Why Social Media Reach is Really Dying

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Having trouble reaching your audience on social media?

You’re not alone.

Over the past decade, social media marketing has become one of the most powerful tools in the modern marketer’s toolkit, allowing businesses to build an audience with relative ease.

However, times are changing, and it’s no longer easy.

Social media reach is being hampered by several factors, from saturated markets to an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Now, your company must adapt to survive.

How the Facebook Algorithm Has Changed the Game for Marketers

At the start of 2018, Facebook announced some big changes were afoot.

The platform was to shift focus back to connecting people, rather than giving preference to media consumption.

The new algorithm effectively put marketing content in the backseat, which was bad news for marketers hoping to grow their brand on social media.

Since then, some companies have reacted well, while others have made some mistakes. Specifically, they’ve bought into the widespread belief that organic social media reach is dead. 

One of the Most Harmful Social Media Marketing Trends

Research from BuzzSumo found that content engagement on social media has dropped by 50% since 2015. With less interaction on their posts, many companies have turned their attentions to other marketing streams, such as email.

While that in itself holds vast potential for building a loyal audience, you shouldn’t close the book on social media marketing just yet.

A common trend now is for companies to manage their social media marketing in-house, as opposed to hiring an agency. While this certainly cuts on costs, there are drawbacks to employing an avid social media user fresh-out-of-college.

Sure, they’ll know a few things that the rest of the office might not, but when it comes to strategy and marketing skills, you could find yourself falling behind the competition.

Unfortunately, many small businesses persist with this venture, which more often than not, leads to a flood of low-quality content that delivers little return on investment (ROI).

5 Strategies to Boost Social Media Reach in 2018

So, just how can your business deal with the issue of declining social media reach?

Here’s what you should be doing:

1.    Video

When Facebook say video content boosts engagement, it’s worth taking note.

Facebook Live is another option. Although it doesn’t have the same social media reach as native videos do, studies indicate it still trounces text posts.

Native or live, video content is the indisputable king of content now, and it’s here to stay.

2.    Visuals

From GIFs to infographics, catchy images to thought-provoking photos, visuals make a big difference to your content, as proven by the 87% increase in engagement.

3.    Ask for Engagement

Sometimes, to get more likes and shares, all you need to do is ask. But beware of bait-like posts. Instead, aim to incite genuine discussion and conversation.

4.    Paid Ads

With social media reach on the wane, many marketers are exploring paid advertising.

Facebook ads don’t cost much, and with some clever strategy, you can target specific segments of your audience. Ultimately, this ensures your content reaches the people you really want it to.    

5.    Use Brand Advocates

Social media marketing still has the power to build networks. By reaching out to friends, family, and trusted associates, you can get help to amplify your content.

Teams who post their content on personal pages can harness this potential, as people are 16 times as likely to engage in content from a friend rather than a brand.

Quality Over Quantity Is What Matters In Social Media Marketing

Social media reach is not what it was, but it isn’t quite dead yet.

The game has changed, and companies must evolve with it.

Focus more on quality rather than quantity.

By embracing new social media marketing strategies, your company can still build a strong brand on social platforms. Over time, these methods will deliver a solid ROI, and help you achieve real growth.

10 Digital Tools for Everyday Effectiveness (and Fun)

We asked the E29 team to share some of their favorite tools that they use every day. This list is by no means exhaustive, but you may find something in here that you didn’t know about before and it could save you time and make your workday more productive too. Some of these are also good for personal use, so read on and share any tools you love in the comments.

1. Slack

Megan says: “Slack is a [great tool]! A few of us in the office use it all the time and helps us stay connected. It’s so easy to message, send files, ping people during meetings, and know when people are online or not.”

Slack has definitely changed the way work teams collaborate. Launched in 2013, Slack has grown to have 8 million daily active users in 100 different countries. If you thinking, why do I need another tool for collaboration and project tracking, it’s more intuitive than you might think and very easy to keep track of activity for each project, client or team. I’m sure you’ll be surprised how much time it saves you.

