Get Out of the Zuck Death Spiral: Stop All Social Media Activity (Organic) to Profit

Rhett Lloyd
Jun 08, 2017
2 mins

Yes really. Digital evangelist Avinash Kaushik recently posted this to his blog. Kaushik advises that most brands fall into a Zuck Death Spiral of low-grade contributions to real people.

Most brands get less than 1% Reach via their organic contributions on social platforms. And, less than 1% engagement of any kind from that less than 1% reached (identified using the best social media metrics: Conversation Rate, Amplification Rate, Applause Rate).

Kaushik looks at the reach of organic social media activity by several brands.

Let me show you what to look for. Let’s start with Expedia. They have 6.4 million Likes as of today.


First thing you’ll look at is the Applause Rate (likes, other emotions, you’ll see it right under the photo). That number is 75. Divide that by 6,462,977 (potential audience size today).

0.00113%. That’s a painful stab in your heart.

Next Conversation Rate (comments, you’ll see a total at the end of your posts). 7. Divide that by 6,462,977. A sad 0.00011%.

Finally, my favorite sign that you truly added value to a human rather than pimp, Amplification Rate (shares). 3/6,462,977. At this point you are weeping with me: 0.00005%.

To give you some context as to how insanely lame these numbers are, received 59,400,000 Visits in May 2017. This post accomplished 75+7+3. More people walk into the Expedia lobby in Bellevue, WA, every second of every minute.

He shows other examples and goes on that all this money is wasted on organic social media.

But Not All Social Is Wasted

Given social media platforms allow you to target billions of people they can have value to you.

Kill your organic Social strategy completely, switch to a paid Social Media strategy.

…This simple switch from the fuzzy Organic goals to concrete Paid goals will give the one thing your Social Media Marketing strategy was missing: Purpose.

It is now easy to define why the heck are you spending money on Social Media? To drive short and medium-term brand and performance outcomes.


Set aside the useless metrics like Impressions and 3-second Video Views. Set aside hard to judge and equally useless Like and Follow counts. Measure the hard stuff that you can show a direct line to company profit.

Define a purpose for the money you are spending.

Source: Stop All Social Media Activity (Organic) | Solve For A Profitable Reality – Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik

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