Social Media Advertising is quick, effective and affordable. We are constantly bombarded with adverts everywhere we turn, and with more and more people using social media, advertising has become the main source of revenue on many platforms. Research shows though that not all users are happy, in fact, many now find social media adverts a hindrance. So where does that leave marketers, brands and businesses with their relationship with social media?

Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, on average people access the platform 8 times a day, which means there is some good opportunity there for brands to catch the eye of the user. This explains why 93% of Social Media Advertisers use Facebook Ads, which guarantee their target market sees their ad on Facebook, even if the user doesn’t want to. Well, unless they have a very good Ad-block on.

In the UK, 41% of people use a type of ad blocker on desktops, however blocking adverts, or sponsored posts on social media platforms is a lot harder. Facebook has taken steps to block ad-blockers so people still get timeline, sidebar and Messenger adverts unless they have the best ad-blocking tools. So are adverts on social media platforms something which people find annoying? We decided to find out:

We also wanted to know more about how they interact with adverts on social media:

And whether or not people clicked on adverts.

The majority of people surveyed find adverts a hindrance, which we weren’t surprised about, but our survey found that quite a few people do ‘click’ on adverts to find out more, which is good news for marketers, and some of those didn’t realise it was an advert before clicking (yey). This feedback shows good content can get clicks, plus we found other respondents had noted that they have interacted with an advert before because of the high quality of the post or because the advert appealed to them.

Facebook

Designed as a place for people to connect with family and friends, over the last few years, Facebook became a minefield of lots of adverts, clickbait posts and page updates, putting many people off using the site and frustrating users. However, last year Facebook made considerable changes to their algorithm and cracked down on clickbait posts to switch focus back to its original goal.

When the change first happened, marketers were worried, mainly that Business Pages and Group Pages would fade into obscurity as Facebook would no longer gave them prominence in people’s feeds unless it was a page they regularly interacted with or chose to get notifications from. Others noted that it was more of a ploy to draw advertisers to their advertisement programmes and ultimately, a money-making scheme for Facebook. However, figures show there is still room for brand and business pages to get some love, one-third (32%) of people on Facebook do like engaging with brands as well on the platform, with 5 billion comments are left on Facebook pages monthly.

How do people see my posts?

To increase awareness brands should encourage users to share their branded content for them, whether that’s via competition or to get an offer. This method means that the consumer is the one spreading brand awareness. However, this may not be as rewarding as advertising, as recent studies have shown that  Facebook users are sharing less content but its still something which all brands need to be doing, even if figures suggest its on the decline, it might just be there isn’t enough content on Facebook that people want to share.

Instagram

The picture sharing social media platform (now owned by Facebook) has over 1 billion active monthly users globally. Over the last few years, it has rolled out a number of changes which have allowed marketers to use the platform for branded content; including Stories function, IGTV, videos of up to a minute. 80% of people who use Instagram follow a brand or business, whilst 30% of people have purchased something they had first seen on Instagram. It is one of the most effective marketing tools out there.

How do people see my posts?

It is imperative that you use hashtags on your posts, this increases the chance of your images been seen by people who do not currently follow your profile. A key search function on Instagram users can search for topics via hashtags. If you’re highlighting your business and it has a physical presence such as a storefront, make sure you add your location into posts, or if your images feature a specific location then again add the location, this also increases the chance of your image being seen by more people, those who use location-based searching.

User-Generated Content UGC is one the simplest way to build brand awareness outside advertising on Instagram. It encourages consumers to interact with your posts and page and share your brand with their followers and wider with hashtags. People respond better to images created by others about a brand, than to images created by a brand, offering more authenticity.

Advertising

Like Facebook, a key component in generating brand awareness, conversions and interactions is advertising. In 2018 Instagram AD revenue nearly hit 7 billion, with the options for advertising to run on Instagram Posts and Stories using imagery and immersive videos, there are a lot of opportunities for marketers to generate interest for brands via this platform.

Do I need to use adverts for my brand if I have followers?

Yes

On Facebook, the more people interact with your page on a daily basis (not just follow your page), so share, like posts and comment on them, the more your brand will be seen in feeds. But to get to this point h you do need advertising to build up followers and interest in your business page using brand awareness, then start posting content which followers will find fun to interact with, especially content they can share.

On Instagram, without advertising and using hashtags or the correct hashtags it is very easy for your posts not to be seen, at all. Although Instagram has some of the highest engagement rates, because of the huge amount of images posts on the platform, 70% of posts don’t get seen at all. One of the main reasons for this is the algorithm which focuses on the past page and post engagement rates which affects what people see in their feed, even if they follow your brand. Hashtags and adverts do help increase engagement, so for small brands and those just starting out its important to factor this into marketing plans and create content which stands out.

Conclusion

Adverts may turn social media users into haters however if you create the right advert that gets the users attention and sparks something in them, then you can turn them into a lover and most importantly intrested in your brand and potentially a customer.

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