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2. Pinterest

Annabelle says: “I’ve been using this app for a few years now and I use it for everything! My wedding, Honeymoon, Fashion, Home Decor and Organization. I remember before getting married I would spend hours and hours looking up ideas and wedding DIY’s every day. Not only did I had the wedding of my dreams, but we saved a lot of money thanks to all the great ideas I found.

Features I love from this app?

I was looking for a Jute rug for my living room a month ago, so of course, I went to Pinterest to look for ideas. I saw a pin of the rug I wanted, click through to Pottery Barn's website and purchased it on the spot.”

Fun fact you may not have known about Pinterest: It is headquartered in San Francisco and took several years before becoming one of the main social networks. 81% of Pinterest users are females.

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3. Screenshot Tool

For a tool that is both a feature and a utility, I use the screen capture feature on my phone and Mac a few times a day, at least. I love screenshots and I really don't know how I would survive without them. On the iPhone X to take a screenshot, you click the power and one of the volume buttons at the same time. On pre-iPhone X phones, you hold down the home and power buttons. And on a Mac for a screenshot, my favorite way to do it is to press Shift + Command + 4 and then select what I want from the screen. Of course, there are many tools for screen capturing. What's your favorite?

Screenshot created from an iPhone X

Screenshot created from an iPhone X

4. Repost for Instagram

Anne says: “I'm sure most of you are familiar with this one, but it's been a game changer for me just because it makes sharing content from other people on Instagram so much easier. All you have to do is copy the link of the post you want to share and then open up the Repost app. From there, you can share the post and caption if you like to your own Instagram feed or story. I went ahead and purchased the "premium" Repost package, which allows you to repost content without the watermark. For an $8.00 investment, you can clean up your Instagram feed without having to include a bunch of watermarked images - totally worth it.”

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Note the repost icon in the lower left hand corner of the image. This can be removed with a subscription.

5. VSCO

Anne discovered this app about a year ago while hunting for better filters and presets for Instagram pictures. This is far and away the best photo and video editing app she has used. VSCO's motto is, "By Creators, For Creators" and you can see why once you explore their arsenal of filters. Once you select a filter you really like, you can go much, much deeper and truly adjust your photos and videos to balance and refine them to your liking. 

The other cool thing about VSCO is they have an online community where creators can share their photos and videos so you can search through all sorts of original content based on style, filter, color scheme, topic, etc. It's a great source of inspiration if you're looking to change up your Instagram feed. This one will help you up your Insta-game for sure.

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What’s your favorite Instagram tool?

6. SimilarWeb

I use it a lot for competitive research to see where a client stands compared to their competition. There's a great Chrome extension that lets you see the results and easily screenshot them for use in presentations.

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7. SpyFu

This tool shows us competitor information for organic search and paid search. It's great for understanding spend, rank and keywords. 

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8. LIKEtoKNOW.it 

Melissa says, “This app works with Instagram to make posts about clothing, beauty and home items easy to source and purchase. It uses influencers and links to retailers online. 

Here’s how it works: Download the app and link it to your Instagram account. When one of their ambassador's posts an outfit or specific item you would like to purchase on IG, you can like the post. It must be tagged with LIKEtoKNOW.it. Then it becomes part of your feed within LIKEtoKNOW.it. In the app, you can choose items and it links directly to the retailer for purchase. 

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At the end of the week LIKEtoKNOW.it sends a recap of what you liked.

The app is an evolution from their first version. They now provide a better experience. I can go directly to the app, scroll through people I follow and purchase the items I see. 

The app features clothing, accessories, and home decor. Great find for me!”

9. Google Analytics

Melissa says, “The Google Analytics app is my new favorite! I love having Google Analytics right at my fingertips. You can see specific campaigns, e-commerce transactions, where people are visiting from etc. The information is so easy to comprehend and you can dig deeper if needed.

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10. Marco Polo

Amie says, “For personal use, my cousin introduced me to an app a couple of weeks ago called Marco Polo. I’m loving sending video messages to my family across the country and to my sis in London. It’s so much more personal than a text or voicemail.”

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Your turn: What are your favorite digital tools for marketing, productivity or just plain fun?