Social Media is Never Free

Apr 12, 2023

Between the advent of Facebook Fan Pages and the launch of visually-geared platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, many brands have gotten used to treating social media as a free marketing tool. No need to buy ads or commercials – all you have to do is set up a social media profile for free, and you’re instantly able to engage directly with consumers, share updates, and promote new products whenever you want. And it doesn’t cost anything, right?

Here’s the catch – once you’ve created a social media profile for your brand, you have to regularly post content that gets the attention of potential customers – and it doesn’t stop there. This is where things get complicated and time-consuming. For example:

  • How do you plan to generate photos, videos, stories, and reels to keep consistently posting new content to your feed?

  • Which hashtags, handles and other tools should you use to help social media users find you?

  • How often do you need to post new content on each platform? What days of the week – and times of the day – are optimal to reach your target audience?

  • How responsive do you need to be in order to provide meaningful engagement for your audience – monitoring and replying to comments, answering direct messages, and engaging or collaborating with other brands and influencers?

  • How do you track the effectiveness of your content to convert likes and video views into site visits and, ultimately, sales?

If you don’t have an experienced social media manager on your payroll to handle all of this, you’ll soon find yourself (or someone else on your team) spending a lot of time and resources experimenting with what works best through a lot of trial and error.

And if you’re relying on organic (aka “free”) reach rather than paying for it, odds are you’re not getting the level of views, engagement, or click-throughs to justify the amount of time and energy it’s costing you to manage your “free” social media content.

More people than ever are using social media – but less of them are seeing your content.

If you are depending solely on organic reach, you’ve likely noticed how hard it is to get eyeballs on your content. As social media networks evolve and change their algorithms to improve user experience and opportunity for paying sponsors, brands feel the impact.

Not only has Facebook shifted its algorithm over recent years to prioritize content by friends and family (instead of businesses), it has also restricted organic reach for Facebook pages – this means despite a growing number of users spending more time on social media, brands are actually seeing a decline in organic reach. Unfortunately for those who see social media as a “free” marketing tool, the odds are increasingly against your content getting seen by more than a small percentage of users…unless you start paying for reach.

Here’s the truth – your brand’s social media presence is never truly free.  Even if you’re not paying to amplify your content or putting a social media manager on your payroll, you’re still allocating time and resources away from the other facets of your business to “feed the beast” – because social media is a never-ending stream of content, maintenance, and follow-up that probably isn’t performing at a level that’s worth what you’ve spent on it.

You’re likely experiencing diminishing returns as your organic posts are pushed further down the feed by more highly prioritized content.

That’s why we offer a turn-key solution to automotive aftermarket brands. We can take the demands of creating and distributing media off their plate, so that they can focus on their business.

Here’s how it works:

  • We collaborate with brands on informative, entertaining branded TV content that’s featured on our automotive programs – all airing on MotorTrendTV (reaching an average audience of 1.25M per episode – it’s hard to get your organic posts to do that!). The episode premieres during a dedicated programming block geared toward automotive DIYers and professionals, after which it re-airs at least 7 more times on MotorTrendTV.
  • The episode is also available to streaming audiences through discovery+ and Max. And since our branded content is integrated into the episode (not a commercial spot that runs in the ad breaks), we deliver an attentive audience that’s ready to learn.
  • During TV production, we also create custom digital media that’s optimized for best practices across various social media channels – this means we’re not just repurposing the TV show content for digital use; we’re producing original content including vertical video, stories, reels, and stunning digital images as original branded digital content.
  • We work with brands to build a social media program tailored to their goals, serving the metrics that mean the most to them. We’ll strategically release organic and amplified content on the TV program’s social media channels before, during, and after the episode premiere, prompting audiences to not only tune in and learn about the featured product, but to interact with the brand beyond the TV screen.
  • And we provide brands with these digital assets for use on their own social media channels.

Here’s the best part – our brand partners no longer have to spend time creating compelling content and finding their audience! They can let us be the media experts while they focus on being the experts on their brand, from customer service and product innovation to logistics and sales efforts.

“Free” social media can be a stressful, confusing, time-wasting exercise in futility, as you’re unlikely to see results worthy of what you’ve invested in your efforts. When you’re ready to collaborate with a partner that can create a well-rounded, turn-key media strategy for you, we’re here to help you get started!



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