Brands In The Social Media Suck Hole

A lot of people are looking to social media advertising to perform (myself included). And a lot of people are starting to question whether in fact it does, or ever will, perform.
Hotel consutlant, Michael Hraba, is questioning.

I think a lot of hotels that set up a (Facebook) page, have absolutely *ZERO* idea how to meaningfully interact with potential guests, and resort to offering locals dinner deals in their restaurant, because there isn’t really a way to reach a prospective client on FB (and don’t get me started on their advertising program… because we know that doesn’t work). You can only reach people that know about you, and that can act on offers, deals, and last minute specials. These aren’t clients that provide a powerful revenue stream to your hotel, and often, as we have seen with dropping rates to garner occupancy… the people looking for a deal aren’t really the clients you want anyway.
Are we wasting our time?

I think it’s fair to say, yes many of us are wasting time pursuing social media solutions to real world business problems.
An agency exec recently told me that 99% of online advertising is a waste of the client’s money. Not 99% of social media advertising–99% of all online advertising. This kind of talk begs the question, “is the digital medium a place advertisers need to be?” For years, we all fell in line and said, “of course it is.” Now, it seems there’s cause to pause and evaluate the situation in a reasonable manner.
Where are the big online advertising wins? Can you name one? I can name only one, President Obama’s campaign for President.
Most of the notable creative wins have mostly been microsites (often in support of larger, TV-driven campaigns) and one-off viral videos, but these are not big wins. Big wins define the category and inspire people to act.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.