Social media marketing: Avoid overcommitting to a single platform

adbottomlinePOST SUMMARY: According to Ogilvy “organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time.”  Forrester says in a new blog post, a recent change Facebook made to reduce the “organic reach” of advertisers’ posts — the percentage of their fans who see them — makes advertising on the social network no longer worth it:  Is there any doubt now that Facebook has abandoned social marketing, and that its paid ad products aren’t delivering results for most marketers?

Research by the ad agency Ogilvy shows that brand pages reach just 6% of their fans. Pages with more than 500,000 fans reach only 2% of them.
Research by the ad agency Ogilvy shows that brand pages reach just 6% of their fans. Pages with more than 500,000 fans reach only 2% of them.

 

The problem here is that the average Facebook user has about 1,500 items in their news feed every day. If those items were shown exactly in the order your friends posted them, your feed would be a meaningless jumble of garbage.  So Facebook has an algorithm that favors posts that have gotten comments and likes from your friends — you’re seeing the most important stuff first, not the most recent stuff. That means most posts do not get seen by most people.

The power in Facebook remains its potency to generate earned conversation and engagement. 

According to Nielsen, social ads that carry a friend’s endorsement (“Your friend Mary likes Acme Cheese”), generate a 55 percent higher ad recall than non-social ads. And of course, earned remains squarely at the top of the value table as well with 92 percent of global consumers saying they trust “Recommendations from people I know” and 70 percent saying they trust “Consumer opinions posted online.

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The model has shifted. Previously, brands were using “owned” to fuel “earned”. Going forward, they’ll need to use “paid” to fuel “earned,” but that doesn’t make the earned any less valuable.

The prime lesson as we approach Facebook Zero is to avoid overcommitting to a single platform. The right recipe for social starts with clearly defined business objectives, folds in a strong understanding of what the audience wants, and a few measures of clever storytelling designed to facilitate engagement.