Is social media marketing a waste of money?

Take a step back: Drop social media, ditch influencers and focus on your old school trusted PR.

This is the controversial path a PR agency in Australia has decided to take after coming to the conclusion that their clients were wasting thousands of dollars on influencer and social media marketing.

The Australian company claims to have acquired higher profile clients thanks to this radical change, but only after suffering a loss of income initially.

However, as questionable as it may sound, findings show there is some logic to such a bold decision.

Social media marketing is the ‘must-do’ of the 21st century, but measuring marketing success through likes, re-posts, and followers isn’t as tangible as it appears to be on the screen…

Are influencers truly influential?

According to PR week over half of UK Instagram accounts engage in some form of fraudulent activity by buying mass followers and engaging with bots.

Influencers, the modern pioneers of social media, are in some cases known to be working in ‘pods’: closed and exclusive online circles of ‘insta-famous’ people helping each other out by liking and sharing each other’s posts.

These so-called ‘vanity metrics’, such as likes and followers, are a statistic that doesn’t necessarily translate into profit or sales. So are these influencers really delivering results for businesses?

In fact, the question is whether companies should use real ‘thought leaders’ over ‘insta-famous’ idols. These figures share credible business knowledge and advice about the industry they are in, offering reasoned argument and discussion, rather than simply having thousands of followers and likes.

Social media is not for everyone

As much as staying active on social media platforms may be a necessity in the modern age for many companies, content is the core of true engagement with potential tangible business results.

Posting ‘feel good’ videos of puppies or those enviable holiday snaps just to acquire engagement is irrelevant to a business’s message and may serve only to attract audiences that aren’t necessarily the right target market.

And the right target market may not be the ‘social media type’, but rather an audience who is more likely to buy a newspaper in the corner shop than scroll the Facebook feed. Digital marketing may be perfect for one company, but less beneficial for another.

What about traditional PR?

Is it time to re-evaluate how we use social media platforms? As technology is advancing rapidly, we should use it to our advantage and incorporate our traditional PR strategies into the digital world.

According to CEO Today, a survey revealed that 63% of consumers would respond more positively to a social media ad if it appeared on a more traditional channel. It seems as fake news and pop-up marketing ploys increase, people are maintaining their trust in ‘old school’ media outlets.

Should we start thinking outside of the box when it comes to social media marketing and influencers? Dig deeper into our business’s message and thoroughly evaluate what method and channel truly catches our audience.

Traditional PR and social media can create great results, but only if we use them correctly, with content created for the audience we are trying to reach.

Categories: Opinion PR Marketing