I haven’t written a blog post for ages. Years even. I’ve been flat out with client work and haven’t really given myself a break. I’ve started a few but never got as far as publishing them before they feel out of date. And that’s the problem. When you’re writing about social, news expires within weeks. New updates and algorithms and rules mean that what worked last month, probably doesn’t work anymore.
But recently I’ve noticed a trend that I felt compelled to comment on.
It started last year with Facebook prioritising ‘meaningful interaction’ on the Newsfeed. This algorithm update really put a spanner in the works for brands and editorial sites who had put all their eggs in Facebook’s basket. Sure, organic reach had been declining forever but this update explicitly meant that to be in with a chance of your content being seen you either had to pay for it with ads and boosts, or you had to create content that actually resonated with your audience and probably
Unfortunately, this update may have kick-started the decline of Western democracy, but hey, the engagement was up by 50% year on year.
The same thing is happening with Instagram, organic reach has dropped to less than 10% for most brands, and gaming the algorithm means getting actual engagement on your posts. That’s comments and shares and tags, not the lazy double taps that don’t really mean much of anything. This was the reason more and more small business
Then I saw this article being shared across social as the new big thing. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/apr/05/its-genuine-you-know-why-the-online-influencer-industry-is-going-authentic Influencers! With interests! Being authentic!
This was the stage where it all started to feel a
It’s all about community.
The way that we can save social media (and quite possibly the internet) is to rewind the last 5 years and go back to caring about what we post. Create content with your audience in mind. Not everything has to appeal to everyone. Chasing reach and vanity metrics is one of the reasons that we’re in this mess. (Also, great content really helps you with organic reach)
Need more evidence that people are thirsty for long-tail content?
Interest-based communities are quietly flourishing while the big 3
try and figure out what to do.
Amino, a mobile app built around fandom and communities, had as of last year over 10 million downloads on the
You all know how I feel about Tu
Reddit, another community where people engage around content themes (or subreddits) has been quietly growing and growing and “As of March 2019, Reddit had 542 million monthly visitors (234 million unique users), ranking as the No. 6 most visited website in U.S. and No. 21 in the world”
My point is this.
It’s still totally possible to connect with your fans online. But to do this we need to stop approaching things with a one-size-fits-all mentality. Take the time, do your research. Learn who your potential audience is, what else they like, what they use which platforms for. Then figure out what you can do to get them interested in you. Stop just pushing out content that nobody needs. Think about the user and make sure there’s a clear objective.
Years back, I used to put this simple diagram in every talk I gave
It turns out, a decade on this is still the key.
Let’s make social media in 2019 good again.
If you’ve got a project that you think I could help with please get in touch.