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The social media marketing landscape is constantly evolving with new networks, widgets, and tools. The way marketers approach social media strategically, however, hasn't changed much.

The problems that social media marketers face have been around a long time.

If you take a step back and look at the entire situation, you'll see that you have all sorts of problems in social media marketing. Organic reach is the proverbial needle in a haystack, paid social media costs go up double digits every quarter, brand trust is low, and vanity social metrics don't show business impact.

Most of all, you need to humanize your social media. Realize that for every piece of content you post, humans are on the other end. When you start talking about customer engagement and relationships, what does that mean and what is the value?

Most of your valuable engagement comes from 2-5% of your social media communities. Identify, foster, and amplify the best of those relationships to build a community that drives social word-of-mouth.

The Issue With Your Social Media Marketing

You've spent years and/or dollars growing your social media community, only to be told recently that you can't reach your audience just by putting content out. If you want to reach them, you have to pay. And the rate you pay keeps going up and up; there's limited real estate on your valued individual feed that advertisers desperately want.

Even if you've decided to pay the skyrocketing rate, your customers still don't trust your ad. They trust it about 25% of the time—almost 4X less than a recommendation from another person in their social circles.

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image of Jeff Ernst

Jeff Ernst is CEO and president at Smync, a social word-of-mouth marketing platform.

LinkedIn: Jeff Ernst