Monday, 8 january 2018 | Redacción CEU
Brands know that the content generated by them is an indispensable requirement to reach customers. They set aside part of their budget to hire professionals that manage their social networks and give some spirit to their digital profiles. They have also realized that their presence on the Internet has to be of good quality, if they really want to provoke an impact. But just when they thought they got to know everything, the rules of the game have begun to change. Obtaining organic reach in social networks is increasingly difficult. Companies like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook modify their algorithms and getting that posts are seen by more users for free is not an easy task . Is it necessary now to dig into our pockets in order to reach the consumer? Are social networks still profitable for attracting new customers? Are brands willing to pay?
Organic reach is that number of users that a post reached in social networks without the need of the brand to invest. Companies long for this percentage to be as high as possible and since their activity on these platforms has always been developed without any cost, they now hope to achieve this goal without paying for it. But, platforms work with increasingly complex algorithms that contribute to make this a challenge more difficult to achieve as time passes. While brands reflect on why should they pay for something they can get for free, the professionals who work in this field wonder: is this still possible?
The perfect showcase
In Spain, according to the Annual Study of Social Networks 2017 prepared by IAB, the 86% of Internet users access to social networks with a very high frequency –97% of them use WhatsApp daily, 82% Facebook and 71% Instagram. Spain is one of the countries with a high level of platforms penetration in the society. Companies are aware that they have to be in the networks, if they really want to influence on it. The management of social networks has been professionalized and the level of competition has grown. Platforms know they are in control. Reaching the right customers on social networks has never been more difficult.
Nobody likes to spend money if it is not necessary, even less if they are used to having a service for free. When social networks landed in this society, brands soon realized about their potential. Its emergence was a disruptive change meant a new way of communication between companies and customers. These platforms offered companies a voice, presence and proximity, without asking for anything more than a registration in return. The companies accessed thanks to them to a perfect showcase; in a store with a good location, well conditioned and where hundreds or thousands of different customers could pass every day. If it well used, its potential was unparalleled. Its rent was also for free!
These new spaces made possible that a small company became globally known, an idea turned into a solid project or a startup multiplied its sales volume by five. They helped generating emotional bonds with users, attracting new customers, incentivizing interests and creating trends. But as the popular Spanish proverb says: "cuando te convida el tabernero, te convida con tu dinero". That means: "when the bartender invites you, he invites you with your money". Platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are now essential channels for the brand marketing, even for small businesses. Specifically, the 85% of Spanish companies use social networks for business purposes.