3 Tips for Optimizing Your Organic Presence in a Pay-to-Play World
By: Justin Joffe
March 22, 2018
Amid a sea of constantly changing algorithms, what does organic social look like in 2018?
Sensational headlines about the “Facebook Apocalypse” might lead us to believe that we have little to no control over optimizing our social content without paying premiums directly to the platforms. But Stacey Sayer, global head of digital and social media for Advanced Energy, says we can rest assured that no apocalypse is nigh.
“This is not an apocalypse,” she says. “We [just] have to reset expectations. Social media is not what it was five years ago, three years ago or two years ago. It’s changed, it’s matured, it’s morphed, but there’s a natural evolution in the way things are moving. If you look across the history of marketing, there’s nothing here that overly surprises me.”
Sayer, who will be speaking at The Social Shake-Up Show May 7-9 in Atlanta, shares three tips for communicators who rely on organic social to continue making the most out their platforms amidst changing digital tides.
Don’t Panic—Have a Plan
There’s more to your brand’s social presence than just how many people a post can reach.
Instead of waiting for another algorithm change to completely upend your marketing strategy, anticipate an inevitable change and put an action plan in place to keep making the most out of your social presence.
“Part of that plan is recognizing that social is not just a marketing channel in its truest form,” says Sayer. “It’s a customer service channel, it’s a competitive analysis channel, it’s got great data that you can pull…so even if your entire marketing strategy blew up tomorrow, it doesn’t mean social is no longer relevant or beneficial.”
Fundamentally, you still have to know your brand and your audience, and Facebook is the entire foundation of many brands’ social activity. Nonetheless, it’s helpful to keep in mind that social media encompasses much more than just traditional advertising and marketing.
Hear from Stacey Sayer and a host of other social-savvy communicators from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Porsche, Southwest Airlines & more at The Social Shake-Up Show May 7-9 in Atlanta
Know What’s Changed and What’s Stayed the Same
Not all changes to organic reach on social are negative. Some changes make a marketer’s life easier, rendering old, arduous practices obsolete, such as worrying about the perfect time to post.
“To my mind, it matters very little when you post anymore because every major platform had changed the way they serve up your content, so nothing is really chronological,” says Sayer. “I’ll watch engagement happen on Twitter, have a post up for eight hours and all of a sudden get a burst of activity. It’s all a question of how they serve up the content.”
That said, some tried-and-true best practices obviously remain. Communicators still have to be opportunistic, too, particularly around live video.
“If there’s a big, breaking story that’s relevant to your line of business, you can go live, right? You can have a live video feed and start talking about whatever this evolving topic is,” says Sayer. “That methodology still works.”
Stay Diligent About Privacy Ethics
Fundamentally, this current crop of troubles with Facebook is nothing new.
“Marketing has long struggled with properly protecting data, and it’s tempting to not always behave ethically with data,” Sayer says, “so you have to be diligent in doing right by your prospects and customers.”
The European Union’s 2016 GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a step in the right direction, building upon the EU’s 1995 data privacy directive. Businesses that transparently communicate their awareness of such initiatives to their customers will have a leg up when another ethical breach engulfs one of the big platforms.
Follow Justin: @Joffaloff