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For quite some time, Facebook was the way to connect with customers and prospects on social media. Twitter eventually came onto the stage and became a standard in this realm. If businesses did not have strong presences on both of these platforms, they could count themselves “out" for a large part of their potential audiences.
“At a bare minimum, these sites offered a way of validating a business and confirming that it was real and viable. But the power that Facebook and Twitter offered extended far beyond that—for a while." Says Matthew Pattoli from Social Vantage. These venues offered amazing opportunities for companies to cultivate ongoing relationships with their audiences—and to grow their audiences as well. The free price tag associated with much of this along with the results made it all highly popular among marketers.
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Facebook Started the Change
The zenith that was enjoyed by Facebook and Twitter has changed dramatically this year—and it started in large part due to a change made by Facebook. Beginning in January 2015, Facebook essentially cut off using regular social posts as free ads. Any post that sounded like an ad, looked like an ad or acted like an ad could be hidden from the view in a news feed. Companies that want to advertise something need now to actually pay for an ad.
The Statistics Show the Reality
One bit of research conducted this year indicated that companies reached a mere 2% of their followers with Facebook posts or Tweets. And, of those people, only 0.07% were found to actually engage with the companies. These numbers plus the clear stop on free advertising by Facebook make it obvious that marketers looking for an affordable means of reaching customers on social media need to device a new strategy.
Are Facebook and Twitter Dead?
Not at all. These vehicles can still provide reputation credibility for companies of all sizes. But, they must be used wisely and appropriately—and that means not as free advertisements. The amount of time and human resources that goes into these things makes the cost far from free anyway.
How Else Can Companies Relationship Market?
The advent of new social media platforms has ushered in new opportunities via which businesses can connect with their audiences. This might be in the form of social messenger apps or industry-specific social media platforms. These avenues offer some great ways to be more targeted with social media which can increase the ultimate return on investment. Branded communities are another option with the same targeted benefit.
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About the Author: Cody Jensen began his career with the corporate giant, Google Inc. He has been in Search Engine Marketing ever since, and has a specific acumen for paid advertising. As the Founder of Searchbloom, Cody leads the strategy and execution in providing world class digital marketing to small businesses across the country.