I have been hearing this a lot lately from marketers who are unsure what to do with their Facebook marketing. Over the last several years, they have invested a good deal of time and money into establishing a community and now all of a sudden, Facebook is telling them that they are going to have invest more just to be able to get their fans to see their content. With organic reach dropping as low as 2% for many brands, marketers are scrambling to find answers. For many, the required investment in Facebook Promoted Posts just to get content seen by their community is too great of an investment and cannot deliver ROI for their social media marketing dollars.

Many are looking to put more time and investment in some of their other social channels. While this pablomakes all the sense in the world, I am concerned marketers are heading down a very similar road they have already walked with Facebook. They will again invest time and resources into building up a community on Twitter, Instagram, etc. and once again, these channels will follow Facebook’s lead and move to a true “pay to play model”. Twitter has already announced that they are looking to move to an algorithm similar to Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) can’t be far behind. Facebook has found a revenue model that works and others will follow.

I was speaking with a CMO I have a lot of respect for recently, and he said something that has really stuck with me. With all these recent changes, he has come to realize that even though he has invested millions in developing his social communities, “I do not own my fans and followers, the social channels do, I am just renting them.”

Which is why we have received such great interest at Advocacy Social helping brands identify their true brand advocates wading through the morass of multiple databases (CRM/email) along with all their social channels. Being able to target the users who are most important to your brand and finally allowing brand to stop renting and own your own community of advocates for their brands.