Today Liz & Sandro reflect on the State of Social Media as we begin 2019. They go over a few stats, how paid social is the only mindset & give some thought to ways a small business in 2019 can still grow via social.

Episode 0330

The State of Social 2019

Sandro: [00:00:03] Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We are the podcast that helps your small business grow through all things digital marketing including email, reputation management, social media, SEO and so much more. Today Liz and I are going to go over the state of social media in 2019.

2019 Social Media Statistics

Liz: [00:00:21] That’s right. And I wanted to start off with a couple stats. I won’t overwhelm you guys with stats but I thought these ones were the most interesting. So in terms of the percentage of US adults who use social media sites, YouTube actually comes in first. 73%, again of US adults use youtube, followed by Facebook at 68 percent. Instagram is in the third place at 35 percent. So actually there’s a pretty big jump between those sites.

Liz: [00:00:51] And then we’ve got some numbers about monthly active users. Facebook is still king they have 2.23 billion monthly active users.

Sandro: [00:01:02] Around the world.

Liz: [00:01:03] Yes. Then we’ve got YouTube at 1.9 Billion. Instagram at a billion. And Tik Tok at 500 million and Sandro you’re a little more familiar with Tik-Tok right?


Tik Tok


Sandro: [00:01:15] Yeah Tik Tok’s great for music & short little clips of video. I haven’t really used it that much but I, every other week I have to check my nine year, 7 year old niece’s iPod for my sister and go through it and I saw this app. And I thought what is this app? And she loves. The kids love it. It seems to be very cool for kids. Anything that isn’t cool with parents or parents don’t know about is always cool.

Liz: [00:01:36] Of course.

Sandro: [00:01:37] Tik Tok’s growing and it’s pretty popular. It’s a Chinese company.

Liz: [00:01:41] OK. Rounding out this list we’ve got Twitter, Linked In, Snapchat and Pinterest in that order & they are all well below 500 million users, active users per month. The other thing that I was researching just because I’ve been hearing a lot of just rumblings conversations: oh people are leaving Facebook or whatever. And I was like Well let’s find some data to actually back this up.


Are People Leaving Facebook?


Liz: [00:02:08] And I was able to. A Boston based research company did some surveying of Gen Z, which apparently they’re also being called Xennials. These are individuals born after 1994. A good chunk of them are deleting social media permanently 34%. And then an even bigger chunk 64% are taking a break. And in terms of reasons why, they felt like they were wasting time. There was too much negativity. And they were also just not really interested in the content. The fourth one that I thought was really interesting was: they were wanting more privacy. Which I think is a great thing.

Sandro: [00:02:44] Especially when they’re out there looking for new jobs and things like that. But I also have friends who, they feel anxious. They feel anxiety looking through social media. They’re not living up to that.

Liz: [00:02:53] To that standard because we all put our best face forward. I will say though that at least some of the people I’m following, I’m seeing some like real honesty in terms like, Oh! Today is actually a crappy day. Or I’m struggling with this. And I appreciate that. But I’m sure for every account that’s real and honest there’s probably 50 who are fake and “look at my fabulous life.”.

Sandro: [00:03:16] I’m going to Fyre Festival!

Liz: [00:03:18] Right. We talked about Fyre Festival in our last, one of our recent episodes. My other stat was from the Pew Research Center. Apparently Facebook users as many as 40 percent ofU.S. users have taken a break from checking the app for several weeks at a time, which I think that’s huge. Like this isn’t just like, Oh I’m done for the weekend or I’m done for weeks. Several weeks to me is a good, it’s a great break from social media.

Sandro: [00:03:48] My sister does and so does a good friend of mine who is very popular on Twitter and Instagram. She takes a break and I always want to tag her occasionally on Facebook and I think, oh she’s off apparently right now. And I get that. That’s healthy. So I do know people that do that. Yeah, it’s more rampant than you think.


Reaching Less People With More Money


Liz: [00:04:04] Yeah. So I’ve been hearing all these rumblings. I went and I found some data to actually back it up and now I’m thinking OK what does this mean for social media in 2019? I think we can expect to see a continued decline in organic reach. Yes it’s already near zero anyways. But specifically with ad dollars I think that’s where the biggest change is going to be we’re going to be spending more money to reach less people.

Sandro: [00:04:29] Absolutely. And we’re going to link to an article by Avinash Kaushik. I know I’ve slaughtered his name. I’m sorry. He’s a thought leader in the social space in the digital marketing space. And he put out a really great story, an article and he mentioned that you know, your chief marketing person, or you as a marketer you as a small business, want people to love your brand organically. And you want to amplify organically. It’s a good thought except you know what? It’s not happening. Focus should be on social media primarily being a paid media strategy. We’ve been saying it forever. But social is paid now.


Instagram Organic Declining?


Sandro: [00:05:06] The only place I’m not seeing that fully yet is Instagram. We’re still seeing organic reach hitting there.

Liz: [00:05:12] Sure.

