Social Media in 2018

It’s 2018 and you may be wondering, ‘should my business get onto social media?’ or if you’re already doing it, you may be wondering if you should continue.

It’s a little late to ride the wave of free, viral marketing. Facebook marketing was ludicrous in the early days around 2006-2008. Back then, early adopters of using Facebook for advertising enjoyed high reach and engagement rates with their free, normal posts. These businesses were trendsetters and word quickly spread about getting your business onto Facebook. But by the time most business caught wind of this and started created their business profiles, they didn’t see the great successes that were promised. What happened?

In 2007, Facebook introduced Facebook Ads, allowing businesses to pay to have their brand or messaging displayed in users’ newsfeeds. This, combined with the growing popularity of Facebook created a new-found competition. A competition for real estate in user’s newsfeeds. Think about it, on a standard computer monitor, Facebook posts are pretty tall, you could fit maybe 3-4 on a screen at a time. How many times does the average user scroll? Unless they browse hundreds of posts, there’s little chance for everything to be seen.

Facebook is always updating their algorithm, trying to determine which friend’s posts you might be less interested in, in order to create space to fit in a Sponsored post. And vice versa, Facebook tries to determine which friend’s posts you’re more interested in, so you see content that keeps you interested on their platform and continue to return. At so, at the time, business pages posting normal posts got barely any views, comments or likes. In order to get any kind of visibility on their posts, they had to start submitting as Sponsored posts. And so started the downward spiral.  Some users have hundreds of friends and they’re already failing to see all of their friends’ posts. Combine this with paid ads… Well, you get the idea.

So in 2018, some businesses can, of course, still see success on Facebook. The industries that work best on social media are consumer products or services. Posts about food, travel and lifestyle generally do well, simply due to the relevance to the masses. 

What about b2b and specialist services? When you start talking about niche topics, that’s when there may not be room for you on the Newsfeed. It’s not that you don’t have a chance, but most likely, your marketing time/resources may be better spent elsewhere. There won’t be enough interaction on your posts to build an audience. But in the end, it’s all about your ROI. If it’s not costing you much to continue posting, then post away. Sometimes it can assist your SEO (but more about this in a future blog).

Tips on posting. How often should I post? What should I post?

  • Go for quality, not quantity. Don’t post frequently if you don’t have the content to support it. It’s better to post with huge gaps inbetween but at least have high engagement posts, than to post twice a week, only get a couple likes each time.
  • Thoughtful, engaging content is best. So think about your audience, what would trigger them? Is it emotional cues, is it certain interests. Are they an educated crowd? Perhaps they will respond better to articles. Are they a money-saving crowd? Perhaps they’ll respond well to a giveaway or competition. Are they a compassionate crowd? Perhaps an emotional story will appeal to them.

What is bad content? An example: blatantly pushing your product/service constantly, with no emotional hook or offering. You’re giving nothing and asking your audience to give. Give your audience something interesting, or funny, or educational.

What are some exceptions?

If you have an audience who is well connected or loyal to you, they will respond to more salesy-type posts, because they’re happy to support you. You’re lucky in this case, because you can get away with those type of posts from time to time. At Start Creative, we’ve managed pages where the audience is fairly cold towards the brand, meaning they haven’t purchased frequently yet or not loyal and high quality content is required to engage the audience each time. And for other clients, we’ve seen audiences who are very loyal and they love the brand, so almost any content would receive abundant interaction. But for most businesses, we’re working with the first type of audience.

If you say there’s nothing interesting about your industry, dig deeper. Although limited, there must be some kind of message that will work. And even if it means posting once a month, so be it.

In conclusion, Facebook is no longer an easy win for businesses like it was 10 years ago. You need high quality content and a little budget to Boost posts from time to time. Consider how relevant social media is for your business, the time/resources required and your odds of return on the platform and then decide to stop or go for it.

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