Vende Buzz: Display Ads may work, Google fails, Amazing Social Stats

by Ray Larson
  |  August 1, 2015  |  
August 1, 2015

by Ray Larson

This week we have Google’s (Gasp) mistake, Facebook unliking fake likes, an acne story that “clears”
up the view on display ad effectiveness…and a few statistics to boot.

Display ads may be much more effective than everyone thought

Probably never thought you would get those “Proactiv” ads out of your mind and you certainly didn’t think you needed treatment for clearer skin. Well, that was obviously Guthy-Renker’s intention and apparently it worked because you are still thinking about it – but you aren’t going to learn about acne treatment from this one.

Facebook’s Atlas ad servicing and analytics unit had some good news for Gunthy-Renker, the product giant which markets the acne treatment “Proactiv.” Facebook finds that simply linking a click from a search ad to a sale doesn’t tell the whole story – and it doesn’t say where the credit should go. A lot of the credit for Proactiv search ads should really go to the display ad budget.

A study of 12,000 online Proactiv purchases found that 16% of those purchases actually began with an online display ad that they didn’t click on. The remainder came from a fairly even split between a click on the display ad and a click on the search ad. But that means that about 60% of the sales started with display vs. the 40% that had been credited.

Facebook has been able to provide this kind of insight through its “anonymized monitoring” of user’s online activity which tracks the digital “path to purchase.” Facebook wants you to buy more display ads, but even they say what they really want you to know is that relying on “clicks” to tell you where your advertising is working only gives you part of the story. To complicate matters, Proactiv also has a massive TV presence so they can’t factor that in…until people start watching TV through Facebook which is probably in the works…

See how Facebook tells Proactiv a “clearer” story at AdAge.
Point is: The old adage (old for Internet marketing at least!) that display ads were effective only for brand awareness might not be necessarily true. Relying solely on “last-click attribution” denigrates the potency of other tactics, especially display advertising. Recent research has shown that the first time a product “clicks” in the brain many times starts with a display ad before the “click” for conversion.

Facebook unlikes “likes”

In a recent effort to squash “paid” likes, Facebook reportedly did a massive deletion of “fraudulent” and inactive accounts starting in January of this year.Apparently, there have been companies that set up accounts to offer a “click farm” service – even one actually called “Paid-to-like.” Businesses could pay for a certain number of “likes” which made the brand look more popular.

The paid-like problem is not new and was highlighted in a 2012 BBC investigation with the takeaway being that advertising values may be skewed when advertisers are charged for ads showing on fake pages. In a 2014 regulatory filing Facebook admitted that as much as 11.2% of its accounts are probably fakes but didn’t say how many “likes” were fraudulent – or how many of those fake pages were associated with such service.
Facebook has been tinkering with their advertising campaign structure, changing from click-based payment to number of “impressions.” If the fake pages had ads on them…did that count as an impression? The issue was confusing according to some users and was actually hampering business.
The problem won’t go away but hopefully since there has been a clean out….well, who knows.
Check out the problem with too many likes at Mashable and Entrepreneur.
Point is – You know your online reputation is really important and everyone wants to be “popular,” going for the maximum number of Facebook “likes,” Twitter followers or any other fake number driver won’t really help you get there. You need to build your brand with the customers that you want and focus on providing those potential buyers the information and interaction they need.

Google may have made a mistake – Gasp!

Google has been pushing and pushing and pushing to make Google+ a Facebook rival. That is because Facebook is becoming the Internet of all things and apparently is threatening Google’s stranglehold on everything Internet.
In an odd way, without doing anything, Facebook may have won this round because the word is out that
Google is throwing in the towel on Google+.
In an effort to force people to use Google+, they have made millions of people sign up for the service in order to use YouTube and other sites. For a lot of users, it was just one more thing to keep track of –what information did you put on there, how often do you visit, who is in your “circles”….but some people have used it quite a bit, and at least one recent report indicates that brand engagement is good on Google+.
Despite that, Google is admitting their defeat in one of their original goals which was to make users of Google services use only one identity (harken the Facebook fake pages blurb above) across all platforms.Problem is….not every YouTube game viewer wants everyone to know what healthcare concerns he follows on Google+.

That may simplify the problem but their plan hasn’t worked and Google has announced they are unlinking the platforms. Users will no longer have to have a Google+ account to use other Google services. The dismantling will start with YouTube and proceed from there.

See the dismantling at CNN Money. Of course, Google puts a good spin on it on the GoogleBlog.

Point is: Even the Google giant can make mistakes and sometimes you have to admit something just isn’t working out.

Check out the 31 “amazing” statistics about social media

Yes, we put “amazing” in quotation marks. That’s because not all of these statistics we found are actually amazing but some are pretty insightful.

Regarding social media use

  • About 75% of all adults who use the Internet also use at least one social media site – and most of them are on Facebook.   Facebook and Pinterest have an “older” crowd, while Instagram and Tumbler are dominated by those under 30.

Regarding customer service

  • Though most people have used social media for customer service, only about 2% overall prefer that method – with the rest preferring traditional methods, you know…like the phone BUT 27% of millennials actually prefer customer service over social media (meaning that the rest of the population hates it).
  • Up to a whopping 70% of users expect a response when engaging with a brand or company through Twitter and HALF expect it within the hour.

Regarding consumer behavior

  • Nearly one-third of millennials say they are likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media post, while amongst those over 65 – over three-fourths are not going to do so.
  • Consumers aged 55-64 are twice as likely to engage with brand content than those millennials who rely on their friends.

Read more “amazing statistics” at Business 2 Community (really, there is some good stuff in here).

Point is – Actually two points. 1. As if you didn’t know – social media channel use and behavior varies widely depending on demographics and you need to know your target to find out where they are lurking but more importantly, 2. If you are using social media, particularly Twitter to provide direct engagement and customer service – you’d better have someone from your organization ready and able to respond when they do, otherwise you may lose the fickle attention.

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