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Sneaky, Sneaky Social Media

Social media isn’t your friend even though it might seem that way.  Social media wants your time and your money.  Don’t let it take control of your project or business!

Well… Not that sneaky,  just misunderstood.

Everyone can accept that a social media presence is usually of some benefit to a project or business.   We sometimes forget though these social media platforms are businesses themselves.

The first thing most people do nowadays when starting a new project is begin work on a Facebook, Instagram or some sort of other social media platform profile.  With good reason, it is “free” and it allows you to tell everyone you know what you are doing!  Or is it?

Lets look at Facebook in more detail

“Facebook Post Reach” in pretty low compared to “Facebook Page Likes”.  You’d think that if someone likes your page they would see all your updates but they don’t.  Some figures quote post reach of less than 5% of page likes.  By this reckoning you’d need 1000 page likes to reach on average of 50 people withyour page’s posts.

Virality is virtually dead.  Unless it’s paid for.  Everyone, regardless of Facebook Page Likes anyone can reach around 1k of people for around £1.50.

Content with your content?

One of the major problems with social media is what it wants from you isn’t necessarily a good investment on time or effort for your business.  Video and images can be costly in time or money if they are more than uploads from a mobile.  This seems to be what social media expects you to produce but how much is it actually worth to you?


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The Worth of Reactions on Social Media
It is nice to be liked and it feels nice to get likes but what does it actually give you?  Reach.  That’s it.   If someone reacts, shares or reacts to a post it helps that post reach more people.  This can be great if you have an end goal like a booking or point of sale but if you aren’t linking to your website you are effectively just making traffic for wherever you posted your content to.
It would be great to tell you a reaction gives you x amount of reach but it doesn’t.  You are battling against an algorithm that takes so many factors in to consideration and is ever changing, no matter what social media channel you post on.
If a social media channel is leaning you towards specific content type it will probably make it easier to reach more people with this type of content but if you aren’t set-up to produce such content, maybe it’s better finding a platform that is more eager for content in general?
This Used to Work…
People forget that social media site’s prime goal is to sell advertising and they are constantly trying to refine how they deliver both user generated, page and paid advertising content.  Content from pages with no advertising is probably at the bottom of the pile in regards what is going to appear in people’s News Feed.
Pretty much all social media channels work in the same fashion.   They undercharge or give services for free and try and make themselves “essential” to projects or businesses and then introduce mechanisms that make their services something that performs better if paid for and once they get to here, its the highest bidder that get preferential treatment which is usually bad news for small business.
Not only that social media is constantly testing stuff to create both a better user experience and to improve effectiveness of adverts.  Your post on your business page that you crafted to perfection but didn’t pay for any advertising services for is at social media’s disposal.  Social Media is going to give you reach with this post but not because it is excited about your reasonable prices and great reviews but because it is a great way to gauge how a user will react to a paid advert. 
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All is not Lost!

There is still plenty of opportunity to get organic reach for your posts and by “getting under the hood” of systems like Ad Manager for Facebook there is value to be had.

Social Media, in a business sense, leans toward reputation management as much as anything these days even without content added regularly.  Reputation has a huge part to play in how search engines rank your site.

Useful or engaging content is going to be a plus for whatever you are doing and no matter where it appears but don’t all your eggs end up in the one basket especially one like social media that has let so many people down before just with a tweak of it’s algorithm or rules.

Popular social media sites have more reach but don’t dismiss industry specific ones or emerging channels.  With industry specific ones the purpose of someones visit is easier to define.  With emerging channels you are probably going to have more linear results as their algorithm, of how it shares content, isn’t going to be as complicated.
A website with analytical software is a great way to take control and turn social media channels into your guinea pigs and find out what works best for you in terms of marketing.  Don’t let one social media channel dominate your online presence.  

If you have any questions you can get in touch via the usual questions or comment below.
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