How Often Should You Review Your Borrowed Media Strategy?


Reviewing your borrowed media strategy is an absolute must, but how often should it be done?

This may seem like a silly question for some of my readers, but we regularly come across big businesses that have either never written a borrowed media strategy, or are working from one from a year or two ago.

Understand What you’re dealing with: Borrowed Media

In essence, when a business uses social media, it is using another business to connect to customers and to spread marketing messages.  The key part is that is is another persons business.  That business can change at any time without notice.  It is what we refer to as “Borrowed Media”.

Borrowed Media is media on which you have no control over.  Social media is Borrowed Media. You do not own your Facebook page, your Twitter account, your fans or followers.

Somewhere along the line since social media has become more widely accepted part of the marketing mix, businesses seem to have forgotten that the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc are all businesses in their own right. Many of these large popular platforms have been through IPO’s and have financial targets to be met.

We believe this is largely down to weak social media managers and / or a lack of review and strategy.

There has been much criticism of Facebook in recent months about their restriction of organic reach.  Organic reach is a fancy way of saying free marketing.

Any community or social media manager worthy of keeping around would have signalled this to your organisation months ago. Many people have written about and demonstrated through testing that this was happening to Facebook. But now we have a whole host of businesses lost and confused as it seems all of a sudden their hands have been tied and they don’t know how to react.

Social media is fluid, digital marketing professionals need to read daily to keep up to speed on current events, trends and forecasts. We have written a handy guide on how to stay up to date with social media.

Who’s responsibility is it to review the borrowed media strategy?

Of course this does depend on the size and structure of your organisation. Usually it would be the social media managers job to write, or at least review the social media strategy.

This requires a strong social media manager, but equally it requires a certain level of understanding from their managers.  Again this is an issue and why many businesses have been caught out as there has been a general lack of up to date education on social media.

When should you review your borrowed media strategy?

There are certain events that should prompt a review.  Naturally you should be doing a yearly strategy that defines the goals and objectives that you wish to achieve with social media.

However your social media manager should be reviewing changes and updates on a weekly basis.  In doing so they should be looking for opportunities for your brand to take advantage of.  They should be reporting changes to key stakeholders (your brand, PR, web teams etc.).

You need to assess the changes and decide whether your actions should be a change in something small, for example a change in image post size, or something large like a new ad model or algorithmic change, which should lead to a strategic review.

Certain changes can be so big that they prompt a strategic review. Two examples of this recently have been the algorithmic changes for Facebook that have caused a sharp drop in organic reach, and secondly the most recent announcement by Google Plus about + Post advertising.

Both of these events should have caused a review in strategy.  The Facebook change will affect the way you execute your marketing plans on that platform, it will affect budgetary requirements, as you will now need to spend to have your messages broadcast to a larger audience.  The +Post advertising change from Google should be causing people to review (or even create) a Google Plus strategy.

how often should you review the borrowed media strategy?

Hopefully this post has highlighted the need to review your borrowed media strategy.  The short answer to how often it should be reviewed is, as often as is needed.  The longer and more specific answer is when changes to platforms dictate it is needed.

Having been in the world of social media for many years now, the changes on platform are coming through thicker and faster than ever before.  Many analysts are predicting that social media will become a more “Paid Media” channel going forward.  So our prediction is that you should be checking your borrowed media strategy at least once a quarter with a strong focus on keeping educated in this still emerging sector.