Social Media: Is it a place for advertising?

It might seem ironic that the topic for this blog entry came from something I saw a few days ago on Facebook itself.  As I cherished the few moments break I had between work and college I trolled through advert after advert looking for actual content on Facebook from people I knew, and there it was, something I could actually “like”. It was a post by a close friend of mine about a blog she had read in Forbes magazine.

So I ditched my Facebook troll (for now) and read the blog and its following updates. It was exactly what I was thinking at the time but just didn’t have the nerve to say it out loud (All hail king Facebook). I couldn’t help but have a small laugh at the well-thought and cleanly executed response from Facebook, far from my perceived opinions of an edgy Facebook that essentially “stuck it to the man”.  When did they become the corporate sell-out?

Now I’m not here to trash Facebook, even if I was asked to I couldn’t, since its invention has become like another primal need for my brain.  When I’m hungry, I eat, When I’m thirsty, I drink. When I’m bored, I Facebook. No, what this blog entry was about was the sheer escalation of digital marketing in to my supposed free space. Have things gone too far? Knowing that no matter where I went I was being chased by cookies, something I only ever feared for it’s calorie count. Though cookie technology is a whole other blog altogether.

My 20 something year old heart says yes it’s a pain but my mind that I dedicated to business for the last three years screams HOW DID THIS NOT COME ANY SOONER?! It is nothing short of brilliance in my mind to always be where your people are. Not only just where they are if it be waiting on the bus, but related to what they’re doing at that time, what they’re searching for or interested in. It’s smart advertising. Infact we should all be a little more grateful for just  how smart it is. No longer am I harassed for services I care less about (No my pension fund is not a priority right now) but for ones that I may actually have an interest in. That’s why we watch T.V. online now isn’t it? To avoid those ads like pay day money lenders.

What bugs my 20 something  year old heart is not that these adverts occupy space, it’s the laziness they’ve adopted. As if just being on Facebook (all social media) is enough. It’s not and I think a blog I read recently explains very well why that’s the case.

Jason has it right that we are not on Facebook to buy but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I had this experience only  last week. As an avid fan of  Ellie Goulding I follow her on twitter and Facebook and yes, it’s nice to think you have some sort of connection to  them. Does she get  the monetary value of it? Well, yes it was posted on both social media accounts about tickets to an upcoming gig in Dublin and sure enough I bought the tickets. Would I have bought them if I didn’t follow her? Who knows, but it was there and that’s the key. Understanding that I may buy at some point, so just be there for when I’m willing to  do that.

I feel that what most companies are failing to realise is that social media shouldn’t be first thought of as a selling tool, but as a communications one. It is the perfect outlet to get your brand  story across and create a connection with customers, build a base that will keep them informed or from where you can gather information.


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