As an increasing number of activities like shopping or watching shows are conducted online, advertisers have had to evolve their strategy to reach potential customers. Although Google Analytics still offers value, particularly when it comes to streamlining SEO practices, more and more companies are realizing the potential of social media platforms to target and reach a huge range of consumers. 

In spite of the drastic uptick in the amount of money being poured into advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, new research suggests that companies might be paying a hidden cost in this pay-to-play arena. 

In short, although creating ads on social media might attract some buyers and result in a temporary boost in sales, there can be negative long-term effects that outweigh any positive results. Researchers found that although some people might be initially attracted by an ad placed on social media which might result in more sales, these promotional messages are likely to annoy others. 

Overall, the research found that utilizing this type of ad placement will  generally increase sales by 5% in the short term, but also shows a 300% increase in the likelihood that people will unfollow the company (resulting in a decline in sales over time). 

So, what's a business to do? The takeaway from this new insight is not to simply stop advertising on social media, but rather ensure that your advertising budget is being spent wisely and strategically. Investing the time to get to know your target audience, and figure out when they want to interact with you, in what way, on which platforms, etc. is more crucial than ever. The practice of truly creating value in an authentic and meaningful way, is not a new advertising/marketing strategy, but it necessitates a level of understanding that few companies do well. 

Interested in learning how to get to know your customers, in order to create messages that will truly resonate with them? Get in touch with us today, or consider attending one of our Digital Marketing Workshops. Only one more before the end of 2017, don't miss out!

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