Is the Social Media Fad Slowing Down?

fadAre you spending less time on Facebook? Signed up for Twitter but have not tweeted anything? Have a profile in LinkedIn but your resume is out of date? You may not be alone.  And as a marketer, it can be challenging to target these platforms as user interest changes.  Showing a ROI for Social Media – specifically how the budget spent on social media can be attributed to sales – is also more difficult. Facebook has battled back against “Facebook fatigue” as users are using it less and less. As the use of Facebook goes down, especially with younger people, businesses are reconsidering their interest and investment in social media.

Social media is here to stay. But what is changing is the social sites to market your business. For many businesses, there is a shift from social media marketing to content marketing. Rather than decrease your budget on marketing to your existing social networking sites in general, you should consider shifting your marketing plan and budget to both creating ‘valued content’ and targeting the appropriate trending social sites to market that content. Remember, an important aspect of marketing is building relationships. Therefore, if you want your business and content to stay top of mind, keep up with current social media trends so you can get your interesting and useful content seen to your potential customers.

When you think of social media sites, which ones come to mind? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn? Your answer may depend on your age. Teens and younger people are shifting away from Facebook. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project Report released in February 2013:

  • Facebook is still the dominant social networking site in the United States, with 67% of online American adults using it.
  • The trends show a decrease in Facebook as being the primary social site, especially for younger users.
  • Facebook users ages 18-29, 38% plan to use Facebook less this year than last year, as opposed to 1% planning to use Facebook more this year.
  • Facebook users for the over 50 group, 17% plan to use Facebook less.

Still, although the trend for Facebook is fewer active users with time, it doesn’t mean that people are abandoning social networking altogether. The question you should ask is “on which social sites are people, specifically your customers and prospects, spending their time”? How does that affect your marketing plan?

There are new social sites today, that didn’t exist until recently. Some are gaining momentum, for example, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Google+ and Snapchat, while Flickr is losing ground.  Knowing how your customers use social media will help you readjust your marketing dollars towards more effective methods.

The Bottom Line

As the trends in marketing strategy moves from Facebook ads to content marketing, your business will still benefit from using social media, but in a different way:  to create and market your content. Social media is not going away anytime soon. Use it as one channel to build relationships and connect with your potential customers. As more social media platforms come on board, you will undoubtedly be faced with new challenges to market your business. As the trends continue to change, so should your marketing strategy.

About Michael Senger

Michael Senger is an energetic, results-oriented Senior Marketing Professional with almost 15 years experience in strategic online marketing. Before joining Hidden Peak Interactive, Michael successfully led the launch of StoneMass, a web marketing agency. Michael also spent 8 years at Symantec, directing their Global Online Marketing initiatives leading a diverse global team of matrixed team leaders and digital/online agencies leading to successful global results.

Michael has a MBA in Marketing Information Technology from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

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