By: Courtney Fogle (@courtnxyfogle


Professionals might think they’ve got social media all figured out – but do they? Derek DeVries, Digital Strategist at Lambert, gave us the social media rundown at an event hosted by AMA West Michigan.

Pay for Play: Flipping the Script on Organic Reach

Everything you think you know about social media marketing might be wrong. For years, Derek says that professionals have been advising their clients to aim for organic reach with engaging content on social channels. Though this may be somewhat effective, things are changing as organic reach is only at 2%. Shocking, right?

Has everyone been wasting their time creating perfect content calendars filled with the most creative content they can? Well, maybe. Derek suggests we think about the time we invest into building a following on social media, planning a content calendar, or researching best times to post. Sometimes having more followers makes sense for your brand, like if you need to have the most followers out of your competitors to make a statement, but not so much if your brand is already struggling with organic reach and making connections with your following. Organizations may want to reconsider if it’s worth it to spend their time and energy pushing for organic engagement when pay for play can provide more opportunity.

So, Why Social Media?

Despite the sinking faces in the audience after hearing their current social media tactics might not be best for them in the long run, Derek gave four reasons why organizations should continue to use social media for their brand (the right way).

  1. Social media is where the audience is. Of course, we want to be using a platform that our audience is also using. Most organizations’ target audiences are active social media users, so implementing a strategy to meet their attention is key.
  2. Social media is where people spend time. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, social media users are constantly taking in information. It’s important to note that not every brand’s target audience will be on every social media platform.
  3. Social media gives organizations the ability to target their audiences. Derek says, “targeting is amazing,” and it’s a tool for organizations to aim their messages directly toward their consumers.
  4. Because the audience is active on social media and targeting makes them easily accessible, social media marketing has become a cost effective way to reach people.

Invest in Creative

Yes, everyone needs to have creative. Derek says that humans know how to tune things out, so what makes you think your content is going to catch their eye if it’s not original? You must consider placement, authenticity, and keep your content fresh. If this means spending some time dabbling in Photoshop or adding a graphic designer to your team, do it.

You also need to test your placements and copy. Sometimes your graphic might work well for the audience, but the copy doesn’t fit and sounds awkward. Try different versions and see which is more successful.  

The Algorithm

Why does Facebook change their algorithm? It always encourages a pile of complaints from my Facebook friends, but Derek says there’s more to it. The algorithm is actually genius if you think about the benefits for advertisers. When a social media algorithm changes, users will inevitably spend more time on the platform. Use it to your advantage.

Quick Social Media Tips

Here are some of Derek’s statements that deserve to stand out. They may seem like simple tips, but they’re pretty powerful when added together.

  • Observe good behaviors. Fake followers and bad emails are not the way to go. It’s not about big numbers, it’s about the right ones.
  • Clicks don’t correlate with business objectives.
  • Challenge assumptions. You may think you know your audience, but do your research. Who is your audience? What is your creative?
  • Test, test, test. Run the ad to your target audience and see how it goes.
  • Don’t run a campaign for just one day. You’ll have less outcome and increased cost.
  • Familiarize yourself with both Facebook and Google Analytics.
  • Aim for outcomes, not outputs.



Courtney Fogle is a junior studying Advertising and Public Relations. She is currently the Podcast Director for PRSSA and an account associate at GrandPR. Courtney is a singer-songwriter, with hopes to combine her love of music and PR so that she can work in the music industry managing artists and their brands. In her free time, you can find her listening to music or taking pictures of her cat, Oliver.




Derek DeVries is a digital strategist at Lambert. His areas of expertise include social media marketing, crisis communications, online reputation management, digital branding, web development, and counsel on all things Internet-related. Derek currently works with clients that include the University Research Corridor (URC), the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Greatland Corporation, Ranir, DTE Energy, Blackford Capital, International Automotive Components and Challenge Manufacturing.