WE ALMOST DESTROYED OUR OWN BUSINESS BY NOT USING SOCIAL MEDIA… INTENTIONALLY!!
Hello! It’s good to be back. You haven’t seen us in a while because we’ve been intentionally performing an experiment on ourselves. Why would we do this? Besides being stupid, we were trying to make a point to businesses that by not posting on a daily basis, you’re seriously harming your business. We couldn’t use a client for this experiment, so we decided to risk it and see what happened. Bad idea. REALLY bad idea. Here’s why:
Let’s start with the general marketing principle that being seen by as many people as possible on a daily basis will improve Top-Of-Mind-Awareness. What does that mean? Pretty much that the more recognizable your company is, the better chance that a potential customer will consider using your product or services when a need arises. This is Marketing 101, and it’s absolutely the truth. Things get much more complicated as you start to factor in content, messaging, graphics, branding and algorithms, but for now; visibility is key. If nobody knows you exist, nothing else matters.
For Split, we didn’t want to go away completely (that’s very, very dangerous), but we came pretty close. Since around June of this year, we’ve only posted on our own platforms (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Insta) a handful of times, and those posts for the most part have had nothing to do with our business. Let’s call it 10 posts for 7 months or so. To be fair, the only marketing that we do is digital, so this is our ONLY way of connecting with potential clients other than our SEO. From 2018 through when we stopped posting, we were averaging a pretty high engagement rate; meaning that our posts and ads were being seen, liked, commented on and shared on a regular basis. The less you post, not only does your engagement die; but the algorithm slowly limits who even sees your posts. So for instance, if you post once per week to 50 people (this is determined by the platforms’ algorithm), and then all of a sudden only start posting once per month as an example, those 50 people might become 10. And then 5. And then 0. Social Media platforms want you to USE their services, so if they don’t perceive value in what you’re doing… Bye Felicia.
Now, as a digital marketing firm we rely on driving potential customers to our website. In fact, as ANY kind of company; directing people to your website should be the number one priority for two reasons: Even if you don’t sell anything on your site; the more people that visit equals higher rankings in Google. Why does that matter? Because someone that searches the web for a service or product (so pretty much everyone) that you provide, will click on the first several sites they see related to their search. Put it this way; if you have an office or a store, but no address or way to contact you; people will quickly move on. It’s the same thing with web. If people can’t find you or don’t know what you do, they’re not going to visit. The second reason to drive people to your site is pretty obvious: sell things.
So how does this relate to Social Media? Your social media profiles aren’t just confined to social media; they also rank in search engine results. They are prominently visible in branded search results, often on the first page. So your brand can increase your search engine visibility and drive more traffic by creating social media profiles and optimizing them. Social media is an excellent channel to ensure that your content reaches as many people as possible. On search engines, people only discover your content when they’re searching for a relevant keyword. But on social media, you’ll be getting your content in front of people who didn’t even realize that they needed your content.
Bottom line: Better content reach translates into high-quality traffic which, again, affects your rankings.
So what we did was stupid. There’s really no other way to put it. Here’s what happened when we tried to make our point:
Let’s start with social visibility. On average, when we were posting on a daily basis (January 2018-June 2019); our “reach” was around 500-600 people per day with an average engagement of 26- 54. Between June and December when we stopped posting regularly, our posts had an average reach of 1-4 people, with an engagement of 0. So basically, unless you were a super fan and looked us up directly; nobody saw our posts. To be clear, this wasn’t even a gradual drop. It happened within 2 weeks of not posting. Yikes.
Now let’s talk about our Google ranking. On May 23, 2019 if you searched STL digital marketing, STL digital marketing firm, CHI digital marketing, CHI digital marketing firm, NYC digital marketing, NYC digital marketing firm… in St. Louis we were either 2nd or 3d in the rankings. In Chicago, we were in the top 10 and in New York City, we in the top 15 (which is almost unheard of for a non-headquartered firm). Now, we’re not saying that our SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t really good, because it is; and there’s a whole lot more that goes into ranking (backlinks, content, etc.) BUT after dissecting all of the data; we’ve determined that by not posting on social media everyday; we’ve cost ourselves first page visibility in every market and are on the brink of shutting down our New York presence. This is detrimental to our business in so many ways that’s it’s almost incalculable because we rely almost entirely on website inquiries as our lifeblood. By eliminating our primary, if not sole source of marketing; we’ve watched our client acquisition drop from an average of 4-7 new clients per month to a total acquisition of 4. What am I saying? I’m saying that since June of this year, we’ve signed 4 total new clients. THANK GOD for our existing client base, and their continued loyalty. Without them, frankly, we’d be screwed.
The takeaway from our stupid decision should be a warning to all. No matter what your thoughts on social media as a whole; it’s become a VITAL part of every business that plans on sticking around. Posting sporadically or not at all for weeks at a time is not an option. Social Media is a major determining factor in buying decisions for almost the entire population. Sure there are exceptions, but if you’re not marketing your business on a daily basis via social media… your competitors are.
Gotta run, we’ve got some serious catching up to do.