Destroying the social network

When advisors talk about business promotion the one thing that I hear the most often is "embrace the social network" and strategically use it to make yourself known. I predict that in the not too distant future the benefits of social networking advertising will destroy the benefits of those networks for users.

Yesterday I downloaded the Weather Channel app. As soon as it displayed (full screen), it had a large unsightly advertisement with it. I promptly removed it and went to provide feedback. Below the feedback form were feedback responses of others and every one of them said, in one wayor another,  remove the ads, some with appropriate or inappropriate adjectives related to the ads.

Advertising via spam is one of the things that plagues the use of email. Television is full of advertising with one-third of all broadcasting consisting of advertising, and the same is true of many radio stations. Billboards along major highways block the beautiful scenery with unsightly advertising.

Just as in the physical world, advertising blemishes the information superhighway along almost every route. Almost every website has advertising lining one or both sides with a smattering of ads throughout the text. Intrusive software provides links to advertisers from the text on a page.

In social networks, bullish advertisers interject their message in inappropriate places. In LinkedIn discussion boards, most of the content in many groups is not discussions, but ads posted on related subjects. In Facebook, your social interactions are interrupted with suggested posts. In twitter, firms respond to subjects with their solutions to any perceived problems.

The newest phase in advertising is the use of big data, the collection of information about consumers that companies use to manipulate consumer buying decisions. Those store cards and surveys are key resources to that manipulation strategy.

Ironically, I protest the presence of so much advertising by explicitly avoiding responding to abusive advertising. On network television, some of the ads are entertaining, but I would never consider buying insurance from Geico, Progressive, or Allstate based on their advertising. When the search networks display results, the first few sites are advertisers and I skipped past them. The prolific presence of Google ads is one reason I don't use Google as a search engine. I suspect that is why there are so many ads; response is low, not just my response, but in general. The percentage of response is so low that they have to post more ads to get enough response to make it worthwhile.

I've also found that, in many cases, advertising adds to the cost of the products being sold. The most heavily advertised brands are the most expensive, and that is often not due to better quality or service.

Although the volume of advertising is destroying every media it invades, the biggest problem for consumers is not the advertising. The biggest problem with advertising is that companies are not trying to serve you better or provide the best products; they are trying to make more money. Money is more important than you are. Just the opposite may be in their message, but the advertising epidemic in this country tells the story.

If you are a business needing to inform consumers of your services make sure your advertising is very discreet, and if possible, genuine. Most isn't.

No feedback yet
Leave a comment

You must be a member of this blog to comment. Log in now!

If you have no account yet, you can register now...
(It only takes a few seconds!)