Social Media Marketing Is a Joke (14. Wonderful article )
The Only Hope: let’s Return To Its Roots
Social Media Marketing
It laid bare what many in social media marketing has known for an extended, long time: That social media platforms are a joke, their valuations are supported imaginary users, and their integrity lies somewhere between Lucifer which guy who eats people’s faces within the movies. Social Media Marketing.
For marketing consultants like myself, recommending existing social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has been increasingly difficult, because -quite frankly- many folks don’t trust the metrics.
And why should we? Facebook doesn’t. Social Media Marketing.
This Is From Facebook’s 2017 SEC Filing (Emphasis Mine):
The numbers for our key metrics, which include our daily active users (DAUs), monthly active users (MAUs), and average revenue per user (ARPU), are calculated using internal company data supported the activity of user accounts. Social Media Marketing.
While these numbers are supported by what we believe to be reasonable estimates of our user base for the applicable period of measurement,
The largest data management company within the world says it doesn’t really know if its numbers are accurate. Estimates? Social Media Marketing.
What marketing professional wants estimated results after the fact?
Gets Worse. Emphasis Mine:
In the fourth quarter of 2017, we estimate that duplicate accounts may have represented approximately 10% of our worldwide MAUs. We believe the share of duplicate accounts is meaningfully higher in developing markets like India, Indonesia, and therefore the Philippines, as compared to more developed markets. Social Media Marketing.
Within the fourth quarter of 2017, we estimate that false accounts may have represented approximately 3-4% of our worldwide MAUs.
Let that sink in. Interestingly, they do not mention what percentage of their daily active users are fake.
And that’s the matter with social media. you do not know what’s real and what’s fake anymore. Social Media Marketing.
Social Media Hasn’t Been Real For A Short Time.
As marketers and advertisers, we pride ourselves on accuracy. within the olden times of selling and advertising, we obsessed over rating numbers of tv shows, readership for print promotions, and delivery success rates for spam. Social Media Marketing.
In all cases, the platforms of the day were heavily audited. You knew, with fair certainty, was the audiences were for any particular medium or channel because there was usually some extent of review somewhere for the numbers. Social Media Marketing.
Traditional media like radio, TV, and print had been around long enough that there have been thousands of case studies one could study the success or failures of individual campaigns. Because these mediums were a part of the general public record, it had been easy to figure backward to ascertain what mixture of media and budget worked and what didn’t. Social Media Marketing.
As an industry, we could quickly establish benchmarks for fulfillment – not just supported our personal experiences- but within the collective experiences of very clear strategies laid bare for everybody to dissect.
Well, each one went out the window with social media.
Social Media Marketing.
Facebook, Twitter, And Instagram’s Numbers Were Always A Joke.
In days of yore, company valuation was supported revenues, assets, and human capital, and performance.
The race to realize users became the drive for social media platforms during a way that we’ve never seen before.
Let’s get something clear: any platform that permits people to make thousands of faux profiles so others can purchase likes, followers, retweets, or shares is toxic to advertisers and makes alike. Social Media Marketing.
Now, I understand that the word “allows” is doing tons of labor therein sentence, so let me expand a touch what I mean.
I don’t think I’ll get many arguments once I say that -regardless of what I feel of them- the foremost successful social media platforms on the earth also are a number of the foremost sophisticated technological enterprises on the earth. Social Media Marketing.
They need -arguably- a number of the simplest AI around, as their entire business models revolve around having the ability to crunch numbers, facts, and obscure pieces of knowledge many times a second. Social Media Marketing.
They are also massive corporations, with a military of lawyers and IP bulldogs waiting to guard their brand against any hostile outside forces.
So inform me, how is it, that even in any case we’ve seen within the news people can still buy Facebook likes, or Twitter followers, or Instagram fans?
Social Media Marketing.
The reason: it had been always a scam. and that we got conned alongside everyone else.
If your company is valued on your number of users and therefore the activity of these users on your platform, what does one care if they’re fake or not? If you probably did, you’d hire an armada of auditors to make sure the integrity of your userbase.
I do not believe they ever did and can never do that. Social Media Marketing.
Social Platforms Deploy Their Honey Trap.
Initially, social platforms like Facebook and Twitter lured brands and corporations onto their platforms with promises of free marketing and advertising.
The power to quickly grow a fanbase and follower base, without the necessity of hiring marketing shmucks like me.
Why waste time on hiring knowledgeable once you can roll in the hay all yourself for nothing? Social Media Marketing.
At first, I used to be a supporter of this.
I believed that marketing and advertising was often something that only larger companies could afford, which small business marketing was being left behind.
So many businesses spent countless hours and thousands of dollars in human resources to grow their followers online. Social Media Marketing.
You had to pay to possess access to the userbase that you simply built up and cultivated.
Suddenly the numbers didn’t make any sense. You had to pay to market or boost posts when previously it had been free. The result was disastrous for several businesses.
