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Report: 70% of Brands To Increase Social Spend

January 19, 2015 Digital Media Solutions

Well, it’s the beginning of another year and that means it’s time for SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY MEGA XTREME MEDIA CHANNEL RALLY, where everyone shouts about how much increased spend they’re going to be placing in whichever media channel du jour they love and we, clad in our flame-embossed bowling shirts, watch the carnage.

Today’s entry comes from Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing Report , which just announced that 70 percent of brands will be increasing their social advertising spend over the coming year and 70 percent will also be increasing their organic social media spend (that is to say, how much they’re spending on actually producing and posting content on social media).

As AdWeek tells it:

Salesforce surveyed 5,000 marketers at the end of last year on their budgets for 2015, and the software giant found that 70 percent of them plan to increase social media advertising, including mobile ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

On the surface, this seems to imply that people are going to be doing more social advertising over the coming year and, in fact, I imagine that’s how most news outlets will report on Salesforce’s findings.

What does this really mean?

What they may not mention is that Facebook typically has high double- or triple-digit increases in ad costs each year (for example, in October 2014, Facebook marketing partner Kenshoo reported that Facebook costs-per-click had increased by 114 percent over the previous year). So, sure, the amount of money spent on social advertising is going to grow, but so is the cost. If a company wants to just remain at their base line, they’ll have to pay more money.

The real story here is probably the increase in money spent on organic social media marketing practices, like content creation and brand building, where costs have remained relatively stable or even decreased as the market of social media experts becomes increasingly crowded (or, at least, that’s the way it appears whenever we discuss hourly rates at the Monthly Social Media Guru Knitting Circle).

One of the fears I had was that since social media advertising grew, you might see some brands fail to recognize you have to support the organic side of it as well,” said Jeff Rohrs, vp of marketing insights at Salesforce. “Otherwise, those advertisements won’t perform. But it looks like the advertising will be complemented by the organic side.

All-in-all, this is probably a good thing. Rohrs is correct – too much reliance on social media advertising makes advertisers think that social media is Yet Another Media Channel, even though their own Facebook usage doesn’t match that. I’m no exception to this rule. I can count the number of brands whose Facebook advertisements I recall from my own newsfeed on two hands.

Do People Use Facebook To See My Ads?

No, not really. I mean, they do incidentally, but that’s not what they’re really on Facebook for. No one hops on Facebook and says, “Oh, pretty please, advertiser! May I have another ad?” For an explanation, I’ll point you to a 2013 paper published by psychologists Shannon Rauch and Kimberley Schanz on why people use Facebook at all.

People use Facebook to waste time and check up on their friends. They use Facebook to relieve boredom. They use Facebook to be entertained. They don’t use Facebook to see boring advertisements. Spending money on social media advertising without producing good content is like entering the Indy 500 with a Honda Civic – even if it’s technically possible, you’ll end up humiliated and choking to death on the exhaust of everyone who came prepared. If you’re not willing to put in the time to give people something interesting, why do you expect them to put in the time to pay attention to it?

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.

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