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Social Marketing – Content vs. Pay For Play

Over the past few years, we’ve seen social marketing go through many transitions.  There was a point where many were elevating social marketing to a key strategic element of their marketing plan.  We have viewed the analytics for dozens of websites and have been administrators to dozens of Facebook pages and there are a few observations worth sharing.

  1. Traffic Generation – Few websites get more than 10% of their traffic from social sites.  Direct and organic traffic is certainly driven by activity on social sites but direct referrals are often 5% of traffic or less.  If the social traffic is greater, the brand either has sensational sticky content or they neglecting or under investing in other sources of traffic.
  2. Facebook’s evolution to Pay For Play – There was a time that brands could post daily content which would flood the news feeds of their community.  That time has passed.  It is rumored that a post will get exposed to an average of 6% of a brand’s community unless there is a great deal of engagement on the post in terms of liking and sharing.  It then may go to 10-15% and the word is that it will likely go to zero forcing brands to pay to expose messages to the audience they have aggregated or targeted.
  3. Buying “Likes: is not only a waste of money but it also will hurt you.
  4. Posting multiple times a day is a luxury only a few brands can afford.  You need to invest in great content and take care that you are not alienating your community.
  5. There doesn’t seem to be as many social marketing experts as there were a few years ago.  Brands don’t continue to pay if they don’t see some results beyond the number of “Likes” you have.


Social marketing is a very effective tactic, particularly for B2C brands but be wary of elevating it to your primary business building strategy. 

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