By Adam Fraser.
Organic reach on social media platforms has been declining for some time – the original tipping point being Facebook’s algorithm change in mid 2014 which significantly choked reach. This story continues to the present day with even major publishers like BuzzFeed reporting a 40% decline in their traffic from Facebook.
This is not going to be another post about the building your house on rented land issue – a trend brought further to the fore by YouTube’s recent launch of YouTube Red.
If marketers have to accept the new reality that any form of meaningful organic reach is at best unreliable and at worst statistically irrelevant, then what to do in social? Well of course there are numerous use cases for social across an enterprise beyond marketing including sales, customer retention, customer service, PR, market research, competitive analysis and HR to name a few.
But on the marketing front, “pay to play” is an inevitable and necessary part of the play book today if you want your message to be seen more broadly (a trend confirmed in this podcast interview with the head of social at a major brand). Hence it was with interest that I reviewed a recent report from Emarketer “Social Advertising Effectiveness Scorecard: Industry Execs Grade the Leading Platforms”.
Based on in depth interviews with 29 companies who were asked to grade the effectiveness of their social advertising, the key findings were:
- social advertising as whole was graded B with Facebook the highest overall score at a B+
- the key strength of social advertising is its targeting capability
- Facebook ranks extremely well for targeting, Pinterest ranks well for ecommerce/buying intent (something I have previously discussed)
- the key overall area for improvement is measurement – marketers want better tools to demonstrate the true bottom line impact
- Twitter ranked strongly for measurement, brand awareness and engagement but less well in driving sales and ROI
- Snapchat ranked well for creative but had some of the worst scores across all other categories – perhaps due to its newness?
- Facebook and YouTube ranked equally for video ad effectiveness with marketers pointing to the different needs on each platform.
Overall scorecard seems to be “shows good potential but could do better in some areas” with Facebook the best regarded platform by some margin.