There is a problem with advetising and social media. A report this week by the DMA shows that whilst 50% of advertisers are embracing social media as a way to get their message over, at least 42% didn’t bother because they don’t understand it.
This may come as no surprise. For every social media savvy company, such a Skittles, there’s one who doesn’t have a clue!
The problem is one of the very nature of social networking itself. It isn’t an advertising medium. It isn’t like billboards, TV or even search marketing, where you can simply pay for an advert and promote your wares. Social media is, in many ways, at odds with advertisers. It is about people communicating, meeting and networking in an environment that is not commercial.
For an advertiser to find their way in the social media sector isn’t difficult. Take the recent T-Mobile ads. Their attempts at ‘flash mobbing’ were clearly an effort to create a YouTube buzz and a viral advert that would be added to numerous Facebook pages. However the whole thing comes over as highly contrived. Whilst I have no figures for the success of this ad, most people are able to see how these ads were thought up in an ad agency creative session designed to tick a number of social media boxes.
In some ways, it’s for a brand to engage with social media if they are considered cool. Skittles have long been the confectionary of choice for uber geeks, so their presence in the social media world is hardly surprising. But what if you aren’t a cool brand? Lets say you are an insurance company. Insurance is not cool, how do you engage with social media? Do you have to become a cool brand before you can enter this sector, or does social media contribute to your coolness?
It’s a chicken and egg argument that is impossible to resolve. The issue is that there will continue to be a split between t