Facebook is the most popular social media platform worldwide and has over 900m users globally. But has its lost its glitz?
A recent Reuters/Ipsos report finds that Facebook users are bored and its ads are not effective. Here are the main take outs from the report:
- 4/5 people surveyed have never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network.
- 34 % of Facebook users are spending less time on the social network compared with six months ago, mostly because Facebook is “boring”, “not relevant” or “not useful” (ouch!)
- Only 20% are spending more time on it
- 44 % said Facebook’s troubled initial public offering resulted in a less favorable opinion of Facebook
- Nearly 40 % said they use Facebook every day
Quite damaging results for Facebook wouldn’t you say? GM already has withdrawn all of its budget for Facebook advertising and although a controversial step, I welcome it. Of course, having never believed in ads on Facebook, this is not really surprising.
Facebook is primarily a social network and not an advertising platform. Hardly anybody goes to Facebook thinking about their next purchase- Facebook is the place you connect and reconnect with family, friends and perhaps work colleagues. Advertising is just annoying and in the way. Seriously, these days you can’t even look at your Facebook photos without Facebook placing at least 6 ads and one sponsored story. Do I look at them? Maybe. Do I act on them? Definitely not. Why? Three reasons:
- I’m not in the mood for buying- I just want to look at photos. MY photos.
- Facebook ads are terribly written and do not inspire. 80% of ads (at least) have either terrible copy, no call to action, a grainy image or try to flog products I’m not interested in.
- The targeting is off despite Facebook assuring advertisers that its targeting is spot on. Example: I run a greyhound rescue group and are opposed to greyhound racing. How do you think I feel when I get greyhound racing and TAB ads? Yeah I know I can give Facebook feedback on why I don’t want these ads any more but they are not listening. I still get them.
Regarding the finding that Facebook is “boring”, “not relevant” or “not useful” I wholeheartedly agree too. Just because Facebook allows you to share everything does not mean you should. Few people know this and as a result I unsubscribed from many friends after they post images of their lunch and petty updates such as “Yay, no hangover today!” Blablabla, Facebook is just full of that these days. I know it seriously raises the question why I’m “friends” with these people anyway, but I guess sometimes it is hard to unfriend a colleague or an old school friend who just turned into an annoying nightmare.
So, let’s stop this rant here and focus on the real issue here: Where to from here as a digital marketer? Follow these easy steps:
- Start with the right platforms- maintain only those who are relevant to your customers and objectives
- Listen to conversations- not just the ones directed at you, join the conversations about product recommendations and reviews too
- Be human- it’s all about the conversations, not sales messages
- Be useful, relevant and interesting- try to add value rather than just shout your sales message into peoples’ faces. It pays off!
Check out this champion article we published a while a go for more details.