Is Social Media Advertising Becoming More “Social” and Less “Media”?

I’ll cut to the chase: the answer is no, not really.

Social media advertising is still advertising, it’s just stuck inside someone else’s conversation. That isn’t to say that it can’t pay off for the marketer, it can and does. It’s certainly paying off for the social media networks.

Facebook is on track to account for 6.5% of all online ad spending in the upcoming year, and Twitter is on the path to $540 million in worldwide ad revenue over the next two years. This isn’t a result of these two social behemoths leaning solely on the traditional display ad network model.

They know that turning user data into relevant marketing is key, and are evolving their advertising offerings accordingly— contextual ads that key off of user data, sponsored posts on Twitter, sponsored stories on Facebook—all geared toward masquerading like just another part of the conversation.

But ads that rely on contextual placement or “relevancy” algorithms are still the equivalent of lurking on the outskirts of conversations at a cocktail party until a key word is uttered, and then jumping in with “speaking of things that Samantha likes, you should check out these new shoes.”

And while marketers will find some value in these new ad offerings as part of their overall advertising strategy, they are still looking externally to learn how to have deeper connections with customers (hint: LinkedIn or Facebook’s advertising teams won’t deliver it).

The answer lies within our personal experience with social media. Just having a new Facebook timeline or tweeting on schedule is not engaging. It’s the interaction that makes it memorable and ultimately valuable.

Social media is an opportunity for businesses to create and curate their own relevant, engaging content and then interact with customers and prospective customers.

It’s about having a conversation strategy in which social media plays a leading role.

Bring your customers and prospective customers into your own (engaging, worthwhile) conversation and they’ll listen. Even better, they’ll converse. How will you listen? How will you respond? Ultimately, where does the conversation lead?


>>Learn how Postano can work to engage the customer in your conversation.