Should We Trust Social Media Advertising?
The appeal of using social media as a business tool is undeniable. These platforms contain billions of users, most of which log on daily. With this in mind, thousands of businesses have chosen to invest their money and efforts into social media advertising.
Now social media advertising has become extremely popular over the years, but just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s perfect. This form of marketing has some downfalls and the more people learn about them, the less appealing it becomes.
As much as there are advantages, there are also lots of disadvantages to social media advertising. Content censorship and the lack of user trust are by far the most concerning.
Lack Of User Trust
Every business relationship begins with trust. If an individual does not trust you, they would never agree to do business with you. For this reason, it is important to advertise in a way that builds trust with consumers. Social media advertising typically doesn’t do that.
There are various reasons for the lack of user trust in social media. Some people don’t trust links on social media due to the data breaches and hacking these platforms often face. Others tend to lose trust in certain brands because they’re bombarded with irrelevant ads in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Considering the user intent and the lack of control social media gives you in regards to ad placement, advertising on their platforms doesn’t seem like the best idea after all.
The fact is that most people go on social media to be social or scroll mindlessly. Meanwhile, they go on the open internet to look for information. This is why the very same ad can be considered bothersome on social media yet helpful on the open internet.
In fact, research suggests that 77% of internet users trust articles on the open internet over social media. Only 39% start their content exploration journey on social media platforms.
It doesn’t stop there. 40% of people say that they most often find relevant ads on the open internet compared to only 18% who find them on Facebook. This information paints a picture of a lopsided advertising landscape in which businesses assign the bulk of their ad spend to social media, while consumers trust the open internet.
The issue of content censorship is most definitely broader than advertising. Still, the effect it has on the campaigns run by advertisers cannot be ignored.
Every piece of content served within social media platforms becomes fully controlled by them. They can promote what they want as much as they want, and they can censor what they want as well. It’s a set-and-forget system that you quickly lose control over.
Social media platforms decide what ads are prioritized through their algorithms, as well as what should get shadowbanned. The worst part is that none of these platforms even provide clear guidelines or insights on the matter. This puts advertisers in a challenging position, especially those who produce content that could be considered restricted.
Now with the possibility of unjust censorship and having certain products or services banned, social media advertising is quickly losing the hype it once had. Every legitimate business has the right to advertise its products and services despite the opinions of others. This is another reason the open internet has become a much more appealing place to advertise.
Social media advertising is not all bad. There are many businesses that can testify to great success on these platforms. However, the disadvantages of social media advertising should not be ignored. There is no point in serving ads only where users will ignore them or lose trust in your brand. There’s also no point in creating the perfect ad only to have it unjustly censored in the end.
Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, choose to diversify your advertising. One way to do that is to craft more nuanced campaigns that generate meaningful touch points across the open internet.
By deploying your campaigns in this way, not only will you be able to maximize engagement on the open internet, but you will also leave positive brand memories that can optimize your campaigns within social media.