Sandro: [00:05:12] But it’s not to where it was before. Where before one of our pages we had 100 likes and then we’d get the notification. “This is doing better than 95% of your posts. Now we’re all down to maybe 40, 50 Likes and saying this is doing better than 90% of your posts. So I believe reach, organic reach is declining for business accounts on Instagram. We knew it was going to happen. But I believe it’s starting to happen now.

Liz: [00:05:35] Yeah. I just feel my personal Instagram feed even in the last month. The uptick in ads that I’m seeing is just as kind of obnoxious. We know that Facebook is still a for-profit company. They need to make money. And with less users on the platform.

Sandro: [00:05:53] Or even a plateauing of users.

Liz: [00:05:54] Yeah. The, I think the cost of ads is only going to continue to go up. What’s by the way what’s comical to me is that people are leaving Facebook and they’re like “I’m going to go over an Instagram!” And like they’re the same owner. Like a lot of people don’t realize that Facebook owns Instagram so they think they’re showing them! But they’re not.

Peak Ad Load


Sandro: [00:06:18] And yeah, and and we’ve talked about it before: Peak Ad Load. Facebook is there. They don’t want to show you an ad but maybe for every seven organic posts your friends post then they’ll show you an ad they’re trying to make maybe you make it six, every six posts or maybe every five posts. Well they can only stuff so many ads in your feed.

Sandro: [00:06:35] And so they’re doing different things like letting businesses bid on the search bar. So if you’re searching for one Indian restaurant let’s say, well the other Indian restaurant could bid and appear even though you’re googling or you’re searching in the Facebook search bar for one Indian restaurant. Well the competitor appears that’s another place they’re starting to put ads. They’re running out of places to put ads. So of course ads, prices are going to be going up.

Liz: [00:06:59] Definitely. And this has me thinking OK do we allocate more money to Facebook? Do we mix up our strategy a little bit? I think it’s our next episode I’m going to be talking about multichannel campaigns and I think that’ll be really applicable to some of what we’re talking about today. So stay tuned for that. But yeah mixing up your strategy, trying different things. Influencer marketing I think is something that’s a big brands have really capitalized, but I think a lot of smaller companies on a local level could take advantage of. And then you could also look at Facebook ads or I’m sorry Facebook Leads as almost like a loss leader.


Different Mindset In Marketing


Sandro: [00:07:37] Right. Another article I read recently talking about different ways to reach people and or just different mindsets. And they talked about a florist who is spending 80 bucks per new customer.

Liz: [00:07:51] A paying customer.

Sandro: [00:07:52] Paying customer, right. So a person spends a dollar and flowers but he’s spending $80 just to find this new person. And they’re okay with that. So it’s a loss leader. It’s kind of the way they’re gaining new customers for life. They’re hoping for. So they’re hoping they get the sale and then keep this customer for life.

Sandro: [00:08:07] They know that you bought flowers for your mom on a certain date and it took them $80 to get you as a customer, a new customer. And you’re spending $80 on flowers for your mom for her birthday. Well now they know when your mom’s birthday is and they can e-mail you every year a few weeks ahead of time saying “hey, maybe time to buy some flowers for your mom.” Or they have your e-mail address and they can use that in Facebook to upload to Facebook to target you with some ads. So they’re using it as a loss leader. They know they’re not going to be making any money on that first sale. But your lifetime value may be enough that they’re OK with that.

Liz: [00:08:42] I think if you know your numbers and you’re comfortable with that to me that’s still successful marketing.


Should You Have a Loss Leader?


Sandro: [00:08:48] Agreed. And the loss leader we talked about this, Liz & I talked about this off the air, but we talked about Costco.

Liz: [00:08:54] We did.

Sandro: [00:08:54] Their chicken, their rotisserie chicken it’s never been above $4.99. It’s it’s at $4.99. Even though it costs them seven dollars to make and sell and keep the lights on for each chicken. They won’t raise the price because they know how many people just love to come into Costco for that for $4.99 Chicken. They’ll buy other things but it’s a loss leader.

Liz: [00:09:13] Yeah maybe you’re maybe you’re craving that chicken. So you go in to buy that but then oh I need some shampoo or cereal or whatever it is.

Sandro: [00:09:22] Toilet paper you know, get diapers whatever it is. Yeah. And because of that other companies like BJ’s wholesale and Sam’s Club, they too sell their rotisserie chickens for $4.99. Because no one wants to be the first to raise the prices because then they’ll lose, they may lose out.


Are We Over Systematized?


Liz: [00:09:37] Sure. The other thing that I’ve been thinking about in terms of the state of social for 2019. We have systematized so much for efficiency in terms of social media. You know every client has a spreadsheet with kind of evergreen content that we can always go to. And I’m sitting here thinking okay maybe we need to dial some of that back and turn up the creativity. Put our put our Don Draper / Mad Men hats on a little bit.

Liz: [00:10:07] Because if these are true ad platforms we’re essentially talking about interruption marketing. We’re interrupting people scrolling through some kind of feed and you’ve got to be catchy. We talked about visual disruption a little bit in our last episode. It’s also known that there’s going to be ad fatigue so we can expect to create an ad and think we’re going to be able to stand on that ad for a year. We might need to be refreshing our creative every quarter but essentially get the creative juices flowing because these are ad platforms & we’re talking interruption. You’ve got to be creative and get people’s attention, get consumers attention. So in 2019 I still envision doing a lot of these test campaigns but I’m definitely going to retool how we do them.


