There’s this boat. And ad agencies keep missing it.
They step right off the dock and – SPLASH – end up in the drink covered in seaweed.
The boat isn’t a big one yet (that’s one of the problems). It’s called Social Advertising.
But, believe it or not, advertising agencies don’t really get social advertising.
Quick anecdote to illustrate my point:
One my clients was recently told by its ad buying agency that “anything less than a $50,000 advertising spend on Facebook is useless.” The same agency also refused to purchase any Facebook ads for under $1,000 to promote a post. Why? “That isn’t worth our time,” they said.
They are wrong on both accounts. Small spends can go a long way on social channels.
So what’s the disconnect? There’s a few things:
1.) Ad agencies and ad buying agencies are used to working with enormous budgets. Working in the smaller – but growing! – vertical of social media really is heading down stream for them. They aren’t putting a lot of resources toward understanding how these new platforms work because the money being spent in social advertising is often coming right out of traditional advertising budgets. They don’t want that to happen.
2.) Ad agencies know that in traditional advertising long sustained campaigns work best. Repetition is crucial in building brand awareness and getting consumers to remember marketing messages. One-offs, promoted posts and sponsored tweets fly in the face of that mentality.
Here’s what everyone should think about when using paid social advertising.
1.) It isn’t really advertising. It’s amplification and distribution.
2.) Social advertising should push social content – not traditional advertising. In other words, don’t sell anything with it.
3.) Social content has a very short lifespan.
4.) New content is the social currency of the Internet.
5.) The goal of social advertising is to get people to engage and share your social content.
Social advertising needs to be part of a larger distribution strategy. Since social content dies faster than your average house fly you need to get people to engage – click, share, comment, retweet – sooner rather than later. So long campaigns don’t work. It’s all about getting new content in front of your target audience as quickly as possible – and getting them to interact with it.
You want social advertising to help you get lift-off for going viral (viral in the sense of penetrating as many of your targeted audience as possible). Social advertising is a rocket fuel. It needs to be combustible, powerful and pushing in the right direction.