“The ________ business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”
That was the late American ‘gonzo’ journalist Hunter S. Thompson. He was writing about the music business back in the 1970s.
Really, Hunter? You didn’t live long enough to see social media. It makes the music industry look like a paragon of virtue, Mother Theresa compared with the murderous, disease-ridden psychopath that might have been spawned by Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun had they not done the right thing and topped themselves in a Berlin bunker in 1945.
Facebook, Twitter and all the rest have given the world a dark, seething, snarling, mud-splattered cesspit, where scammers, child-molesters, pickpockets, lepers and presidents claw at each other and the innocent alike.
So is it any wonder that TRUST is an issue online?
For any small business trying to make social media advertising work, there lies the problem. And it’s getting worse. If you rely on Facebook as your sole marketing media, this is sobering news.
A Sydney-based organisation called NewsMediaWorks puts out an annual survey called ADTRUST. The most recent survey asked 2,863 Australians aged 18+ which forms of media they trust for the integrity of its advertising.
To measure this, the study subtracts the number of consumers who indicate they do not trust ads in a particular medium from the number who do. For example, if 30% of the market trust TV advertising and 9% don’t the net trust score would be +21.
Here’s where the ru
bber hits the road. Social media advertising scored MINUS 28! Website advertising was little better at -16. The most trusted ads are in newspapers, with a net trust score of +38, followed by cinema ads (+34), billboards (+31), radio (+29) and TV (+21).
The credibility gap is gigantic
. And it’s increasing.
In the past 12 months the net trust for newspaper ads soared by 10 points, similarly for radio and TV. Trust in social media is tanking, down 3 points year on year.
This is depressing news for the millions of small businesses who blindly put their faith in Facebook marketing alone. And Facebook hasn’t done itself any favours either, what with the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the reek of Fake News.
It’s all very well for your ad to be seen by thousands of people. It’s another thing altogether for those people to believe what you’re saying.
Here’s what’s telling; Facebook is fully aware of its credibility problem. So what is Mark Zuckerberg doing? He’s running a hugely expensive advertising campaign in traditional media – billboards, TV and cinema – to persuade the world he is no longer tolerating fake news, and is committed to reducing the company’s influence on society.
In the meantime, if you’re going to continue using Facebook to market your wares, do everything you can to get people OFF Facebook and into your store, your website, on the phone, onto your email list, in short anywhere else BUT Facebook/Instagram.