On one of the social media accounts we run, there was one we’d usually invest $1 in for each post, just so that it could get out of double-figure numbers in terms of reach.
With the right targeting, we’ve seen our reach max out at as much as over 10,000 people. Over the past month, however, we haven’t seen our reach even hit anywhere near 1,000 people. That’s quite the contrast from where we were at previously, and naturally it’s causing our account to suffer as our reach on average has dropped from the thousands to the low hundreds.
So, what gives? Well, I can bet that “over 500,000 Facebook pages currently paying to promote posts” might have something to do with it.
What we’re experiencing is a change in the strategy of thousands of companies’ marketing strategies. Like any other medium that becomes popular, starting from the very first ad etched onto a slab in Egypt, advertising efforts evolve with the people they are targeting.
If most people are getting their information from the radio, ad agencies are going to script copy just for the radio. If most people are getting it from televisions, ad agencies are going to start hiring actors, actresses, and directors. If most people are on their computers, those same ad agencies are going to survive and adapt by catering to where their present and future consumers are.
In the early days of social media advertising, you would have no problem reaching thousands of people, simply because there was no competition. Big companies were still pushing all of their advertising efforts towards TV and even newspapers (Remember those?).
Realizing that platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren’t just fads, these larger companies are now pouring money into social media advertising. In fact, “28% of marketers have reduced their advertising budget to fund more digital marketing” and “social media spending at companies currently represents 9% of marketing budgets, and that’s forecast to rise to nearly 25% within five years.”
And it’s only going to get worse for smaller companies that can’t compete with the big budgets of in-house marketing agencies for big companies:
“Competition to reach audiences will become more cutthroat. Social network ad spending is expected to hit $23.68 billion worldwide in 2015—an increase of 33.5% from 2014. Another forecast from the Social Times points out that Facebook CPC’s (Cost per Clicks) rose roughly 8% between 2013 and 2014. The right time to venture into social media is now because, over time, this channel is only going to become more competitive.”
As you would guess with this information, the ramifications for smaller businesses on social media are significant:
“The drop in organic reach has been apocalyptic for many businesses. This will force some businesses to reconsider Facebook as a viable channel and enable a migration to less noisy venues.”
Forget organic reach. Instilling a small amount of money may not be enough to compete, even with quality, creative content. It certainly has already had its affect on how we work.
Our suggestion? Make your targeting specific as to reach only the people you want to reach, explore other, more creative ways of targeting that you haven’t attempted, and consider advertising on other, growing channels that are just beginning to allow advertising.
As it was with the late response to migrate advertising efforts to Facebook and Twitter, you’ll likely expect more of the same with newer social media outlets that have yet to be fully taken advantage of by large companies.