The election is over. Can we have social media back, please?
As we all knew and expected, this mid-term election was another one that took over our lives. Robocalls, extreme distribution across every digital aspect of our lives. We couldn’t even share our favorite YouTube videos with friends without it starting with a political ad.
As a digital marketer with a focus on social media, I couldn’t help but notice how aggressive the ads were becoming, how much they were obviously spending and how it impacted costs for those of us trying to get the message out for our own clients. Here in Orlando, I noticed a significant increase in CPM over the past 4 weeks. So much so that I even adjusted campaigns for some clients because it started to get too expensive to compete.
Am I thrilled that it’s over, absolutely. Did I manage to learn some things along the way? YUP!
I noticed early on that I was being delivered a few very specific ads for candidates, several of which didn’t make sense to be delivered to me and upon examining the ad, the comments and so on, I noticed one thing in particular… The ads were being engaged with by the opposition of the candidate! In my case there were friends of mine that were engaging with these ads and that’s likely why they were being served to me. I couldn’t believe that on the surface it appears that it was almost 1:1 in regard to supporters to opposers. Now, what people don’t know is that trying to take a bully pulpit position to trade blows, attempts at clever whit and all on Facebook only made them more likely to get MORE content that went against their political positions.
Why does that suck?
Well, it ruins user experience on Facebook, not only for the user but it spreads the likely impressions into their own pool of friends whom likely have similar, opposition views to the source content. So you get fired up, you get comfortable in front of your keyboard and engage in battles and just create more opportunities for the same cycles to happen. Engagement is engagement, Facebook doesn’t differentiate it so now, guess what, you’re presented to the advertiser as a worthwhile point of engagement. That means that their money is being spent on delivering you similar ads. You’re going to get mad, you’re going to engage in battles that will consume your time and continue to ruin your user experience and let’s be honest, over all opinion of Facebook as a platform and as a medium to consume content.
This is an on-going problem for Facebook and I can assure you that it’s a big topic in San Francisco for Zuck’s team. Quick, free tip from your marketing pal, Marti, don’t engage with the stuff you don’t want to see. Resist the burning urge to call someone an idiot, resist the urge to argue an argument that will never declare a winner. You’re welcome.
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