Is Social Media Marketing On The Decline?


One day this week, as I was perusing Tik Tok (‘cause we are living in a Millenial World and I am a Millennial Girl) a fairly popular video made by a social media marketer deemed that social media marketing was dead. She had come to this conclusion after recognizing that consumers had become savvy to and most of all bored of paid promotion.

This came as a shock to me! Taking this woman’s word as fact (as often occurs when lost in the labyrinth of social media messaging) I was thrust into instant fear for my professional career. Taking a breath and evaluating the facts, I reworked her thesis and came to this conclusion instead. 

Brands who want to take their social media marketing seriously, need a complementary campaign that extricates the benefits of paid promotion and an organic presence to maintain brand authenticity and create a loyal following.

For many brands, especially those operating on a smaller scale, paid promotion is a no brainer. It’s an efficient and cost effective way to target an audience that is likely to interact with your content. Once a following is accrued however, paid advertising can only get you so far and organic content becomes equally as important and in some cases, more important. Imagine clicking on an advertisement on Facebook or Instagram which brings you to their consumer page and finding no relevant content or only paid content. It would be a bit off putting.

Creating an organic social media strategy is an opportunity to create a voice for your brand, communicate with your consumers in an honest and engaging way and increase word-of-mouth buzz. 

Your company should be able to strategize where your most effective audiences live (or hire a trusted marketing firm), whether that be on Facebook or LinkedIn (or somewhere else), but a good rule of thumb is you can always test locations and see what works best for you. Where are your audiences interacting with your content?

You may even want to reach several platforms but the content will have to look a bit different (more professional locals vs. more relaxed and fun atmospheres). Content creation and editing is always going to be important. You may know exactly where you want to post, but it’s imperative that you know your audience and that audience may shift slightly depending on the platform.

Organic social media offers an opportunity for buyers to leave comments and in good cases, positive reviews. Of course, negative reviews will happen, it’s inevitable, but this is just another opportunity to level up, practice problem solving and connect with your followers in an authentic way. Bad reviews can be turned into good experiences and word of mouth is powerful. 

When you have created a strategy that simultaneously uses organic and paid promotion you can leverage that audience and use organic social media to create free campaigns. Hashtag promotions are a great example of this. IN 2017 and in years prior, Lay’s Potato chips created the hashtag campaign #dousAflavour and it became a popular contest for followers to suggest flavour ideas to the company. Free marketing research and content for the socials. Well played Lay’s, well played!

2017 Lay’s Do Us A Flavor Campaign ran on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Another way to use organic content to heighten your brand and engage your customers is displaying and hyping consumer generated content. A great example of this is how GoPro almost exclusively shares user generated content on their Instagram. It’s a fantastic way to showcase the usability and quality of their product and make their consumers feel special to be plucked from the exclusive (18 million followers) audience. Check out their daily “photo of the day” which highlights follower content @gopro on Instagram.

All of these tactics are free and they encourage a community of consumers that like to view your content and even strive to be a voice in it. That’s taking organic social media to the next level. 

After careful consideration, I am reminded that Social Media marketing is not dead. Consumers just don’t like to feel preyed upon, so, if your brand can capture the imaginations of its consumers and make them feel heard, you’ll be on the way to success. So don’t forget about your organic presence or you’ll lose your credibility. Complementing paid promotion with organic content will always be important.