Is there a renaissance ahead for organic social media?

organic social media

Today I’m going to discuss a possible trend and business opportunity. My views here are subjective because there is really no way to prove my observations. I could be completely wrong. But if I’m right, the time could be ripe for reimagining success with organic social media.

Here is my premise.

Point 1: Few are focusing on organic social media

In general, companies have given up on any kind of meaningful organic social media strategy. All the attention is on paid media, which is getting more expensive and competitive because where else are you going to advertise these days? In general, organic has become a grind — a box to be checked — with no real strategy behind it (with the exception of customer service).

How do I know that this is the state of social media? I don’t for sure. As I said, this is subjective. But when was the last time you saw an organic social media campaign that made you go WOW? I’ve been immersed in the social media marketing field since the beginning and I think we are in the Death Valley of social creativity right now. Engagement is so low most have given up on it.

Point 2: Everything is difficult

Another general observation is that every marketing-related development these days seems like bad news. Costs are going up, effectiveness is going down. Consumers are skipping our ads and blocking us out. Privacy regulations (a good thing in the long term) may eliminate many practices currently at the heart of the marketing practice.

In summary, marketing is really, really HARD. I’ve argued that it’s probably more difficult to succeed than ever. So, whatever we do, it’s going to take a lot of exceptional creative work to break through the noise.

So we need some fresh energy, some new ideas.

My conclusion: A comeback for organic social media

With digital ad prices soaring, why not take a fresh look at organic? If you suggest this idea to your boss, she will say, “But that is so hard to do!”

And she would be correct. But ALL marketing is hard to do right now, and I think competing through organic social media might be a “less-hard” option because it’s virtually an open space with no innovation taking place. This is an abandoned space.

Great marketing isn’t about conforming to what everybody else is doing. It’s about non-conformity and finding a niche to leverage.

Why keep putting your money into over-crowded and costly spaces? Organic might be a wide-open opportunity.

But there’s a hook

In the early days of social media, everything was a novelty, so anybody could post anything and it would go viral.

Alas, those days are long gone. In fact, probably no one will believe anything you say on social media any way. But we do believe our friends and family. So any success with organic social media has to be focused on UGC — User Generated Content. We need to create something so audacious and unmissable that our customers will carry the story forward.

Did I mention that this is also HARD to do? But if I were a creative marketing leader at an agency somewhere, I would be thinking about developing some content or experience that was so bold and inventive that the world will be eager to spread it.

This is a key point to any organic success. The algorithms probably won’t let your content through. So the content has to come through others. This demands a whole new mindset and approach to organic social media and it’s really the only way to achieve to success.

There is no easy path for any marketing success, so we can only hope for a less-hard path. Maybe that means dusting off the organic social media playbook. What do you think?

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He is the author of some of the world’s bestselling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Follow Mark on TwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram. Discover his $RISE creator community.

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