Come on folks, it's 2017 and some of you still don't understand what to expect from social media marketing. Shame on you! Ok, to be fair, there are still many emerging brands who are just starting to venture down the road of influencer marketing and paid social campaigns, so let's just say this piece is for you.
There are very few brands that have instant fame and exponential growth on social media, just as there are very few overnight successes in business.
Brands need to be realistic about their growth on social media and understand that social media is a very necessary evil when it comes to brand marketing.
A 2015 survey by Marketing Profs of over 26,000 brands showed a median annual growth of 42% with the highest growth rate on Instagram. The month over month growth rate? 6-8% with approximately 23% of that growth on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn...just to give you a point of reference.
You Must Pay To Play
Gone are the days of organic engagement. With social media brands (ehem....Facebook) changing their algorithms all the time, it has become harder and harder for brands to penetrate new markets and capture market share.
In fact, the statistic is that even within a brand page's own audience only 10% or less of that audience sees their daily postings. What that means is that in order to hit growth expectations and see real engagement and movement, brands have to utilize the advertising tools made available to them. The good news? You can still have a large impact, even with a small dollar spend.
A/B Testing is a Gift, Use It
A lot of brands complain that their advertising isn't returning the user base and engagement that they hoped and therefore don't believe that advertising is a useful tool for their marketing efforts. Whenever I hear brands complaining about their advertising not being effective I always ask if they are testing their imagery and their messaging.
That's the brilliant thing about social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can develop a strategy based on real time data and feedback from your audience. In other words, your audience will tell you exactly how they like to be marketed to, if you listen.
This post was originally published for INC. Magazine, to see the remaining social media must-knows read the rest of the article here.
Stay tuned for more from Laurel through her Inc. column 'On Brand'.