Years on, is Social Media Marketing Still Worth It?

Nobody truly knows how many adverts the average person sees in a day. Online, figures range from 347 banner ads to a seemingly impossible 10,000 pieces of marketing material in each 24-hour period. Equally, those numbers are produced from an unknowable amount of methodologies that range from academic research to looking out of a window. It’s a bit of a pointless endeavor, let’s be honest. We all know that ads are everywhere.

Customer Retention

Marketing is an intrinsic part of any business but what works for one company may be disastrous for another. A good example is any kind of freebie. For casino operator Betfair, free spins bonuses and other treats are a staple part of its customer retention efforts. Betfair’s 50 free spins offer is accompanied by a deposit bonus too, with the latter designed to make a real-money purchase more attractive to players.

Of course, a freebie scheme isn’t going to work too well at a travel company or an electronics retailer, which tend to focus on more expensive products. Here, money off vouchers might make more sense. In any case, the WordStream website claims that infrequent promotions can help raise brand awareness, increase profit, and help with customer retention, while also minimizing risk to a company. 

One thing that all businesses have in common is advertising, with the exception of rare brands like Lamborghini and Rolls Royce (and Tupperware, oddly enough). This brings us right around to one of the more enigmatic types of marketing out there, namely, promotion on social media. It’s been almost two decades since Facebook debuted in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room. Does it still offer value to advertisers?

Layoffs

The short answer is “yes”. According to the Social Media Examiner website, a survey of marketers revealed that 86% of them found social media useful for gaining exposure, while just over half claimed that it increased fan loyalty. In fact, there were plenty of positives found in the report. For instance, 55% of those questioned had seen improved sales on the back of social media marketing. 

Unfortunately, there’s a problem. Since the turn of the new decade, sites like Facebook and Twitter have experienced more than a few twists and turns. The Visual Capitalist infographic page counts layoffs at Meta (11,000) and Twitter (8,150) among the highest in the tech world. Notably, there are no other social media companies in the chart, suggesting that these two sites may be suffering in isolation. 

That latter point makes sense. While Twitter and Facebook did experience user growth between 2022 and 2023, of 1% and 7%, respectively, TikTok’s audience surged by 16% while corporate darling LinkedIn grew by 20%. These figures, from HubSpot, suggest that a landscape that has been dominated by Facebook for a long time may be shifting more toward the visual media styles of TikTok.

So, while social media marketing is likely to be worthwhile for a long time – and, possibly, for as long as the concept exists – times have changed, and the old kings of the world seem to be slowing down in their old age. Be wary of shifts in users’ favor.

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