Facebook and Instagram have made recent algorithm changes that shut out organic content from businesses and prioritize paid content. These kinds of changes are likely to continue as Facebook and Instagram develop new paid ad offerings.
Only five years ago, a business could open a free social media account, build groups and develop connections for free, without resorting to paid ads. However, this is not a lucrative business model for social media platforms. As these platforms have grown and searched for ways to monetize, they have added in changes that mainly penalize businesses for attempting to show ads through their profiles – without paying.
So, is the era of free social media marketing over? The answer to that question is neither a complete “yes” nor a complete “no”. There are still strategies that a business can use to be seen online for free – however, the premium options that will assure plenty of people viewing your content now cost money.
Free Social Media Strategies
There are still ways to use social media for free – and these still bring value to your overall marketing plan. Here are five of the top strategies that businesses can use to take advantage of free platforms:
1. Post original content to your page throughout the days and weeks.
While you will likely get fewer “likes” and comments, it’s keeping your established social media accounts active shows customers that you are a valid company. Additionally, interacting with commenters can still provide a free newsfeed boost, so engaging content can still provide a benefit.
2. Share content through Instagram and Facebook stories.
Instagram and Facebook stories will continue to notify friends and followers when your company posts to them. So, sharing content through these media can keep you in front of interested customers.
3. Utilize other social platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube to share products or services.
No matter what platform you use, your business will be subject to any changes. However, social platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube provide access to new customers and followers.
4. Use Facebook video and Facebook Live platforms to provide valuable content.
Facebook will be reducing the number of people who see your videos and live feeds, however, video is still a great way to get in front of new customers. If you have found success in Facebook videos, continue to make them.
5. Optimize your social media accounts and offer your products/services for direct purchase through Facebook or Instagram.
Make sure your social media accounts have your latest branding, include updated descriptions, and provide your products and services in an easy-to-read list. This will ensure that anyone who does come to your business social media accounts has a clear and cohesive understanding of your company as soon as they access your page.
All of the above options remain open to any business that is willing to put in the time and effort to developing and growing a social media presence.
Paid Ads and Product Placement
In the era of “no longer free,” paid ads and product placement are the new normal. Facebook, Instagram, Google, and LinkedIn all offer pay per click (PPC) options that are affordable. These PPC ads place your business in front of your target audience and ensure your business shows up in search more easily.
Additionally, the rise of Instagram influencers means that product placement is now a bigger industry than ever. Instagram influencer marketing strategies can significantly increase sales at a fraction of the cost of a tv or movie product placement spot.
Just last year, Dior ran a highly successful campaign wherein they provided the classic Dior Saddle Bag to 100 influencers across the globe, with a one-day campaign to flood Instagram feeds. This type of program may be beyond a smaller marketing budget, but brands of all kinds can connect with influencers or influencer managers to book “air time” on Instagram feeds that target a specific market.
The face of advertising is forever changing. While companies must put marketing dollars behind most promotional opportunities, there is still space for intrepid marketers hoping to get the biggest bang out of their buck.
Are you considering a change in your marketing strategies? Contact Business Success Consulting Group today for a consultation.