THE SOCIAL MEDIA SKY IS ALWAYS FALLING
Panic and sensationalism possess a special kind of digital penetrating genius.
But today I’m not whining about the political, Buzz-Feed, pumpkin-scented,
Kardashian-flavored variety of panic. Today, I’m bemoaning the perpetual, zombie-threatening, never-ending (why aren’t I selling insurance?) social media apocalypse.
Because no matter how many filters I put on my incoming social media “news,” this smorgasbord of nonsense still finds its way through. It’s definite-ly like a bad B-movie, but I can’t decide if it’s the one that’s so bad it’s funny … or just really bad.
In the end, all that matters is that real, actual business owners are reading - and too often, believing - this crap. Some of them take it to heart. To hearth. And straight to the feet of their marketers in vain.
This article cannot hope to chronicle the history of ‘this-is-the-end’ cum “expert” analysis.
But it’s easy to spot. Social media doomsdayers have an obvious, glaring tell that will allow you to quickly relegate their drivel to the Snopes sec-tion of your brain.
They always focus on the ‘evils’ of the social platform - not the obvious shortcomings of your content. Let’s skewer my favorite end-of-social-media-for-business prophecy in effigy … I mean, example.
“Organic Reach Is Dead.” Oh, the humanity. This particular genre goes to the top of my Chicken Little list for rearing its silly little feathered head about every 48 months on Fa-cebook … and for just being absurd. Newsflash. Organic reach - which just means users seeing your unpaid posts in their feeds - was NEVER an automatic reward for creating a profile anywhere.
Sure, organic reach was wider a decade ago - when there were WAY less of us on social media. But it was never an award for creating a social media profile. It’s not how social media works AT ALL. Whining about dwindling organic reach is like whining that there’s more traffic today than in 1930.
Here’s a quick social media algorithm crash course. The posts that show up in our feeds are the ones that people found interest-ing.
Put your pencils down, that’s it. The more users engage (like, share, comment) with a post, the more people see it. Posts that get users involved with the platform are prioritized for the simplest of reasons. Because platforms like it (and make more money when) users are involved with their platforms! If not, they’re just the next MySpace.
And because the platform simply CAN’T show you every post that is made. If it could, all 2,000 of your friends would heart the picture of your new kitty. On the other hand, you would have to see every post your mother makes about her neverending digestive problems (ew). It would be living hell, people.
As the average brand on Facebook, fewer of your fans will see your posts when compared to your personal profile. That’s true. It’s ... a brand! Anything your brand posts is advertising. And advertising has never, ever been free. So, the equally recurrent “Pay-To-Play” apocalypse is just the other side of the organic reach dooms-day coin. That mind-numbing alarm goes out just as often at full blast, warning that your brand will now have to (GASP!) pay for people to see its content.
It’s also because most brands make really, really boring posts. A savvy brand on Facebook, though, can take their creativity to the organic reach bank. And there are plenty of brands that are managing to entertain their fans. And not just in the accidental Salt Bae way. Or the multi-million-dollar budget Red Bull Stratos historic space jump way.
Thug Kitchen is a stellar example - and one of my favorites. (I don’t even cook, y’all). They post once a week, if you’re lucky. But every time they do, they kill it. I’m talking 2,500 likes and 300 shares on a picture of soup! 5,000 on a photo of an avocado. They constantly do things differently (and yeah, okay, more profanely) than Food Network would.
Brands like Thug Kitchen serve as constant re-minders that organic reach is not dead - even on a budget - y’know, if you can manage not to bore people to death.
Pro Tip: Once a user has engaged with any of your brand posts in any way, they are exponen-tially more likely to see your next post! That means that the more often you post engaging stuff, the more your “organic” audience will grow.
So fear not, the social media sky is “always” fall-ing and it’s never falling. Rather, like all technolo-gy, social media is constantly evolving. Which, my friends, means that you will need to evolve, too.
Speak Human, Win The Internet.
LARA EASTBURN, MASTER FACEBOOK AD SPECIALIST
Cut-up. Mother of Two. CrossFitter. Wine lover. Word Geek. That Smarty Pants PhD Friend You Keep On Speed Dial. FB Ads Special-ist Lara distills the ocean of social media marketing into perfect, high-octane shots of goodness for your business. In English. So you can be human online. Every day. Speak Human, Win The Internet.
Brands like Thug Kitchen serve as constant reminders that organic reach is not dead - even on a budget - y’know, if you can manage not to bore people to death.
Pro Tip: Once a user has engaged with any of your brand posts in any way, they are exponentially more likely to see your next post! That means that the more often you post engaging stuff, the more your “organic” audience will grow.
So fear not, the social media sky is “always” falling and it’s never falling. Rather, like all technology, social media is constantly evolving. Which, my friends, means that you will need to evolve, too.
Speak Human, Win The Internet.