“We as marketers know this isn't the first time the two ‘powerhouses' have traded places/swapped this title, but what it does show, when looking forward, is the true power/sway Facebook (social media) has in determining what stories, products and services and sites will rise in popularity,” said Kate Ross, integrated media manager, Mighty Distributing System of America.
“This further complicates, not only how to reach our audiences, but also where to allocate funds to publish/push content, because of how people are getting and sharing information nowadays.”
Kate said she doesn't think this trend should necessarily change the way a small business handles itself online because it should already be present and active online. This trend shows businesses, especially those in this industry, that being social is unavoidable.
“The fact is about 50 percent of the population is under the age of 30 and they are online, so it might be time to for smaller businesses to start ‘paying to play' on social,” she added.
“The nice thing for marketers in the social sphere is the cost of paying to play on social sites, like Facebook's ads/promoted posts, can be significantly less expensive than trying to get yourself on the first page of Google Search with GoogleAds…for now.”
She anticipates this trend to continue. Users want information quickly and easily and because of a short attention span, it is a balancing act for marketers.
“All I can say with certainty is the only constant thing in social/digital marketing is change,” she said. “This change doesn't have to be a new platform emerging, but even just shifts and change within the existing platforms to remain relevant.”
As a small business, there are a few takeaway points from this trend. First and foremost, if you are not being active and present, it is time to take a look at what kind of content you are sharing on your business page. If people are accessing news from social media, are you giving them content they want to read?
It is important to factor in what type of content you can share that is still relevant to your business and community. As an independent tire dealer or automotive aftermarket shop, paying attention to driving and automobile safety, along with anything going on in the local community, can be great places to start for sharing content.
Additionally, if your company has been playing around with the idea of starting a blog on your website, there is no better time like the present.
If you have an audience on social media and we now can see that they are absorbing news from the site, why not create content that you can share? It will make you and your company the expert in the field and can better position the company when your audience is ready for a purchase.
After discussing this news trend with Kate, I decided to get some other feedback from her about all things social media. As mentioned above, some people have debated Facebook's long-term relevancy and Kate said she has never thought that Facebook is dead. She reported Facebook has one billion daily active users. In comparison, she said YouTube and Gmail are at just more than one billion. With one billion daily users, this statistic puts Facebook three times the daily users that Twitter has in a month. Additionally, people spend, on average, 46 minutes per day between Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.
“I think Facebook is still strong in the social media landscape and will be significant player for quite some time,” she said.
“Has its user growth slowed due to scale? Yes, but while Facebook is a free service, it exists to make money. It has adjusted and shifted, it is a business…not just a social site. For example, last quarter Facebook reported 95 percent of its revenue came from Facebook advertising.”
Kate said Mighty constantly monitors what the company feels are the best platforms to optimize awareness of the Mighty brand.
“This past year we have picked up paid promotion of posts (especially videos) to reach our current audience,” she said. “And paid page promotion to targeted groups, based on their online behaviors or interests, expanding our reach outside of our current audience, attracting new followers in.”
Overall, she said, Mighty tries to find the balance in its social media posting.
“We try to balance our posts with a mix of light hearted/fun, product information, relevant industry stats and consumer educational content,” Kate explained.
“This is that balancing act we referred to earlier. Using social to build awareness of the Mighty brand while allowing our audience to get a glimpse into the personnel/personalities that differentiate our Mighty team and our motto of we are more than parts, we are your partners.”
As technologies change, so will the way people access information. As small businesses on social media, the question to answer is how to adjust and change with it.