If this image is all too familiar to you as a brand marketer, it’s because Facebook has finally killed organic reach and the “free ride” is over for brands. This has been occurring for the past year so it should come as no surprise to anyone managing a Facebook page.
Originally, as businesses posted on their page, people who “liked” the page would get the business’ posts on their feed. This was organic, and companies had to get people to like them so that these users could see their post. Now, according to this Business Insider article, “the ad agency Ogilvy was reporting as far back as February of 2014 that only about 2% of users were seeing companies’ Facebook posts.” Essentially, Facebook has taken out what was organic about their site for businesses, and turned it into a money making machine. Like any advertising tactic, Facebook ads do well for some brands but not for others (Noah Kagan has an excellent, comprehensive post on how his Facebook ads have performed).
That’s why it’s critical to look toward other social media services to market your business, so that you’re not completely dependent on Facebook and its whims (this goes for any platform). Forbes recently published “Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015” and it predicts that Twitter’s new business advertising model will increase in popularity, Instagram will become essential for image-based social media marketing and social media marketing will finally be embraced as a core pillar of content marketing.
While Facebook once hooked its users (and still does), many younger users are beginning to move away from Facebook and turn to other social media platforms: Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, even Ello have emerged to steal away the hearts and minds (and ad dollars) of youths.
With new platforms come new concerns, but sometimes, being the first to market on a platform can push sales. Universal Pictures stated that millions of people viewed their first Snapchat ad for the film “Ouija” and FOX released a 6-second “tweaser” on Vine for “Wolverine.” Both engagements were successful for the films in reaching a younger (under-25) demographic.
Ultimately, brands and marketers need to stay on the forefront of what their audience do on their free time. Fads come and go, so brands need to keep up and play along with them by being present on many platforms and open to new opportunities. In doing so, if one rises or falls, your business will thank you for not only being on Facebook.
By Brian Liberman