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Is your boss wondering why engagement is down and people don’t share your posts? Do you feel disappointed when your carefully-crafted article doesn’t get many (or any) likes? Here’s the deal: your inability to crack the social media code and get more likes, retweets, and shares may not be you.

Instead, Avinash Kaushik, a well-known analytics guru and Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, says it’s time to “stop organic social media altogether.” Avinash’s post highlights social media posts from big-brand companies and breaks down their actual success metrics (rather than just focusing on likes). To paraphrase Buzzfeed: “the results will surprise you.”

One post from Expedia (a company with 6.4 million likes) had a conversion rate of .00011%. Other examples from Cisco and Chick-Fil-A had the same dismal returns.

Yes, I know we’re “supposed” to post to social media to “connect with our readers” and “amplify our content.” But is this technique working the way we’d like? Let’s break this down.

When is the social ROI just not worth it?

I’m working with a smart yet stressed-out client. The company is producing content as fast as they can because their social media audience is “hungry.” But when you look at the numbers, their strategy doesn’t add up. Most posts get one like or less. Timely posts receive slightly more shares and likes but there’s rarely a sales bump. Think about it: all of that work (and all of that money spent for content creation and editing) for a few likes.

You could argue that the company could optimize their copy, tweak their photos, and try different techniques—true. But is the additional effort worth the return?

Sound familiar? The death of social interaction isn’t happening to just you. It’s happening to big brands too. There are a few reasons why this happens:

  • Facebook dials back branded content. You may have liked a company’s page but you may not see their most recent post in your feed. Which means your readers may not see your most recent post.
  • Even if people do see your post, they may not have time to engage with it (for instance, read it or watch the video.)
  • Unless people are glued to social media, they aren’t going to see every post. There’s too much noise out there.

Why is this important?

It’s all about the Benjamins, not the likes

At the end of the day, your content needs to drive a conversion. Maybe that means enticing folks to sign up for your newsletter. (Newsletters, as Avinash points out, can have incredible ROI.) Or filling out a contact form. Or making a purchase.

If you’re endlessly writing, posting, and sharing to feed the hungry social media beast, stop it. I’m not saying social media doesn’t work—we know it can. What I am saying is that we can’t push ourselves to publish, publish, publish if it’s not driving a conversion. What’s the alternative?

We can take that time and focus our efforts more effectively instead. You may want to try paid advertising (as the article suggests) or focusing on what you know DOES work for you—for instance, Twitter chats, LinkedIn posts or Facebook Live videos. This is why finding your One Thing is so important.

Look at your analytics. See where your traffic and sales are coming from. Focus on doing more of what makes you money, not on filling a social media pipeline. In short, don’t get caught up in what social media gurus say you “should” do and how often you “should” post. Figure out what works for you and do more of that.

What do you think?

Are you glad you’re not the only one having social media issues? Did the thought of “not organically posting on social media” blow your mind or did you breathe a huge sigh of relief? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.