The Death Of Social Media As We Know It

The Death Of Social Media As We Know It
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In this guest post, PR agency The Atticism director Renae Smith makes the bold claim that social media as we know is dying…

As Instagram announces another change to their platform, this time the exclusion of a ‘likes counter’ from profiles, businesses around the globe are considering the effect this may have on their social media growth and consumer engagement.

Instagram began implementing the change back in May 2019 in an attempt to reduce the pressure many people feel to achieve likes on their posts as a measure of their or their company’s popularity.  Whilst this may be designed to improve the mental health of social media users, it also signifies a huge shift in the way consumers and businesses use the platform.

The Atticism has completely ditched social media management as a service and instead, aim to persuade clients to look at alternative ways to connect with their customers. In fact, since February 2019, The Atticism has been actively rejecting clients who come to us looking for social media management.

Social media as we know is dying. Statistics show that a lot of the younger generation are completely ditching platforms like Instagram and Facebook and although we took a financial hit for this decision, we stood by it as we knew it was the right one for our clients.

Agencies simply continue to work in the way they always have and expect clients to achieve the same results. Consumers are experiencing brand fatigue, a lack of trust and way too many marketers competing for their attention.  The future of social media needs to change into content-driven strategies which offer genuine connections between a brand and their consumer.

It’s not just The Atticism who have seen the writing on the wall when it comes to the decline of social media effectiveness. Statistics that followed behaviours on social media, especially since the changes in May were trialled, show a very similar sentiment.

Trust Insights analysed 1,430,995 posts from 3,637 brand profiles (stories were not included) in order to ascertain the overall average engagement rate.  They reported: “Since the beginning of May, average engagements have declined over time precipitously and now hover around 0.9 per cent , a decrease from earlier this year of 1.1 per cent . This represents an 18 per cent decline in average engagements (mostly likes) since the beginning of the year.”

And it’s not just brands that are seeing the decline, influencers are taking a hit as well.

In the same report, Trust Insights reported: “Fashion influencers (have gone) from a maximum of 4.3 per cent engagement on February 17, 2019 to a minimum of 2.4 per cent on June 20, 2019, representing a 44 per cent decline in engagement for the same period of time.”

As companies since more and more money into their social media accounts to boost likes, gain more followers or simply have their posts seen by their customers, the question about ROI is a pertinent one.

As Ilan Levy, a specialist in paid Facebook advertising, stated in his recent online post on this subject: “Unless you’re a company similar size to Coca Cola that measures a campaign success based on the number of eyeballs looking to its ad regardless of sales, boosting a Facebook post to get more likes is pretty much like paying someone to tell us how beautiful and shiny we look to boost our ego.”

This doesn’t mean that social media does not have a place. At The Atticism, we recognise the importance of a social media presence and we believe any social presence should be genuine, purposeful and compliment a wider PR strategy.

Most marketing gurus will agree that a social media strategy should always form part of a much wider and more calculated campaign that focuses on all aspects of your business. With the downfall of social media as we know it in full swing, there’s never been a more important time to analyse your business activity and to consider other ways to connect, engage and communicate with your consumer.

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  • Scott Guthrie 2 years ago

    The brand fatigue the guest writer mentions is a key driver for the growth of influencer marketing – an industry set to grow from $5.5 billion in 2019 to $22.3 billion by 2024, and one to be led by APAC within this period.

    For sure social media evolves. We use existing platforms in different ways and search out new ones. See the stratospheric rise of TikTok – but also note that this year there has been a shift among 8-11s in how they prefer to view content. 49% say they prefer to watch YouTube content rather than TV programmes on a TV set. This is a rise from 40% on 2017 figures.

    Social media management work is largely moving in-house away from being managed through an agency.

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