The general consensus is that Facebook is still playing a crucial role within social media marketing but as it loses it’s “cool factor” that made it so popular in the first place will the audience engagement go down and never recover?
This is one of the most hotly debated topics in social media at the moment, with lots of people and brands too afraid to step away from Facebook and simply because of the numbers of impressions. For me the greatest question is simply “How many of you reading this right actually buy from Facebook ads?” – I imagine there is a large percentage that do not. The reason is that those of that grew up with Facebook and how cool it was naturally resent being forced to have our content stream interrupted from useless and irrelevant advertising from brands we don’t trust, suggesting content that is not exciting enough. In fact that says more about the entire advertising space in social media.
Whether or not you are aware of the fact that Facebook is losing its engagement – Facebook certainly is. With recent acquisitions of Instagram and Whatsapp this is Facebook admitting that the engagement across the platform is dropping and that younger users that founded Facebook are now looking elsewhere. The IPO of Facebook is still relevant in all of this as well, predictions of $60-$70 share prices held for less time that it takes to post a generic update of a holiday album. The unrealistic expectations of a company that led the social generation to remain competitive in the mobile generation were too much and we have to now look at when Facebook will disappear rather than if it will.
The key for me to stay alive in this era when Facebook slowly loses its grip on the consumer will be to turn towards other social platforms in their early stages and find ones that have really specific and relevant demographics. Pinterest is about the largest example of this. What started out as simple photo sharing platform turned into a popular place for a certain demographic – female 30+ – to share things like recipes, wedding planning and designers all being able to create beautiful boards of images to help guide not only their creativity but their buying decisions too. Now Pinterest is a huge network with the highest average spend of all networks – that’s right more than Facebook.
A network I am really interested in seeing develop is one that was introduced to me by the ever present Gary Vaynerchuk. Jelly is a simple Q&A network that allows you to post a question with a photo, location or text and then people that can help will answer and strike up a conversation or they can swipe away the question and move on to the next one. What I really like is that when you get an answer to your question you are encouraged to thank that person keeping a high level of engagement with your audience. I have seen all sorts of questions from people asking about shareholding votes all the way to outfit choices.
As the network grows and we get better demographic information a simple questions of “Hey guys, I work in social media marketing and wondering if I can help anyone with a free hour of consultation?” might lead to a lot of engagement and potential leads with no cost to you and no need for a complicated ad campaign. It has to be worth the time to take in trying something new.
Lack of innovation and “doing things the way they have always been done” is a terrible mistake and being on Facebook is no longer innovative enough to make sure you are ahead of the game. If you don’t want to get left behind then you need to be researching new micro networks now so that when everyone else joins the bandwagon you will already be the authority in the space.
Other networks I like right now are: