May 16th, 2012

Social Media, Advertising and Awareness

This Fast Company article reveals that advertising people aren’t normal when it comes to brand and advertising awareness in social networks. I was reading this article while watching “Morning Joe” this morning where they were talking about Facebook being overvalued because no one clicks on the ads (meaning they don’t click on the ads, of course).

I don’t know the future of Facebook, or the future of social networks in general, but both these channels this morning aren’t talking about the other half of the story.

On advertising people being more aware of advertising: duh. It is not because they are the ones running the ads or because they are more susceptible to advertising. It is because they are paying attending and learning. Advertising people know that an audience of 800 million people is not to be ignored or avoided. They are studying how brands are using Facebook, both for content and for advertising to learn what works, what doesn’t and how to improve the communications for the brands they represent. This only means that the advertising and the content shared by these brands is going to get better, and better content and advertising gets clicked, shared and incites interaction.

On no one clicking on Facebook ads: if advertising is not getting clicked, it is because the message is wrong for the audience who is seeing it or the advertising is bad or confusing. If we put the right message, delivered in an engaging way, in front of the relevant audience, it works. Additionally, Facebook is continually changing how brands can deliver content and advertising; ads will be moving out of the sidebar and into the news stream as sponsored content. This is dangerous if advertisers continue to deliver bad and irrelevant content because users may be frustrated and leave. It is the brand’s responsibility to make its messages engaging to the audience it is targeting and to target the right audience.

While the future of Facebook is not guaranteed, it is not fair to say that the advertising is not working and ad people are the only ones aware of the advertising. Facebook is still relatively new, and with the rules constantly changing, we are all just trying to learn and keep up with what is working, what will work and how to not ignore a captive audience of 800 million people.

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