Is Social Media Marketing Dead and how to stay relevant in 2023?

7 minutes reading

Since its inception, Social Media has been bound to change how we communicate, how we spend our free time, and, in general, how we view the world. More importantly, for business owners, it was a gold mine. A channel where they can get to tightly niche audiences and present their relevant products. With all its algorithms and indiscriminate data gathering, Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, and TikTok have become the go-to place to boost your traffic with relevant audiences. Thus, Social Media Marketing (SSM) was born. Unfortunately, though recent drawbacks from social media and the disgust of the general user with unethical personal information management has made Social Media Marketing a dying breed. But is SSM truly dying, is it already dead, or is it just lying low, waiting to emerge stronger than ever? Let’s find out. 

What is Social Media Marketing

Telephone with social media apps on the screen

Social Media Marketing is a vital part of your overall digital marketing strategy. As the name suggests, it’s done entirely on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and others. Which social media you choose depends on your goals, target audience, and preferences. For example, if you are a B2B business, the social media of choice for your target audience is Linked In. This is where your audience will expect to receive work-related messaging. 

Social Media is one of the hardest types of marketing, as each social media has its own preferences regarding content type and format. So, all attempts to create one content that fits them all are pointless. 

Moreover, not all followers will receive your message, even if you are paying. It’s all based on creating visually stunning and entertaining content that people would like to share. Most Social media algorithms push entertaining content that more people have liked. 

Of course, Social Media Marketing has enormous benefits. It helps you reach a much broader and narrowly niche audience, often improving your visits and leads. 

Moreover, SMM will improve customer satisfaction and give you better insights into your target audience’s preferences and behavior. It’s a data goldmine. But most importantly, collecting data and reaching the right audience is relatively cheap. 

However, while Social Media Marketing is definitely a must for your overall strategy, it seems that it’s experienced a significant blowback in the past few years. It has lost its reputation as the go-to place to gather leads as a fresh business. 

Why is Social Media Marketing at a downfall?

Man holding a down and up graph

In the early days of Social Media, the platforms had a lot of potential to present your offer amid entertaining posts and target precisely the people who would be interested. Today, however, most social media are clogged with ads—especially Facebook. It has become more of an advertising platform than a social media platform. Of course, that’s Meta’s business model, and we can’t tell them how to run their business, but essentially, at the moment, competition for a single view is fierce. Naturally, CPCs are going astronomically high for uninterested audiences, who are predominantly ad blind. 

Moreover, people rarely, if ever, search for solutions to their problems on social media. They are usually there to have fun and familiarize themselves with their friends’ lives, communicate with each other, and watch funny videos. In other words, this is their time to relax and enjoy their free time. 

Most importantly, most social media platforms are filled with shady retailers trying to sell you almost anything. This hinders the customer’s trust and affects their readiness to engage with your offering. 

Of course, there are some successful lead generation campaigns, but most often than not, they cost a lot of money, and a fresh business simply can’t afford it. 

Finally, there is politics. In 2021, the European Parliament published a document claiming social media may be a risk to democracy itself. The same year, a US research found that social media may increase political polarization and hurt the foundations of democracy. While these documents are not legislative, they definitely open the door to future Social Media restrictions. This uncertainty calls for careful consideration of your SMM strategy. 

Regardless of these facts, some numbers claim otherwise. 

Is it truly in decline, though

Social Media connection ilustration

With over half of the world’s population using social media daily, it’s hard to claim that Social Media is dead. Approximately 4.74 billion people have social media accounts. Most of them use at least two platforms. More importantly, their numbers have risen by 4.2 percent in the last year alone.

Moreover, about 93% of all internet users are also social media users. Also, 76% of North Americans use social media. 

Furthermore, users spent 148 minutes per day on social media in 2022. This time has increased to 151 minutes in 2023. This shows that social media is not just growing its audience but also increasing the overall time spent on the platforms. 

The most shocking part, however, is the fact that social media ad spending is projected to reach an astronomical 268 billion dollars by 2023. This is a significant increase compared to 2022. However, this also means that competition for the relevant audience will increase, meaning CPCs will get higher. This will lead to an increase in overall digital marketing spending and will weed out newcomers to the market. Combined with the fact that the overall user trust in social media significantly dropped in 2022, this is a recipe for a significant decrease in traditional Social Media Marketing. However, on a positive note, this means that Social Media Marketing is not dying. It’s simply transforming. 

How did Social Media Marketing transform

Social media icons bursting out of a phone

It’s evident that social media platforms are here to stay, and the crowds there are increasing and spending more time on average. Naturally, brands will always seek a way to communicate with their customers and “meet” them where they hang out. So, whether it’s Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, or any other social media, advertising there will never die, at least until there are people there. However, this doesn’t mean successful strategies won’t change over time. On the contrary, they’ve already started shifting. For example, while a few years back, it was quite enough to put any old photo to get some brand awareness, today, quality content is king. So, if you want to remain relevant in social media and get more than 100 views and just as many likes, you must invest in remarkable, unique, and quality-driven content. 

Moreover, today, brands in social media need to be much more human. They need to have feelings, opinions, and empathy. They need to show emotion and sympathy. Social Media channels are the prime embodiment of your brand personality and the main vocalization of your brand voice. For example, a wrong tweet on Twitter can ruin your business overnight.

