According to Shareaholic, in 2017 search outpaced social for referral traffic, for the first time since 2014. In other words, there was more traffic to your website via a Google search (34.8% of site visits), than from social media (25.6%). So does your business still need social media?

Why has this happened?

Facebook organic reach for Pages has declined significantly, due to changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm. When "fake news" fears and the privacy issues that have recently plagued Facebook are also factored in, it makes sense.

So do you still need social media?

Like most jobs, it's important to choose the right tools for that job - and social media is just part of the toolbox. Too often I meet people who proudly tell me they have X number of Likes on their business Facebook Page, or a recent post got X number of Likes. The problem is, Likes do not necessarily translate to more sales, or more customers, or more of anything except, well, Likes. Even running Facebook ads sometimes just results in Likes on that ad, and not actual clicks through to whatever is being promoted.

What social media marketing is good for, is getting a brand name out there, providing information, and increasing recognition and reputation. This is a decent academic article, which confirms the positive impact of social media marketing on luxury brands. But if it's going to be done, it needs to be done strategically, specifically to your brand and the market it sits in, and designed to achieve a particular goal. Just clicking the "Promote" button on a post, isn't strategic. You may as well just hand your hard-earned cash over to Google or Facebook and be done with it.

Think about this...

How often have you seen an ad on Facebook and vaguely remembered the heading or picture or message later on, but not which Page posted it? That happens to me all the time! And I think those are the ads people click Like on, without clicking through. Those ads aren't necessarily providing information or brand recognition or improving the business reputation in any way - they're just costing you and generating some income for Facebook. They have no strategic purpose.

So in short - yes, you probably do still need a Facebook Page. It helps your business with brand recognition and reputation. BUT - it shouldn't be your whole business. You might also need another social media platform, and Search, and a website, and a decent plan for how to make the whole thing work together to achieve your goals. The point is, how you utilise social media may differ dramatically from business to business, depending on your business and your goals.

If you need assistance with your business digital strategy or marketing, please contact us.

About The Author

Nicky Veitch

Author: Nicky Veitch - Founder & CEO, ENVEE Digital

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