What’s Next for Social Media Marketing?

Jonathan Gardner

It’s time for marketers to take the long view and get past all the hand-wringing over the current state of social media marketing.

Facebook’s well-publicized data and privacy issues have stoked concerns. API changes have Instagram marketers worried about their influencer programs. Twitter is challenged by brand safety and bots. Highly effective engagement channels, such as Tumblr and Pinterest, have work to do to sell marketers on their value.

We can help you look past the challenges and toward the opportunities.

It’s fairly well established that traditional consumer engagement strategies are toast. Ad-blocking, brand safety and banner blindness have sent marketers to the less-exploited fishing grounds of social media, influencer marketing and earned media. Brand category after brand category are being disrupted by challengers shaking up the marketing models. Smaller upstart brands are much more likely to go whole hog into earned media marketing with its better ROI for reaching millennial customers.

This all means that despite the current chaos in social media marketing, it will remain  the way forward for brands. There is tremendous opportunity to work with a partner like ShareIQ for a network-agnostic view of earned media and the value being created. We help marketers to look at the content, not just the social media post.

Reliance on one network or channel is a huge mistake. At any moment, with one tweak of an algorithm, any network can pull the rug out from under your marketing plans. And, the successful brands we work with take a lifetime-value approach to content. They aim to get it shared and reshared, posted and cross posted, from network to network, around the web and back again. Some of our clients have seen content go viral on Instagram, go quiet for a while only to reemerge months later on Pinterest, where it generates new earned media value (EMV).

While it’s easy to think social media uncertainty is just the way it’s always going to be, smart marketers have always been forward looking, adaptable and nimble. Yes, the big social media networks are likely here to stay and will always inspire a degree of FUD among brands. However, getting deep into the data and analytics of their earned media helps navigate stormy seas.

And who’s to say the social media cards we’ve been dealt are the only ones we’ll have to play? As Ben Smith noted recently in Buzzfeed, the current garden of doubt may grow new social media sprouts: “For the first time in years, there are viable new social networks being born on the margins, and the great questions have to do with what comes next. There are big forces pushing us toward fragmentation. These are not attempts to take over but instead to carve out an independent territory.” Wherever those forces take us and what social media channels spring up, the marketers that win will have deep insights about their earned media and the value it creates.

Check out how marketers make the most of earned media insights

It’s time for marketers to take the long view and get past all the hand-wringing over the current state of social media marketing
Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan is vice president of marketing for ShareIQ, based in New York City.