Lately Ive had this feeling about social media marketing. Thefeeling is that most people hate being marketed to on social media. From what the research tells us, this statement is true. According to Forrester brands are taking advantage of social more than ever80% of the top 50 global brands actively post to the top five social media platforms, and their followings on those platforms has increased. But it turns out engagement is down over last year. Writer Erin Griffith of Fortune details these stats in her article Brands are using social media more than ever, and users are ignoring them more than ever. Last year, Instagram posts from brands created interactions with 4.2% of a brands followers. This year, that fell to 2.2%. On Pinterest, interactions fell from 0.1% to 0.04%. Consumers are developing what used to be called banner blindness.
Brands continue to find ways to force themselves into our screens. Apparently no one soaked up the lessons of permission based marketing.
I will preface this by telling you I represent both sides of the coin.I am a social media user who notices the sponsored and promoted posts, and wonder what I clicked on to warrant such messages. At the same time asI write this Im struggling to build my ownFacebookPage for my consulting businessFlight Digital.
Right now brands are scrambling to build a community on Instagram, and they are making a lot of mistakes. Ifyou use social media and apps such as Instagram, you see how many brands are trying to win fans and followers. The way to do this is through the drudgery of customer engagement. But Instagram is not well-equipped for that. However the only brand Ive seen actually engage and respond to customers is T-Mobile who will answer customer questions on Instagram, and redirect them to another support channel such as Twitter or Facebook. Instagram is not set up will for customer support, with little room for engagementsuch asdirect messaging.
Even though there are anomalies such as the T-MobileInstagram example, most brands are not trying to win with helpfulness and relevance but rather traditional advertisingslapped on tosocial media. Perhaps if these large social networks werent so pressured to make quarterly returns, they wouldnt forego user experience in exchange for revenue.
Social media users are trying to find better ways to avoid ingesting ads. That said customers are ready and willing to pay for premium content. While today consumers havelittle control over what they see in the future brands might need to get much more creative, much faster.It might be soon that users can block ads altogether. For example according to Wired, Apple is trying to pull iPhone and iPad users off the web. It wants you to read, watch, search, and listen in its Apple-certified walled gardens known as apps. Even Howard Stern is talking about ad blocking.Perhaps this is just the beginning.
In an email interview Michael Brito, Head of Social Media Strategy for W20 Group said his clients [brands] in general are happy because brands can actually reach people based on targeting parameters basic demographics, interests, passions and even through custom audiences. He said his clients alsofeel frustrated they have to pay to promote their posts to people who already like their Facebook page. He details that Facebook engagement is only 4%. If you post something to 100 people, only 4 will see it. His clients are using Facebook to reach consumers, LinkedIn for IT/ B2B Decision Makers and Twitter for both. He mentioned excitement about newLinkedIn product offerings for sponsored content are emerging