Stop boosting all your content on social

Go to any brand’s social page today, chances are its flooded with content. While creating content is no doubt healthy for a brand's overall organic growth, too much paid content can be a bad thing.

“Its very difficult for marketers, when they create content, to decide which content will yield the highest return on investment,” said Moses Velasco, chief product evangelist of Socialbakers. But one thing is for sure - by no means, should you be boosting all of your content.

“When we started to do deep research on paid content on Facebook, we saw a high percentage of content being invested in, which actually shouldn’t be invested in, because it didn’t yield high return. We saw this increase in pay to play scenario where marketers just thought more is better and promote everything to get the result you want,” he said.

This is one of the biggest mistakes marketers today are making, he added.

Today, a lot of brands have 100% paid strategy but this is not right. What brand marketers should be trying to achieve is a nice split between healthy organic reach and paid activity to accomplish objectives. He added:

Many marketers think that if they throw enough money at the content, it will solve their business problem. This is a path of diminishing returns.

When putting in dollars on social, Velasco suggests that marketers' paid posts should lean towards driving audience to an action. This can be either downloading a whitepaper or filling out a form to have a name to nurture.

“If you are paying for the approach, you need to measure it back to very specific result," he said, adding:

By paying for everything, you are not being smart in communicating the value back to the organisation.

He outlined three components which yield result when creating content:

The content itself:

Marketers can’t simply look at content and decide if they should invest in it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and as such, marketers can sometimes be biased to the content they might have created. It is as such, always better to use analytics and track audience behaviour and have data to back up a post.

“Sometimes marketers might have a bias since they created the content and that’s not necessarily best for the business,” he said.

Timing is crucial:

Actual timing is important because it is hard to get the users’s thumb to stop and engage. Social media is noisy and cluttered. So how do you break through that?

Marketers have to consider user activity and what they are doing when launching the post. They also need to think about campaign objectives. Currently, Socialbakers has a Prime Time algorithm that takes notice of audience behaviour and recommends to clients a time when their content will be more visible to the target audience.

Audience participation:

This will take a bit of trial and error. Socialbakers aids its clients by looking at how audiences have behaved with their content in the last six months, and then recommending the type of content that suits their audience. But all of these need to be tied back to web analytics to be able to tell the story on return on ad spend.

"With these three pillars, you can really maximise your dollar and determine a lot of your cost attribution associated to social advertising," said Velasco.

However, there is also a need to move away from seeing social media as a way to save cost, and shift the conversation away from just dollars, he added. The activity around social has many other values such as likes, comments, shares, reach and tie it back to what is important.

“Marketers should also not think of social media marketing in terms of saving cost, but rather getting more from what you are spending,” he added.

However, a positive trend is that more and more C-suites today are on board with social.

A social media manager’s responsibility has increased very dramatically across the communication and marketing channel. That shift is giving these individuals more power in the C-suite table.

More companies are now looking at the health of their businesses through social media.

“Social media KPIs are on the table at the C-suite where they weren’t before,” said Velasco.

With the traditional and digital lines blurring, social media is a strong component and the budget  for social has increased from 3% in 2008 to 14% now, said Velasco. He added that ultimately all businesses concentrate on awareness, revenue and retention.

“Anything you can do to attribute your activity back to these will resonate with the C-suite- be it CEO, CFO, CMO or CIO,” he added.

Socialbakers paid for this journalist’s trip to Engage Prague 2017.