Seeing corporate advertisements in your Facebook newsfeed has become commonplace. Social Media Channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have captured an attentive audience. This has allowed them to charge a premium for sponsored ads. However, some are concerned these sponsored ads will hurt more than help the companies paying for them. According to Kiera Doherty of Weber Shandwick MENA, “If you don’t adhere to best practice and a well-thought through strategy you risk damaging your brand reputation irrevocably.”
She goes on to argue, “Advertising is not intended to be irrelevant, irritating or just plain awful. In fact advertising should be highly targeted, with the right message communicated in the right way at the right time. For example, someone searching for a hotel in Athens is unlikely to be unhappy being presented with an ad for a hotel, with availability, which is in their price range? However, a vegetarian seeing ads for the local steak house might.”
Companies need to be even more careful to protect the credibility of their brand within the digital world due to the speed in which things spread and the permanency of things released onto the web.
According to Roger Haywood, of the Dubai-based Shamal Marketing Communications, “The speed of reaction to comment is important, but even more essential is the ability to identify the issues that will be critical to the future of the organization and from these, help management develop strategies to present the organization as positively as possible. This requires proactive skills, not just reactive ones – though these will be important when the speed of comment is now almost instant and even an hour later is hopeless, let alone a day.”
The lesson to be understood from this concern over social media advertising is that creating a content and social media marketing strategy prior to launching a brand into the social media channels is essential to the strength, integrity and future of the brand.