiple congressional hearings for how it handled its user data. But advertisers aren’t pulling out. Facebook’s US digital ad revenues will increase from $12.2 billion in 2016 to $32.6 billion by 2020 as marketers continue to go “where the eyes are”. A September 2018 report by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research found that nearly nine in 10 US Fortune 500 companies have a public-facing Facebook page.
Do you really need Facebook? That depends. Facebook still has a large audience and frankly, even though users have leveled off users don’t seem to want to hold Facebook accountable for their past troubles. For a lot of people Facebook has become an animated RSS feed that allows them to keep tabs on some of their favorite websites.
What about brands? While people may follow a brand on Facebook they pretty much ignore organic posts. Brand pages have become more valuable as a way to both identify brand super customers and listen to feedback. Brands that don’t listen, and respond in Internet time, risk alienating customers who they can’t afford to lose.
Even though Facebook is having problems other social media platforms seem to be gaining some momentum. Instagram has become a great social media channel for launching new products. Millennials may be ruining the world, but they’re the juggernaut Instagram user demographic. Users under 35 make up more than 70 percent of Instagram’s more than 800 million active accounts worldwide. Here’s a look at the age-demographic breakdown:
Ages 13–17: 57 million (7%)
Ages 18–24: 270 million (32%)
Ages 25–34: 270 million (32%)
Ages 35–44: 131 million (15%)
Ages 45–54: 68 million (8%)
Ages 55–64: 30 million (3%)
Ages 65+: 18.3 million (2%)
Then there is Twitter. Twitter Demographics are still impressive:
- 24% of All Internet male users use Twitter, whereas 21% of All Internet Female users use Twitter.
- There are over 69 million Twitter users in the US.
- Roughly 46% of Twitter users are on the platform daily.
- 37% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 29, 25% users are 30-49 years old.
- 56% of Twitter users $50,000 and more in a year.
- 36% of Americans aged 18 to 29 years old use Twitter.
- 80% of Twitter users accessing the platform on a mobile device, and 93% of video views are on mobile.
Consumers have no problem using Twitter to ask brand questions or voice their displeasure. Promoted Tweets still appear too often for a lot of users, but Twitter is still a viable channel for brands to listen to the pulse of their audience.
Marketers are still allocating too much money to social media marketing, but they’re not using that money to listen to consumers in an era when consumers very much want to be heard.