There’s a significant shift afoot determining what you see on your social media platforms. While companies previously used follower and then target marketing, now platforms like Instagram give significantly more weight to your interests. This new emphasis is ushering in what we think will be Social Media 3.0 in which quality, engaging content will win out in a privacy world.
Stage 1: The follower pyramid model. The basic social media network was organic—friends and family following each other and sharing content. The goal for marketers was to get their followers to re-post their content, thereby gaining exposure to third-party audiences, and so on. Through this strategy, you could amplify your visibility at zero cost. This strategy prioritized acquiring followers and posting great viral-worthy content.
Stage 2 – The pay-to-play targeting model. By around 2015, organic reach was plummeting to near zero and—not so coincidentally—Facebook ad tools were delivering impressive performance. To reach audiences, brands were forced to give up their free advertising and finally pay up. Under this strategy, marketers needed to become masters of ad targeting and testing.
Stage 3 – The AI matching model. The privacy movement has made targeting much more difficult, but AI bots are doing better at predicting who is likely to engage in a given post or ad. Once again, quality content is back in center focus. Even the lead media buyer of VaynerMedia says the glory days for ad managers banking on targeting skills are over…. “creative is THE variable.”