Hi. My name is Sam Fiorella, and I’m the chief strategy officer here at BONDAI. One of the most frequently asked questions that I have received over the last 10 years that we’ve been building and managing these BONDAI communities is, why is it that after tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in investing in social media community, social media engagement, outreach, influencer campaigns, why is it that we haven’t seen a long-term effect on our bottom line? Well, the answer is pretty simple, and I’m going to share the reasons why now.
Reason number one is content shock. Brands are not seeing a big return on their investment in social media advertising or social media community building. Social is becoming more challenging now than ever to drive traffic. We are distracted. Our attention spans are shorter. We are getting inundated with content from so many different social media platforms that are popping up almost every day, it seems. Social media platforms also gamify negativity with extreme behavior in content being pushed to the top in order to try and generate and attract more users, more eyeballs for them. And that could be affecting your branding and the way that you are forced to have to react to what the community is doing and saying.
As a result of that, reason number two, the decreasing trust on social media. Between security issues, privacy issues, it’s nuts what’s happening out there. A 2019 finding from Edison Research found that social media usage amongst all Americans, but those especially between the ages of 12 and 34 years, across multiple platforms has been leveling off and, in fact, waning. We are getting to an over-saturation point. And if you are going to spend time and money, trying to build your community on a platform that not only is gamifying people towards more negativity where there’s less distrust, you are going to have a much harder time competing for those eyeballs, their hearts, and their attention.
Reason number three is limited engagement on these platforms. Basically, these platforms are creatively limiting for you as well as for the users. For the most part, building community on social media platforms is limited to the features and functions that they allow you to engage in. Having your own community, on the other hand, allows you the freedom to create engagement based on whatever your audience needs, not based on what the platform allows you to create or what supports their algorithms.
Reason number four, less meaningful engagement. Those who seek things out intentionally are more engaged than those who may happen to see your ad or your request or your offer come up in their social media feed when they’re there for something completely different. People go to social media platforms for different reasons, and often, it’s not about building a relationship with you or your brand. They do it for entertainment, time-wasting, connecting with family and friends, cat memes, or in some cases for more nefarious reasons. At best, they may be searching for your product recommendations, but rarely do they look to Facebook communities for that. So why spend the time trying to build on that relationship or a relationship with your audience on a platform that they don’t necessarily want to engage you in?
Reason number five, you don’t own your own data even if you can engage them in a meaningful way in those platforms. And this is probably the most important point. You don’t own your own community data. The social media platform data mines your conversations, serves up ads that makes them money, and learns more about your audience than you’ll ever know. Owning your own community, on the other half, allows you to build that direct relationship, and that’s the direction we should all be taking. But I’m going to get to that in our next video.