Wake up! Social Media Organic Engagement is Long Dead



I'm in disbelief that I hear marketers still prioritise social engagement. Immediate Future's survey found social engagement as first choice KPI, and Mary Meeker's internet trends report found 56% picked engagement for social advertising success.

Beware if your marketing person or agency is still talking about organic engagement on social media platforms as a primary success factor. It may be time to re-think your relationship with them.

There are two complimenting arguments:

1) Organic engagement doesn't exist anymore. You have to pay to play. 

Organic reach on the core channels of Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram are virtually nil. And you are not going to win the viral lottery. You need to allocate significant investment and paid media to drive video view counts, or to reach your target audience. 

Also organic engagement seems like a good ideas to measure creative success. Research (Facebook, Millward Brown & Nielsen) shows that likes, shares, comments and clicks show no correlation to sales lift, or awareness growth. The reason is that content can be persuasive and catch the viewer's eye without resulting in a click. But it's important that the content is pushing brand awareness and not just creative in its own right, or consumers may see or enage with the ad, and not remember your product/brand. Look out for my 5 Top Tips for Mobile Creative, coming soon. 

You could argue that you have assets anyway so it's not costing anything to post them. Wrong. Just re-posting existing content won't be tailored to the platform. Creative needs to be high quality and developed for that specific social platform. Also there are costs associated with posting and managing responses. So it is better to focus your resources on creating less and higher quality content.

2) Your existing fans or followers won't drive growth. Target the wider occasional buyers.

News flash. Your existing fans and people who are generally more positive towards your product/brand, are already likely more likely to buy your product in the future. It's a waste of media spend. 

Also the size of your pool of existing fans/followers is not significant enough. Even if you are reaching 100% of your fans or followers on Social Media, that would NOT BE  ENOUGH to make an impact and to drive penetration and growth.




If you want to build long term loyalty, a CRM programme with data you own is far more cost effective than paying to develop organic content on an external platform, which without paid media, will reach very few of your existing base.


The caveats to this article are:
- b/vloggers and fashion/passion brands, and informational/product guide content, as that is content that consumers are genuinely seeking out.
- engagement on Twitter alongside paid media, maximises ad effectiveness and recall.
- LinkedIn and B2B.




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