Do People Trust Facebook and Twitter?

New statistics released by the government this week suggest that consumers do not always trust retail online marketing campaigns that are posted on social media sites Facebook and Twitter. What does this mean for your online marketing campaign?

It may see a strange thing, given how successful online marketing has proven on Facebook and Twitter in the past, however it really is something we need to consider. In this case the numbers really do speak for themselves.

Government backed polling service YouGov conducted a survey on public use of social media and the results were certainly telling. The survey put questions to 1,096 UK adult about various types of social media use and the results proved that they aren’t that popular when used to promote retail purposes.

The survey found that 42% of those questioned said that social media sites including Facebook and Twitter should be used only for social purposes, not as part of retail online marketing campaigns. Think about this; likely almost half of your target audience doesn’t like it when you target them on Facebook and Twitter.

Furthermore the survey found that 57% of those in the lucrative 16-24 age bracket, the one you most need to make an online marketing campaign work, don’t like sites like Facebook and Twitter to be linked to their purchasing history. Also 61%, almost two thirds like their social media activity and online shopping to stay separated.

The numbers really don’t lie; a large number of your consumers don’t like it when social media is used for retail purposes. However these numbers ignore a very real truth that effects online marketing every single day.

This fact is that people don’t really like marketing that much. Whilst it’s true that if an advert is crafted creatively enough it will capture the imagination; by and large people don’t like advertising. It’s one of the nation’s favourite things to moan about.

So these figures remind us at EBS Marketing, as well as the larger marketing community, that ad campaigns need to engage their audience. People are automatically prejudiced against online marketing, as they are with all marketing, so it’s an uphill fight. This inspires people to make sure that the audience stands up and listens to them.

In marketing the battle has always been about getting people to listen; these figures simply remind us of that. Make sure that when you’re crafting an online marketing campaign you remember it’s about engaging your audience.

Why Controversy Can Backfire in Online Marketing

Controversy always seems like such a good idea at the time for an online marketing campaign. However it can seriously backfire. So just why is controversy so bad for an online marketing campaign?

At EBS Marketing we’ve heard that old adage ‘all publicity is good publicity’ a thousand times. However the reality is that it’s a myth and that it can actually be far more negative than you realise.

It can seem so tempting to use controversy in an online marketing campaign; after all the success of these campaigns often depends on things like how much ties they are retweeted and  how many times they are liked on Facebook and controversy is  bound to bring these to your online marketing campaign.

However the truth is that whilst they will bring online attention to you in the short, term, controversial online marketing campaigns have a tendency to linger and damage the reputation of the brand in the long term.

This is because of the nature of Google. You need to have an online marketing campaign rank on Google for it to be truly effective; after all these days people use Google to find you and if you’re not on there then chances are that your campaign won’t get the chance to be effective if it doesn’t rank on page one for your search term because they’ll never see it.

So this would make it seem like a good idea to have a controversial marketing campaign as it is more likely to have a presence on Google meaning that more people will see it.  However the reality is that all people will see is the negative press that your campaign has generated; and these negative links will linger for a long time, damaging your brand in the long term.

Take the McDonald’s Twitter campaign #CheersToSochi for example. It was done to highlight the fast food giant’s sponsoring of the Winter Olympics in the Russian resort town of Sochi. It seemed like a smart move however McDonald’s knew that it would be controversial.

However Russia’s attitude to LGBT rights has meant that people objected to the Winter Olympics being held in Russia. LGBT rights activists high jacked the hashtag and caused an online nightmare. It’s also generated a headache for page one for their search term.

It can always seem like a good idea to use controversy to make an online marketing campaign shine but you know that it’s going to backfire. If you do try to use this online marketing technique remember that you really are playing with fire.