When social media first took off more than a decade ago, it was the young crowd who were first to embrace the online hangouts with their photo-sharing, thought-posting and event-organizing. But today, instead of embracing these public online spaces, the young crowd is running from some social media channels in troves.
Why the sudden mass exodus? There are a few reasons, and marketers take heed – we are one of them. Nearly three-fourths of millennials and Gen Z social media users say they are annoyed by brands targeting them through social media. And, in a surprising turn of events, more than half have cut back from social media because of overzealous advertising.
As young people continue leaving social media, marketers need to embrace this change and consider some change to their behaviors as well. Targeting needs to feel not so targeted in order to relate with the up-and-coming generations. Here are some things to consider when plotting ahead with your social media strategies, our focus turned toward engagement.
The Algorithm. The algorithm is social media’s challenge to marketers. Last year, in response to feedback that users of Facebook wanted to see more of their friends and family and less of business and brand content, Facebook updated their algorithm to meet the desires of their users. Unfortunately for brands, this reduced the opportunity for our organically generated content to be seen by many. The result is that as marketers, we’re going to need to pay to be seen. If you’re investing in social media marketing, take advantage of the audience targeting features and get the most bang for your buck. (Shameless plug alert: B2E can help with this!)
Find a community. A great way to get in front of your target audience without breaking the bank on social advertising is to find an online community and join. Once you’re there, use your new platform to offer relevant tips and content – work to add value to the community in order to increase brand awareness. The genius part of this strategy is that this lends itself well to influencer marketing, or word-of-mouth referrals. If you have time to network and engage online, find a community and use that platform to teach, entertain, inspire and grow brand recognition.
Content stories. To really find success on social media, brands today are much better at posting content that users can engage with and get emotional about. Generating a content story that plays out over time and intrigues an audience will gain more interest than an ad, and… audiences tend to find them less annoying. Providing meaningful content is the way to be appreciated by audiences and lend to positive brand association.
The rules of the social media roadways have changed course, and they will no doubt continue to shift directions over time. If your marketing team has not taken time to adjust to the current state of social media, it may be worth the effort to reflect on the performance of your current strategies and look for opportunity to do better. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, the team at B2E would be happy to review your current strategies and make recommendations for new targeting and other adjustments that could lend to some quick wins for your marketing program. Contact us today!