Custom and Look Alike Audiences Are A Must


Liz: [00:10:58] Oh and that’s the other thing one of the things that I am definitely going to be almost requiring: if someone comes to me and wants to do a test campaign on Facebook because they hear “Oh everyone’s on Facebook and I’m seeing all these ads. And can it work for me?” I’m going to be like “hey let’s give it a try but I’m gonna need some kind of email list. Some kind of subscriber list.”

Liz: [00:011:18] Because I think that Custom Audience and then the Lookalike Audience on Facebook is so key. I don’t even know that I would bumble around or bumble through some test campaigns that we’re just kind of blindly targeting people with the options on Facebook. Now that we’ve done so many campaigns with uploading the e-mail subscriber list, there’s no other way to really be successful. Please argue against that if you want to.

Sandro: [00:11:45] So that leads us to what does it mean to small businesses? What does, what is the state of social for a small business? For a small restaurant? For a mechanic?


It’s PAID Media. No More Social Media


Liz: [00:11:54] I think it’s still relevant but even even what you just said I don’t even want to call it social media anymore.

Sandro: [00:12:02] It’s paid media. Have a budget.

Liz: [00:12:04] Yes.

Sandro: [00:12:05] And one way to help reach, target your people again. You just mentioned it.

Liz: [00:12:10] Know your audience your audience. Target them.

Sandro: [00:12:11] Custom Audiences. Get the e-mail addresses. E-mail marketing. Consider taking a loss leader to get a new customer for life. Potentially.


Mad Men Mindset


Liz: [00:12:20] Yeah and be prepared to allocate more time, not just pulling content and scheduling it but saying “okay it’s second quarter. Let’s take a look at our creative. Let’s refresh it.” Because that, those types of campaigns take time they need your attention and I think if you want to be at all successful on social you’ve got to again get into that Mad Men mindset. It’s a mouthful, Mad Men Mindset.


Be Creative With Your Targeting


Sandro: [00:12:47] And maybe be creative with your targeting, now that I’m thinking about it because we have a new client. They make custom shirts & get your measurements. They make a custom shirt from scratch, dress shirt. And we’re doing advertising and we had to target people. They didn’t have an email address email list unfortunately. So we started targeting people in the top 25 percent income percentile.

Liz: [00:13:07] Sure you went back to some of for the lack of a better word I’ll say generic demographics that you can select on Facebook. Did that work well?

Sandro: [00:13:15] We just started it 3 days ago, so we’re hoping.

Liz: [00:13:18] I’m intrigued!


But Be Realistic With Your Targeting


Sandro: [00:13:19] A 30-day campaign. And so I had to sit down with the owner. He’s a great guy. And I say who is most likely to buy these custom shirts from you? You’ve been in business for a decade. Who buys these? How old are they? What do they watch? How much money do they make? And he tried to reach, he’s like well people 13 years old 65 years old. I said All right let’s be realistic.

Liz: [00:13:40] Whoa, that’s so broad.

Sandro: [00:13:41] Yeah, I said “13 year olds are not coming in here and ordering custom shirts from you. How old are they?” He said, well, Twenty years. No let’s go higher. I really think it’s let’s be realistic. How old is this person.

Liz: [00:13:53] I love that. By the way I hear that all the time. Who’s your target? Anyone with a home! Well Let’s be realistic because there are low income neighborhoods. There are very affluent neighborhoods. There’s middle class. None of them is right or wrong who really is your best client?

Sandro: [00:14:08] And I’m glad I asked because I actually I was going to exclude all women. But then he said “no it’s, they usually come in with their wives or girlfriends.” I said oh yeah. We should target women. So I’m glad I asked. Because I didn’t realize, I forgot they’re the ones making the decision saying you need a new dress shirt. You have a job interview.

Liz: [00:14:23] These shirts are getting ratty. Time to replace them. Yeah. So yeah I’m intrigued by this. Let me know how this goes because I’m yeah I’m curious to know if these. Like I said this kind of generic demographic targeting on Facebook if that’s even still worth it. My gut says no but I could be proved wrong.


As Always: Know Your Audience


Sandro: [00:14:40] So think about your audience. Target it. Refine it. And get it right. Know who your audiences. Like you said. Be creative with it.

Liz: [00:14:47] So bottom line I still think some of the things we have been talking about for years still apply. It’s just keeping on your toes and thinking ahead and being prepared. Don’t go stale. Keep it creative. And just always be finding new ways to get in front of customers.

Sandro: [00:15:04] Because the old ways are kind of feeling dated. A new mindset. There’s something new, I feel like there’s something new coming.

Liz: [00:15:09] Well let us know what you think. We’d love to hear your opinions as well. Send us a message or tweet and we’ll definitely give you a shout out on the show. And a link. You can find us on your favorite podcast app. We are on iTunes. Google podcast and Spotify. You can also find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Thanks so much and we’ll see you next time.