So I decided to run a social media contest cross channel for the year end game. Oh man I wasn’t ready for what I got. Let me start by saying if you ever feel like you are not being heard or getting the attention of your community (your physical community or the tribe of people you surround yourself with), run a social media contest. They will quickly prove you wrong.

So for the last month this is what I have learned about social media first hand.

1 )Facebook doesn’t like you.

You can play all of their games, have engagement and yet only 10 people will ever see your content. Why? Because you aren’t paying them big money to advertise your business. If I were Hanes Brand or Amazon then everyone on the planet would see my non paid posts just as much as the paid ones…why? Facebook has become a greedy monster like Google. Also, have you noticed less people here less frequently lately? I have too…If I were a betting person I would say Facebook’s repeated issues with keeping personal information private has sent some people to the hills…my husband and brother included.

2) I get more exposure on Instagram

That’s right, where all the hip kids go to share life through photos and stuff…guess what? There are an astounding number of business owners that hang out there too. And for now, while owned by the Facebook monster, they do not follow the Facebook algorithms. So your fans, the audience that follows you, does actually see your content most of the time. Giving them a greater chance of engaging with it, which increases the engagement levels. Imagine that! If we give people the chance to see us and like us, they do?! Who knew?! It’s refreshing!

3) Twitter isn’t as hard as we like to pretend it is.

Do you have a smart phone? Are you on it at least once a day feeding the Facebook monster (We know you are at some point…1.5 Billion users daily) something? Then why not open up the Twitter app and feed that machine instead? Like Instagram I have had a very pleasant experience in the Twitter world. Now Twitter is more like FB in that the news feed is what you make it. So if you follow a ton of politics, then your feed will be nothing but politics. Keep your following count down to the things that matter most to you and your news feed may even be fun! I mean more fun than you think it might. Plus it is easy to re-share, talk to, or like other people’s content. And if you have looked into Influencer marketing like I have, you will notice something else about Twitter…All and I mean ALL of the influencers from any industry are on Twitter.

4) That leads me to LinkedIn.

So I have a love hate relationship with LinkedIn because they can’t seem to decide who their audience is. Is it the person looking for a job, so then the appeal is the ability to find companies, or is it the companies and the appeal is the ability to find people? It is both, but it feels back handed in its approach, which makes me squeamish as a person. As a marketer it makes me hesitant to recommend them. But I have found my content on LinkedIn is reaching people I don’t know, and they are ENGAGING with it…Can you even imagine? I didn’t have to pay anything to reach a new audience…I didn’t have to post 15 times a day for the chance to be seen — hell, I didn’t even need to sign in more than once every other day or so to retrieve messages. My LinkedIn usage hasn’t change before to after this little contest, but my reach and engagement has gone through the roof.  – This makes me less squeamish and more excited for opportunity at LinkedIn.

All in all I have had over 1000 interactions cross network and more than half of those came from other than Facebook sources.

Why am I telling you this?

I have been telling my friends, my clients, and really anyone who will listen since May of this year that Facebook is on its way out. Its legs have been cut, people are leaving the platform, and I just don’t see a way for them to recover as a brand. It is my best guidance as a marketing director to help them diversify their social media portfolios. I am going against the digital marketing run of the mill, boiler plate, grain here to say:

Does it make sense for every company to be on every channel? NO!

Does it make sense for every company to be on Facebook? NO!

So why are we all being told we need to be there? (This is a conversation for a different day!)

Figure out your audience. Where are they? What matters to them? And be there. Talk about those things… and you will win! The time investment will be worth it <– I promise it is less than you are spending on FB right now.

If this article did nothing else for you, I hope it restored your faith in SOCIAL MEDIA. Keep the conversations flowing, ask questions, share stories, and best of all connect with your community. When you do you will never feel alone or invisible again. Social media is a very rewarding place when you look at it like a digital social club and not a never ending sales pitch.

Have fun! Thanks for reading!