The State of Social Media: Shifting the Conversation

When brands first started activating via social media, we knew so little about what we were getting into and what we’d get out of it. Metrics such as number of views, likes and/or followers seemed to make sense. A brand could post whatever they wanted on Facebook and then track the percentage of followers and comments. They were able to push out as much content as they liked, as frequently as they liked. Newsfeeds were cluttered with content pushing products, sharing ads, promoting coupons and talking for the sake of talking.

Unfortunately, when reach was the primary metric of success, something important was lost in the process… content.

When we shift our measurement for success from reach to engagement, we can start analyzing trends and create themes for high quality content.

As marketers, we can’t forget that social media is inherently social. It’s a two-way conversation. People don’t want brands talking at them, they want brands to talk with them. We can now measure engagement across all of our social platforms, whether that is clicking a heart-shaped button on Instagram, sharing content on Facebook, clicking through to read an article on Twitter or repinning on Pinterest. We can use metrics and insights to determine the types of content people want to engage with.

Reach is still, of course, important. A person can read a post and not click to engage with it. However, when people do take an action with content, messages become more viral.

With Facebook’s organic reach approaching zero, we have to create relevant, engaging content. We need to remain relevant to our followers and show them that we understand who they are as people and what type of content they are looking for.

People visit their social sites to interact with friends, to be inspired, to find breaking news or to just take a break from their workday. Brands can’t interrupt that space with irrelevant content. Without engagement, social becomes another form of advertising. When brands create high quality, on trend, relevant content, everybody wins. Brands are able to communicate their message in an engaging way, resulting in their message reaching a bigger audience. Fans and followers are able to truly connect with the brands they love on a meaningful, personal level, and become brand advocates.

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