The ROI’s didn’t add up, but with numerous of their customers on these platforms, that they had little choice but to still attempt to get whatever value they might for them.
Moreover, the move to such promotions opened Pandora’s box to further abuses.
The drive for revenue seemingly caused social platforms to still look the opposite way on fake profiles and social media bots because they drove ad sales. Personal data was harvested and manipulated in ways in which users couldn’t fathom and didn’t comply with. Social Media Marketing.
Mostly, it did something to marketing that I’m unsure we will recover.
for several digital marketing firms and marketing agencies, it forced us to down the Kool-aid with everyone else. folks that should have known better doubled down on social media marketing for our clients once we knew -for most of them- it had been unnecessary.
Marketing And Advertising Agencies Became Accomplices After The Very Fact
Like I said earlier, marketing and advertising agencies and consultants are alleged to obsess with accuracy. we would like our clients to possess the absolute best ROI available.
One of my favorite samples of how people that would know better will say anything for a buck island agents.
Have you EVER heard a true realtor tell you it is the wrong time to shop for a house?
altogether of my days, I even have never read a piece of writing by a true realtor saying that folks should hold off on a sale.
Are house prices going up? an excellent time to buy; you’ll make you’re a refund immediately!
House prices going down? it is a buyers market! Lock in your savings now!
Marketing and advertising professionals did something similar with social media marketing.
We saw the platforms’ rise in popularity and didn’t want to urge caught during a lurch. the excitement was building behind them, and clients were often demanding us to assist them.
So -even though Facebook and Twitter were mostly unproven with little to no actual case studies to talk of- many firms told their clients to throw money into the region of social.
What was the result? the bulk of social media campaigns are disasters.
I only know of a fraction of companies that continue with any seriousness on social media compared to the rates companies did with traditional advertising or maybe SEO and non-social digital ads.
You see it within the positioning. When digital marketers mention social media, they discuss it regarding “reach,” “exposure,” “presence,” “awareness.” That’s a code word for “throw your money away.
Real marketers mention ROI. Impact on sales, and impact on lead generation. you cannot pay the rent on brand awareness. I’m saying this as someone who builds brands for a living.
And it isn’t just me saying this. one among the most important brands within the world, Proctor & Gamble, gutted their ad budget and walked faraway from a number of agencies due to digital advertising and marketing fraud.
Social Sharing Has Been Automated To Death:
According to Buzzsumo, average social shares per article had declined by 50 percent in 2017 as compared to 2015. Their data also shows how briskly most hot topics become saturated with articles, resulting in only a comparatively few winners getting the bulk of the societal shares and hyperlinks.
Another found that, that bots automate nearly two-thirds -66%- of all HTML links posted on Twitter.
Again, if social media platforms truly valued their user-experience and cared about social being social, they might have banned such practices years ago.
No more social automation.
If you would like to interact together with your fans and followers, you’ve got to be there for them. you’ve got to be live, online, able to connect.
However, bots are good for business. They boost their daily active user accounts; they create their platforms look more popular than they’re.
Bots post content, bots like content, bots share content, bots follow people, bots message people -it’s endless.
Bots account for an ungodly 52% of internet traffic in 2017.
That number is merely set to rise further as social media continues to be a race.
Caught within the middle of all of this are businesses who think their digital marketing metrics have any meaning.
Your Influencer Isn’t That Influential.
I’m a firm believer in influencer marketing because I think it’s a natural extension of relationship marketing. People will buy from people they trust and can accept the suggestions of individuals they like.
However, with the expansion of online influencers, things have taken a turn for the surreal.
Social media bots follow celebrities as a way to spam their pages and/or a way to scrape an inventory of individuals to spam later with content.
Secondly, as marketers and advertisers, we are alleged to care about accuracy.
But the power to verify the fan base of an influencer is nearly impossible within the platforms. you’ve got to travel to third-party apps to undertake and obtain any real understanding of the legitimacy.
Moreover, even then, you’re at the mercy of the third-party to supply you with accurate data. Should Instagram plan to pack up the API to those applications, you’ll haven’t any idea how popular your influencer is.
The Future Of Social Media:
The thanks to solving the social media problem we’re facing today is simple: social media was great when it had been social and private. A return to the fundamentals is required.
No More Automation
If you do not have the time or the energy or the interest actually to interact with the citizenry, then social media isn’t for you.
What’s more, you are not for social media. Automation should stop. Period.
Human interaction is the most powerful driver of revenue and sales, as is that the best metric for the important value of a platform.
See And Be Seen
The use of live video to determine authenticity in an age where everything is anonymous is going to be a dominant driver of change within the next five years. rather than hiding behind memes, and curated content, companies should leverage influencers and their employees to champion their brands. Reconnect with the basics: one-to-one or one-to-many communications.
The Revolt Of Investors
I genuinely believe that the bulk of social media firms have fudged the books when it involves their userbase, activity, and recognition. it is time for investors to demand third-party audits of the info before the whole house of card falls on people’s heads.