Why it pays to get personal on social media
I was recently at Social Media Week London, where, during a discussion about strategies to convince company boards to approve social media budgets, I heard the phrase: “social is now a paid channel”.
This really got me thinking. Is it true?
Sure, global social media advertising spend is set to top $30bn in 2016 according to Statista data, but what about the very foundation of social media itself – the value of a relationship. Does this have no place in social media in 2016 and beyond?
I mostly operate in a B2B social media environment, where it can be a challenge to include any level of social media activity, let alone secure large advertising spend. I have the job of helping B2B marketers invest in social media without large ad budgets and with often a very long sales cycle.
The bloating of social advertising budgets is no coincidence. Across several channels, there has been a marked drop in organic reach, by design of course, to encourage brands to invest in social media advertising to ensure marketing messages reach the right people. Is this the future of ‘social advertising’ and if so, what is social about it?
I’ll admit that I do think, to a large extent, that social media has become a ‘pay to play’ game. Not exclusively though, and there is plenty of hope for marketers without money to spend on advertising.
Over the last 3 years, digital marketing has undergone a seismic change. Industry competition is forcing brands to get creative and more importantly, get personal with their approach. But this doesn’t equate to ploughing more and more money into the new advertising formats that get dreamed up every quarter. Imagine trying to convince a board member to fund a Snapchat campaign where the content is displayed for 10 seconds and then disappears forever!
So what is the secret sauce of social? How can businesses get their content in front of prospects without paying a fortune to the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter for their audience targeting?
As you might expect, there is no panacea or magic-bullet, but neither is it rocket science. In my upcoming webinar “Organic: Recipes for B2B Social Media Success” I talk about some of the strategies that we use at Fieldworks but in particular I think the answer lies in relationships.