Advertisers, that is. The ‘IT’ in this case being social media. The popularity of social media has finally reached the point where marketers believe they can profit from it, and it seems that everybody wants in on the game. For businesses & advertisers, social media is quickly becoming more of a Need To Have than a Nice To Have.
However, this is a path that must be traveled carefully. Social media has the power to connect people to their friends and the world around them. Many people have a very personal connection to their Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts. With this level of personal investment, marketers plastering these sites with ads could run the risk of alienating their customer base.
For example, the recent changes to Facebook allow for ads to be more prevalent and expand their reach, much to the chagrin of users. Less than a week after these changes were implemented, a Facebook group called “Change Facebook To Normal” has garnered over 1.2 million members.
Personally, I’m torn over the issue. As a person I tend to feel ads invading my online life somehow cheapens the experience and reduce my individuality – “Bill Holmes is brought to you by Jeep” just doesn’t have that ring to it. As a marketer however, of course I want my ads to show up everywhere I can get them, with an unlimited budget and millions of impressions.
The inevitability of this argument is that people will eventually accept ads prevailing in social media. Until that time comes though, marketers will have to walk the line between getting their message out while not interrupting user experience.
Absolutely there are many ways to do this. Jeep in fact has a great game ‘Boostin Nuts
‘ along with forums for Jeep enthusiasts (myself included) to post pics and brag about their rigs. Other applications such as the Celtics 3-Point-Play
are a great way to be involved with the team (brand) while still maintaining a good social media experience.
I think overall advertising will always be part of just about everything we do, but the most successful marketers will be those who can promote their products while still maintaining the personal user experience that social media provides.