2017 was a big year for social media. Brands playing catch up joined forces with hundreds of other companies using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to build stronger consumer relationships — with good reason. The benefits of advertising on social media have proven to be rewarding, with 72% of adult internet users use Facebook (Pew Research Center) and 1.13 billion daily active users. The cost-per-click is low and the engagement is high.
However, the rise of social media has delivered some long-term consequences as well. Fake new, click bait and misleading content has fostered an environment of skepticism and mistrust. Top that with a controversial election year and crack-down on ad regulations and we have an even bigger problem. At this rate, marketers will soon lose any ability to harness the power of social media.
According to a recent study by Hubspot, ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Google are viewed with distrust. “On average, close to half of all respondents would describe ads these platforms as "very untrustworthy," compared to an average of 5.5% who find them to be either somewhat or very trustworthy. Note that this is the sentiment around the ads appearing on these platforms, and not the platforms themselves.”
If less than 8% of users report having trust in social media, we have a pretty big mess to clean up. Here are a few ways to ensure your company is practicing ethical marketing tactics that put the trust back in social media.
Please stop writing phony headlines
You wouldn’t believe… See what happens next… Worst fail of all time. PLEASE JUST STOP. While it’s important to use a catchy headline in your blog post, fishing for clicks with clichés is leading your viewers on a path to severe disappointment. Audacious promises that do not deliver are even worse. Remember, inbound marketing isn’t about attracting a high volume of visitors, it’s about attracting the right visitors.
Instead, create better content
Build your audience through thoughtful, genuine content, that offers something of value. Do research to find out what topics your audience cares most about and use this information to create meaningful content. Case studies, statistical data, interviews and tips/advice pieces are a good start. Always make sure you deliver what was promised.
Be upfront when it comes to your messaging and don’t be afraid to let people know of your intentions. If you require an email address to download an eBook offer — let them know you plan to send information that may be of interest. Taking advantage of your companies own photography versus stock imagery is a great way to show people who is behind the screen.
In the next coming years it is predicted that social media activity will continue to grow. But with that comes great responsibility and commitment to transparency and truth. Have questions about advertising on social media? We are here to help. Just ask On-Target!.