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Why your ad is not the talk of social media and others are

By Chris Hart - Aug 15th 2022

The Kenya Media Establishment Survey 2022 launched in Nairobi recently, shows the central role social media plays in the lives of people.

The study indicates that internet use has more than tripled – from 13 per cent to 46 per cent driven by social media. 

It also reveals that social applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google are debasing as newer applications like TikTok, Telegram, Betting applications and Opera browsing platforms become more attractive to the youth. 

With increasing popularity, social media has become an effective tool for advertising. It allows people to freely interact with others and offers multiple ways for marketers to reach and engage with consumers. 

The platforms have not only become a space where advertisers use consumers’ social connections to sell positive brand messages but also spaces where consumers can speak back loudly. 

The logic behind social media emerging as an effective advertising tool is that social media users have made the advertiser’s job much easier and cheaper. They do the selling and telling through their influence on others

But even as advertisers dominate the platforms with their campaigns, only some advertising gets talked about on social media and becomes famous. So, where do brands and advertising fit into what we talk about? 

It turns out, very little. Even among followers of a brand's Facebook page, only 0.5 per cent ever specifically talk about them.

And for advertising, Ipsos Global Trends data paints a less apathetic and more negative picture, with people more than twice as likely to agree online advertising is “annoying” rather than a source of information to “share with colleagues and friends” (73 per cent vs 30 per cent). 

Even with annoyance and rare presence in our communication, there is evidence that advertising that gets talked about has the potential to deliver unpaid or “earned” reach and therefore more efficient for marketing investments.

In The Long and the Short of It, Les Binet and Peter Field observed that “fame” campaigns - those that “inspire people to share their enthusiasm on and offline” - are four times as efficient in generating Excess Share of Voice than “non-fame” campaigns.

With this type of evidence, we see a seductive proposition for marketers.  

It is therefore important to analyse the outcomes for ads that are talked about and those that are not talked about to identify the characteristics and types of responses the more successful campaigns attract, to inspire future campaign planning.

If you want people to talk about your communication, think about delivering an experience worthy of discussion that your brand is part of rather than an ad that simply sells your product.

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