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The State of Social for 2016

The State of Social for 2016

The world of social media changes quickly with dozens of new platforms arriving each year. Where once it was a place for people to share what they had for breakfast, it now offers viable advertising options and low cost opportunities to share thought leadership and content.

From the rise in video to BUY NOW buttons and improved in-app functionality, social media giants are offering even more opportunity for organic visibility.

With its copious user information, Facebook remains king of hill. Brands find that organic reach inside the platform has plummeted. However, advertising on Facebook continues to provide more targeting options than was previously imaginable.

Meanwhile, the recent shakeup at Twitter leaves one of the nation’s most active social media platforms at the precipice of change. The impending updates should make it much friendlier for marketers.

Social media can add a frustrating element to marketing. It’s messy to manage, monitor, and integrate into your analytics. How you are you measuring success will be key to demonstrating its value to your executives.

Facebook Targeting for the Future

Facebook remains the most dominant social media platform and the best way for brands to engage with consumers and fans. Unfortunately, as Facebook’s marketing capabilities expand, organic reach has rapidly declined. Interaction rates (likes, comments, and shares) range by industry between 2.7% and 4.3%, according to eMarketer.

For Facebook’s largest brands – those pages with more than a million likes – perform even worse, with just a 2.27% post reach. To put that in better perspective, a Facebook brand with 1 million fans has an average post reach of just over 22,000 users.

When the reach of pages with millions of fans are so limited, it can be increasingly difficult to generate a Facebook strategy for much smaller companies that may not have a dedicated social media team. So where’s a social media marketer to turn? Facebook advertising of course.

Facebook makes up for dwindling reach by providing marketers with the most comprehensive user data available. The level of detail allows marketers to build a persona in a way that’s never been available. Marketing professionals are not simply building a theoretical profile, they’re marketing to customers in reality.

Once a persona is defined, users can be targeted by psychographic data like net worth, annual income, location, and spending tendencies.

By combining Facebook data with information from a third-party data source like Oracle, companies can combine social media marketing with traditional pay per click (PPC) strategies for even more detailed advertising.

The days of sending a message into the wilderness are over, target your marketing with the precision of a doctor’s scalpel for maximum results.

Twitter Is Changing

  • October – Hired CEO Jack Dorsey. Created New “Moments” feature for curated event stories.
  • November – Ditches Favs (stars) for Likes (hearts)
  • December – Updated photo-sharing experience. Began testing out of order timeline
  • January – Leaks of 10,000 character tweets coming in Q1. Announces new Brand Enthusiast Gallery

As you can see, Twitter has been changing a lot recently. With user rates plateauing in 2015 – just a 12% annual increase in active users – and stock prices at an all-time low – $17.94 on January 15, 2016, a 52% YoY decrease, this is a critical moment for the social platform.

This, it turns out, could be great news for marketers. Historically, the only way to advertise in Twitter was through the use of promoted posts, which could be filtered out when viewed through 3rd party apps and programs. But a few big coming changes could improve the return on investment for Twitter advertising.

Starting with possibly the biggest prediction of the year – Twitter will ditch its traditional stream of tweets in chronological order for a more targeted algorithm. When Facebook made a similar change, it opened up many new advertising methods. For engaged brands, an algorithm-based news feed may promote good content at a higher rate. Suddenly, brands with high engagement rates on tweets will become more important than raw follower totals.

Couple this evolution with another rumor – that Twitter will feature posts up to 10,000 characters – and the future begins to come into focus. Now, not ever post in your feed will be the length of a Tolstoy novel, but it’s more likely that this is Twitter’s response to the Facebook Instant Article and LinkedIn Pulse. Publishers will have the ability to host content on Twitter. For content marketers, this is yet another platform that could eventually drive leads through well-written, valuable content.

Twitter is fast approaching an ultimatum – evolve or die. Those paying close attention to Twitter’s 2016 changes could have a chance to take advantage of new (and potentially lucrative) advertising venues.

Integrating Social Analytics

One of the most difficult components with social media marketing is integrating that piece with all other forms of marketing in terms of messaging, strategy, and analytics.

At Forthea, we’re dedicated to the pursuit of measurable results. We believe that one of the strengths of digital marketing is the abundance of data. But in order to use data, it has to be placed in greater context of the rest of the business.

For today’s social media marketers (both B2B and B2C), it has become imperative to use a social relationship platform (SRP). These platforms have reached a near ubiquitous level in 2016, but whether you go with Hootsuite, Sprinklr, or Spredfast means more than just an aesthetic difference. Aligning the strengths of your SRP with your company can result in a streamlined, rewarding experience.

In The 2015 Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, the research firm surveyed social media professionals and found that sharing social data to be among the industry’s largest pain-points. That’s just one reason why Forthea’s a proud partner with one of the leaders Forrester’s tool analysis: Spredfast.



Classified as a leader in the space, Spredfast does just want digital marketers need – inline insights and best-in-class analytics – and this suits us just fine. Our clients love the relationship management of the platform as well, providing all user comments, reviews, and questions in a streamlined package.

Social media marketing is rapidly evolving beyond a two or three platform channel. Finding an SRP that connects with your business objectives can revolutionize how your company views social media. Spredfast might not be the tool for you, but we encourage a thorough analysis of all the platforms before investing time, money, and resources into your SRP.

The Future of Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is as diverse and important as ever. The data available in Facebook and Twitter provides a full data for marketers to use. But with the right tools and the right strategy, social media can become a cornerstone of your overall marketing efforts.

Forthea’s mission is dedicated to helping clients achieve their full potential online through superior marketing that’s delivered with unsurpassed customer service and professionalism.


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