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The Evolution of Social Media Marketing

25 Mar 2014

The Evolution of Social Media Marketing

While doing research at the end of last week, I stumbled upon this great article from Cotton Delo of Ad Age.

A quick summary: brand posts on Facebook simply aren’t reaching fans anymore.

Free ones, to be more specific.

Organic_Reach_Chart

Views of all organic brand posts on Facebook have plummeted almost 50% from 12.05% to 6.15% in less than a year. While certainly a cause for worry amongst marketers and social media managers, the explanation is simple.

  • People don’t go onto Facebook to see advertisements; they want to see their friends and family.
  • There is an overcrowding of brands on the social media site, all jostling for a limited space.
  • Facebook has to pay the bills somehow.

Promoted posts are getting a lot more push from the company, with advertisements like the one below becoming commonplace.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 12.17.52 PM

There are bonuses to this. Instead of begging family and friends for likes, or slowly waiting for the fan base to grow over time, page managers can directly target the audience and demographics they want immediately. For a fee that is.

The costs vary based on the selected targets, which include age, gender, location and interests. However, the price ranges from $5 to $100 and promises a reach of several hundred to several hundred thousand based on the targets and price.

It also means that organic posts will have to be a home run, generating plenty of shares across a multitude of profiles, or risk disappearing into the crowd. General good posting practices will continue to help, but content will no longer receive the same high average views across post to post.

When social media first emerged, it was an incredible boon to advertisers. Free publicity on a medium visited by millions daily? Great! However, the platforms are catching up with the times.

It’s not just Facebook too. Instagram and Pinterest are looking into their own promoted posts, and boosted tweets have been around for a while. The honeymoon is ending. It’s time for brands to step up their viral marketing game and pay up.

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Adam Ballent is an intern at Capstone National Partners. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

The views in this blog post represent the viewpoints of individual team members, not Capstone National Partners as a whole.

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