Consumers Still Pretty Suspicious About Social Media Marketing

Doing research on social media marketing online is very interesting and here is one that I found regarding the consumer trust on different types of advertising and promotion. It’s a report done by Forrester, a Massachusetts based global research and advisory firm. The survey questioned more than fifty-eight thousand online consumers and finds that consumers express relatively low trust on social media marketing, compared to others like recommendation from professionals or family and friend.

It’s understandable that SMS ads and ads banners on websites have the lowest trust level from consumer. But it’s a little bit surprise that social marketing ads on Facebook and Twitters ranked just a little bit higher than digital push contents and way below than those self-selected digital pull content, online review for example. Furthermore, a recent Gartner report, a well-known technology research report, indicates that U.S. marketers do not spending on social media sites will result in “marketing success”.

While people in the marketing industries are actively discussing the significance of social media marketing, even bringing in President Obama’s successful campaign using social media in election; the survey shows the effectiveness of social media marketing is uncertain, as consumer may not trust all those advertisements at all. From the report, it seems that people often think the products or services are good if some of their friends or relatives have experienced and recommended.

In all, consumers still believe, in some degree, what they see or read on the social media sites; from the recommendation or review of family and friends, instead of the increasing volume of ads posted on these websites. Marketers can still have their strategic social media marketing campaign but in a way that engaging consumer to express their personal experience of using the products and services. In this case, people may probably blame on the friends who recommended the product, more than the product itself.

One more interesting fact. Our Europeans friends seem to trust all advertising communications less than Americans (including their own friends and family).

My questions to the class are:

1.What’s your own ranking of these types of advertising/promotions? Are you have the same trust level as your fellow Americans have, in terms of the ads?
2.Do you agree that the effectiveness of social media marketing is less than what marketers think originally? If yes, why do you think it is?
3.Based on the survey, do you have any creative or effective suggestion to social media marketers?


One thought on “Consumers Still Pretty Suspicious About Social Media Marketing

  1. I primarily use Facebook and LinkedIn on the social media front, I am a little skeptical of the ads on Facebook but I feel like LinkedIn are about the same as the ads i see elsewhere on the web. On the Facebook side both the targeting and messaging is getting much better, the ads I see on Facebook have better copy (than in the past) and are more relevant to me personally (than in the past). I assume that a lot of this has to do with Facebook making their inventory made more widely available through Facebook Exchange.

    Facebook inventory is fairly inexpensive and offers a marketer tremendous reach, I think its effectiveness meets or exceeds an experienced marketer’s expectations most of the time.

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