There is no denying social media revolutionized life as we knew it. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram gave rise to new influencers, magnified the celebrity spotlight, encouraged the flow of information, became the go-to marketing and customer engagement channels for brands, and gave birth to new careers such as social media marketing.

The year was 2008, and Facebook and the other social media channels were no man’s land. No significant algorithms governed content and brands, and social media marketers had an easy time spreading their message and reaching a broad audience.

Then, the promise of social media was, “make good content, put it up there, and you will build an audience, and drive up sales.” And true to its promise, it worked!

Is social media marketing still effective?

When talking about social media marketing, we are talking about creating and posting organic content for your brand or company.

While brands and social media marketers had a field day in 2008, it’s no longer the case. Research studies and digital marketing leaders show that social media is seriously losing its mojo.

In a recent Buffer study, of the 43 million Facebook posts analyzed, the Facebook engagement between 2017 and 2018 fell dramatically with the average user engagement per post dropping from 9, 370 in the first quarter of 2017 to only 3, 454 per post in the second quarter of 2018.

Twitter is no better. While over 500 million tweets are published daily, social media marketers have nothing to show for it.

In a Marketing School podcast, Neil Patel, a digital marketing heavy hitter, declared twitter “dead.” According to him, of his 233, 000 twitter followers, only 2% of them clicked on his links and went to his site.

Why the dwindling numbers?

The main reason for the ever-dwindling results is that users don’t want to see posts from brands—they want posts from friends and family.

Since social media networks need to keep the users on their platform, they keep changing the algorithms. With every change, unfortunately, it becomes harder for brands to get into the timelines.

Is the battle lost, and should you bother with social media marketing at all?

Despite the doomed future brands have with social media, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on these platforms. There are still some benefits that come with it: you engage with your customers, share content, and build a brand.

When it comes to marketing, you can’t go at it like its 2008.

What is the right social media marketing approach?

Instead of praying of showing up in the organic results, you should use Ads to target your potential customers. For you to be successful at it you need to:

Customize for every audience

Have a clear understanding of every customer that might be interested in your product or service. Define their personalities, likes, dislikes, where they hang out, and anything else that will enable you to understand them to their most intimate level.

Using the details, get creative and personal with your Ads. Fully customize the ads so that they fit the needs of the audience and show the value your company brings on the table.

Show, don’t tell

With the immediate gratification mentality, social media users’ attention spans are reducing by the day.

Fortunately, you can take advantage of this by showing it, instead of writing.

One of the best ways of doing it is by using video. Create a video to show your audience what your product or service can do for them in real-time. The video should also help your target customers visualize the impact it will make in their lives.

Experiment and scale-up

You can take your customized campaign anywhere you want. Keep on testing and refining your creative and scale up if working.

Be cautious as you can blow up most of your money without results, especially if you are targeting the wrong audience.

To protect yourself, set smaller budgets at the start, test the idea and act based on the results.

Not every idea will catch on, and not all social media channels will work for you. Test different channels and ides. When one isn’t working, don’t keep pouring money down the drain. Try out something else.

When you find a working channel and idea, scale up your budget and propel your brand and sales to the moon!