So, if you want to create one truly inspiring SMM campaign, you can’t just follow any old advice you find online. Times have changed, and what works has changed as well. Naturally, we won’t leave you hanging. We have prepared a few crucial tips to help you stay relevant in 2023. 

How to stay relevant in this new age of Social Media Marketing

People strategising

It’s important to state that these tips and tricks work at the moment, but as you’ve probably already guessed, SMM is constantly changing. Thus, a year from now, some of these tricks might become outdated. So, we urge you to check our blog for newer suggestions on how to make your website the most successful business investment in your portfolio. 

Go for retargeting campaigns

The biggest marketing flaw of Social Media is that people go there for entertainment. They don’t seek a solution to their problems but rather an escape. So, while targeting people at the top of your marketing funnel several years ago was OK, today, with so many competitors for the same audience, it’s way too expensive to make such efforts. True, social media still provides cold leads, especially if your content is good. However, the true power of SMM has shifted from the top to the middle of the funnel. So, you need to change your SMM strategy to reflect that. Targeting people who have already visited your website is a much better strategy for SMM.

Moreover, it allows you to give them a special offer, which may sway them to finish the purchases they never did. Now, there is one truly annoying mistake many marketers make with their retargeting campaigns. Don’t advertise something that’s already been bought. This constantly happens with some e-commerce websites. Despite the user finishing the purchase, they are still retargeted with the same product they already have. That’s pointless and annoying, and it only wastes your money. Target only the users who abandoned your website before finishing the purchase. This will maximize your success.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your brand awareness and image, but the most significant chunk of your budget should go to retargeting campaigns. 

Try edutainment 

Having high-quality content is not enough anymore. You must add extra value to your articles, videos, and images. Edutainment is a term that comes from education and entertainment. We are way too familiar with the concept from the after-school shows back in the day. Today, however, edutainment is not just for kids. We live in an era of information when customers want to know everything about a product before purchasing it. So, you need to educate them on how it will solve their problem, but at the same time, you don’t want to lose them due to boring facts. Finding the middle ground is crucial to your success. However, even if you nail it, that won’t be enough. You need something extra.

Add a human touch

When people go on Social Media, they look for a connection, preferably a human one. That’s where the “Social” in Social Media comes from. So, to have a successful campaign, you need to add a human touch to your content. Don’t be the faceless brand that shoves products and services in people’s faces. Be empathetic and sympathetic, and always read the social situation. A bad joke at the wrong moment can truly destroy your business forever. 

Adding a human touch to your content is easier said than done. You must know your target audience’s everyday struggles and address them in your content. Moreover, make sure to mix your content. Your SMM strategy should be diverse. You can’t always promote your products or services. Sometimes, you need to do engagement posts or entertainment posts, ask questions, and even answer questions others have asked (on Twitter, for example). Mimic a normal human behavior and follow your brand voice and personality strictly. This usually becomes harder when more than one person works on your Social Media campaigns. Still, retaining the same voice throughout media and posts will allow you to make your brand as human as possible. 

And since human interaction and mimicking human life is not the easiest task, you might as well outsource this task to someone who already has a huge fanbase because of their content. 

Go for the right micro-influencers

Enlisting influencers is nothing new in SMM. However, while a few years back, it was enough for them to have a huge fanbase, you need to look for something more today. Influencers today don’t need a massive audience as long as it’s the right one. For example, if you are offering cycling clothing, you can’t expect a swimsuit model to attract the right audience. On the other hand, going for a micro-influencer specializing in cycling content will bring the desired results. 

Using such influencers will allow you to skip on the production cost of creating high-quality content with extra value and finding the right audience to promote it to. Instead, the influencer has an already built follower base and, more often than not, is a thought leader. This means people are far more prone to follow their lead and believe their word at point value rather than a corporation. 

Of course, good influencers have standards, so most of them will agree to promote your product only if it’s of good quality. So, before all else, you must have a good quality product. 

Be short

Regardless of whether you choose to use influencers or not, you still need to have your own content. In the past few years, the rise of TikTok, Instagram stories and reals, and YouTube shorts shows a truth many marketers knew all along – short is better. People have money. What they don’t have is time. No one will sit through an hour-long video of promotion. You need to capture their attention and relay all the information you want within 5 seconds.

Even with written content, you must remember that short is better. For example, the best results for a Facebook post come with 40-80 characters. They generate 86% more engagement than longer posts. Twitter posts show the best results between 71 and 100 characters. In Instagram, go for 138-150 character texts with 4-9 hashtags. Linked In is the obvious exception. As a business and work-based social media, it’s rarely a place where people go to entertain themselves. So naturally, the best results go to those that use around 2000 words. 

So, is SMM dead?

We can undoubtedly say, NO, it is not. Social Media Marketing, however, has evolved significantly, and you need to follow its lead if you want to stay relevant. You also need a fast, secure, and reliable landing page where leads will land once they click on your link. Imagine the user’s disappointment if they click on a link, and it takes forever to get to your page. To avoid such confusing situations, you need a HostArmada hosting plan. We offer lightning-fast load speed, 99.9% uptime, and impeccable security – the holy trinity of a successful website. So check out our offers, and if you don’t know which one is the best for you, just contact our support team. They will gladly help you choose the plan that suits your needs perfectly.