2018: The Year of Decentralized Social Media Marketing
Changing algorithms, increasing PPC costs, and an uncertain political landscape will change the social media marketing landscape.
During the last couple of years, the advice given to most brands was to focus in on one channel. Simply test the effectiveness of a couple different channels and pick the one that delivers the highest ROI. Well, that was true up until 2018.
Now, thanks to an uncertain regulatory landscape, increasing PPC costs, and changing algorithms brands using only one channel are in for a shock.
The drawbacks of using a single social media channel for marketing
There are a few major drawbacks to using a single social media channel, but we’ve not seen any signs of those until now. One of the most prominent, changing algorithms, has been making waves lately, as we’ll explain below.
Facebook is testing out/releasing the Explore Feed and, in 6 countries, posts by pages are no longer appearing in the news feed. What does this mean? A huge drop in organic reach. If all of this is new to you, I highly recommend reading Filip Struhárik’s post: Biggest drop in Facebook organic reach we have ever seen.
After reading that, you may see why it’s clear focusing on a single social media channel is asking for trouble. In fact, many of you reading this may be extra concerned seeing as over 50 million businesses use Facebook.
But these problems aren’t specific to Facebook. Nearly every social media algorithm today has some form of algorithm impacting how much reach your content has. This doesn’t usually present an issue, but it means that you’re at the whim of the social media company, and in an instance like this testing with Facebook, they could make a change that cripples your marketing ROI at any moment.
Increasing PPC Costs
Another drawback is the increasing cost of boosting posts, and placing ads on social media platforms. You’ve likely already experienced this with your ads. Your dollar may be buying less likes, clicks, or views .
That value was one of the biggest reasons to use social media ads, and you may assume it’s unavoidable. However, you’re wrong. There are several social platforms where cost is low, and you can get a lot for your money. Take Reddit for example, which works incredibly well if your audience is on the platform and you understand what Redditors are looking for.
The last potential issue with a single channel focus is the changing political landscape. The influx of fake news, state use of social for manipulation, and other complex issues have politicians looking at social with increasing scrutiny.
We have yet to see what that means for social platforms, but that’s what makes a single platform marketing plan so scary. At any moment, the platform could change to accommodate new regulations. This could be in the form of increased costs, decreased targeting options for ads, fewer analytics (especially demographic info), and more. The jury is still out on what changes could occur, and it all varies depending on your region, so we recommend following your local politics closely.
Introducing the decentralized social media marketing plan
In order to counter these upcoming challenges, brands will begin to adopt a decentralized social media marketing plan. This means they will no longer focus on just one or two social channels, and will no longer have a single strategy for all channels. What we’re doing at Arora Project now is a good example of this.
We’re here on Medium, on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on Instagram. We’re experimenting with and looking into getting on other platforms too like Reddit, Quora, Snapchat, and even Mastodon. That’s a lot!
Normally, we’d focus in on just one platform (we did in the past, it was Facebook), but a brand needs to diversify their social media platforms. As we’ve started to use other platforms, we’ve noticed a few distinct benefits:
- First, we’re able to better weather the algorithm changes, If Facebook starts decreasing the reach of our Facebook posts, they’re now only a fraction of total reach.
- Second, we’re able to learn a lot more about social media marketing. Each platform is different and takes a unique strategy to be successful. This helps us better handle our clients social media platforms.
- Third, we are lowering the cost of our social media marketing. By diversifying, we’ve been able to reach more users, and as a result, lower our ad spend to get similar results!
So, to wrap everything up, here is what you need to know about social in 2018:
- Brands that use only one or two social media platforms will start to experience lower and lower results thanks to algorithm changes, an uncertain regulatory landscape, and increasing PPC costs.
- To counter this, brands will need to adopt a decentralized social media marketing plan.
- This plan involves operating on several channels at once, with distinct social media marketing plans for each channel. (No more one size fits all social media marketing plans!)
- Brands who switch early will experience more success than those that switch after problems begin.
If you need any help setting up and managing your social media marketing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Arora Project.