For many marketing folks, organic social posts are the bane of their job. Company leaders want to see activity, lots of it, and it better be good. But your customers don’t seem to care that much, and it’s hard to get follows and likes. The algorithm keeps changing, and those who do follow the brand often don’t see your posts. It’s even harder to get activity that legitimately impacts sales.
Does it matter if someone from Illinois likes your post if you’re only selling in California and Idaho? Or if tons of apartment dwellers follow you, but you sell lawnmowers? For a B2B business, it can be even harder. You’re told you “need” followers and to produce lots of content, but why? It isn’t driving sales.
Plus, it’s wildly time-consuming, no one internally has the bandwidth for it and it can be expensive to outsource. Especially if you’re posting varied content, on multiple channels, several times a week or even daily. The truth is that social media marketing sounds fun, and to many brands it’s imperative, but in reality, it’s hard to find the right formula.
Nearly five billion people are using social media, a massive number that gets bigger every year. With access to that many people, why are some brands only getting 10 likes on a video post they spent several hours and a decent budget on?
The truth is, the social media merry-go-round can be fun for brands with deep pockets that sell to consumers, but sometimes it’s not so easy for small brands, those that market sensitive or less engaging products (like wealth management or health insurance), or for companies that are looking to connect to other businesses. When we compare B2B brands and brands with less cultural panache to global consumer brands with strong loyalty and recognition, we set impossible expectations.
Not every company will get brand advocates to consistently like and share content from social media. Certainly, humor can be used, and there are clever ways to make more engaging content, but if you’re selling professional accounting services, let’s acknowledge you will not likely get the same consumer love on social media that Nike gets, and that this is actually okay. An accounting firm probably doesn’t need to create content that goes viral with teenagers. It doesn’t make sense to put time toward a goal that’s not helpful to the overall mission.
So, for brands that need an alternative approach to social media, what are some options to stay relevant, keep a strong social presence, and not be in the constant burn of content churn? One thing we recommend is, don’t chase what you don’t need.
You might not need a presence on Pinterest, or to post on X every day. Just because “everyone” else is doing it, doesn’t mean that’s the right use of your resources. If you sell breakfast, by all means, make a post on National Pancake Day, but if you sell sprinkler systems, don’t scramble to try to make a pancake connection. Forced content can feel inauthentic to audiences.
Consider this, write an annual social media plan (or hire someone to write it) and create the bulk of your branded social content as an efficient, consolidated project. That way, your core content library for the year is handled, and you can leave room to fill in where it makes sense with new ideas, relevant current event-focused posts, and company news. You can also concept key social campaigns in conjunction with corresponding advertising campaigns (if you utilize paid media), and block those in throughout the year.
Cassie Augustine is a nationally recognized creative strategist and writer. Her work utilizes behavioral research and cultural insights to help brands make better human connections. Her client list includes international brands like Four Seasons Hotels, Guinness and RE/MAX, along with national favorites such as Elements Massage, The Chophouse, and The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa.