Un-Social Media on LinkedIn & Twitter: Are You Ready to Pay for Reach?

buying-friends

Let others know you are alive and clicking

To say the sloping off of my organic reach on Twitter is depression would be an understatement. Looks like in mid-February my reach took a dive. I’m certain my followers didn’t change. I didn’t suddenly lose 90% of my interested followers, but I lost 90% of my organic reach. What gives?

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I’ve worked for years to build up a rich following. But the process is getting jammed up by spammers and pornsters offering to build my list or boost my ego. Both are not worth the money.twitter-90-day-growth-2015

I’ve split non-marketing topics off to other Twitter accounts and begun growing them as well, but Twitter is making it more difficult to use that audience to my advantage. I’m not sure what their algorithm is but you can see from the annual graph above, the my reach has gone from 20% – 40% to about 4%.

Wondering what’s going on with your Twitter Organic (re: unpaid) Reach? Me too. Looks like Twitter is tightening the thumbscrews. What once was transparent and open (if they follow you, they’re going to see your tweet) is now something else. I’d love to hear about your experience as I’m writing a deep investigative piece about this bad turn of events. Twitter has real problems. We used to be able to count on earned followers as a real metric. Now, not so much. What gives Twitter?

And What About Publishing On LinkedIn?

And just a year ago I completed my 100 posts on LinkedIn‘s platform to see what kind of results I was able to achieve after putting in a significant amount of time and effort to leverage LinkedIn and my network as a platform. Those results were not very satisfying, but the reach of new posts on LinkedIn has also taken a huge dive.

Here were my results a year ago.

Here are my results today. (8/24/15)

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Now, my audience or network has not gotten any smaller. But obviously my REACH has been effectively shut down to less than 1%.

The Era of Earned Reach is Over

So today, if you want to gain an audience you’re going to have to pay for it. That’s not to say you should stop building your networks, friends, and followers, but it means their value to you is very different. And as the big three platforms continue to weave in “native ads,” the ads that look like content but aren’t, we are quickly reaching a social web that is not social any more.

Are we surprised that Twitter can’t keep users? Is it news that our kids abhor Facebook as the “parents network” and thrive on SnapChat and Instagram?

The conversation is rapidly coming to a close on the web. Post a question on Facebook: What’s your favorite Back to School Movie? Five years ago about 50% of your friends would’ve seen it and the average 2% of friends would’ve added their movie. (My random question of the day about music or movies used to generate at least 25 – 50 answers.) Today, the reach is more like 2% and the 2% of the friends that see it that are actual engagers on Facebook will be approximately 5. We’ve lost the channels for communication. And Twitter and LinkedIn are two more steps removed as a community space for conversations.

What we need is a place to chat, share, and commune. Tribes cannot be built over text,  email, and SnapChat. What can we do to bring back the conversation? I don’t know. Sound the alarm. Engage in conversations when possible. Respond when asked a question.

Wake up your own web experience and let others know you are alive and clicking.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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