A Marketer’s Survival Guide To Social Networks Killing Features
Written by Nathan T. Baker and published
If providing social media marketing services is a slice of what your agency does for clients, you know social networks are ever evolving. When features you’re using for marketing are killed on social networks, it can be jarring.
Here are a couple examples of what I’m talking about.
Declining Facebook Organic Reach
An analysis from Ogilvy & Mather shows that Facebook’s organic reach had been declining and Locowise data confirms that reach is still low. More people likely saw your content two years ago than they see in their feeds today.
Have you felt the pain of declining organic reach? Facebook is continually tweaking their feed algorithm to serve users, but sometimes changes can hurt brands. When posts from friends are prioritized, it can mean less posts from brands.
Some brands are killing their Facebook page altogether, due to these changes. Granted, drastic decisions like this are business and goal specific. But, focusing your energy on good, longterm bets is always smart when you’re stretched too thin.
LinkedIn Product Reviews Axed
On April 14, 2014, LinkedIn killed the products and services tab from company pages when they introduced showcase pages. One of the great features of these tabs was that LinkedIn users could add recommendations.
During this time, I was handling social media marketing for Raven and worked hard on increasing the number of recommendations in our services tab. One great tactic for driving reviewers to review sites is to ask superfans on Twitter to turn their tweets into a review. Because I was investing time in this specific area, I felt as thought weeks of work was lost due to this change.
Software Evolution is Here to Stay
To be fair, Raven is a software company too, and we have discontinued features in favor of new ones. It can sting for some, but I understand the necessity of those decisions well. For instance, Raven had to make a tough business decision when we removed scraped rankings.
But, our software engineers went to work integrating Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster tools data, giving customers more accurate rankings data. The change was an improvement, but the transition wasn’t fun for people.
Where is Raven headed? We’re committed to making campaign management and marketing reporting as efficient as possible for you. We can regularly learn from customers and sit down with marketing agencies to ensure that the direction of our software is solid.
In the book What Technology Wants, co-founder of Wired magazine Kevin Kelly argues that not only does technology have a direction, but it also has wants. One of the things software wants to do is evolve. If software isn’t growing, it’s dead, since it will simply be replaced by something better.
So how do you stay ahead of the curve?
Anchor Your Audience on Solid Ground
So if constant change is our new normal, how does a marketer navigate in a world of shifting social network features? The answer is to prioritize your efforts. Only after you’ve built your audience on solid ground should you weigh the benefits and risks of building your audience where you have less control.
What good are millions of Facebook likes if it doesn’t translate to engagement with your brand? If investing in a branded community on Facebook is making you money, then keep doing it. Although, there are few, sure bets.
Here is what your business will always own:
- Your content
- Your email list
- Your reputation
Start there. Build the foundation of your audience on solid ground.