The biggest problem used to be limited information. Ads were run on several mass media channels with the hope of gaining as much reach as possible. Even with the millions of dollars invested in advertising accounts, there was a glass ceiling to mass media reach.
With the internet and social media came to an entirely different problem. A solution to the old problem of reach, but a seeming overdose of it. This problem is an information explosion or as a social media consultant and author, Michael Schaefer, calls it “content shock”.
It is estimated that every minute, there are 448,800 tweets, 3.3 million Facebook posts, 65,972 Instagram posts, and 500 hours of YouTube content added to the internet. This is much more information than the human mind can absorb in a day. Expectedly, a considerable percentage of the information uploaded to the internet is marketing information. Brands, affiliate marketers, advertising agencies, and digital marketers are constantly putting out content to target audiences on social media.
In 2014, Facebook reported that the average user saw more than 1500 stories in their news feed whenever they logged into the account. This was way too much and Facebook had to cut the amount of content available to an average user. This was reduced to 300 stories and this dropped the organic reach of business pages to about 3%. With this, paid ads became a necessity for businesses and brands to boost reach. Still, the average social media user gets a lot of ads in news feeds. It is estimated that the average social media user gets about 5000 ads a day!
If an ad does not get the attention of the social media user, it is more or less an interruption. And interruptions get ignored. You should consider these two factors to get ahead in social media marketing.
Focus on the Solution: research has revealed that the most effective Superbowl ads are those who tell a complete story with about 4 to 5 acts. These ads feature exposition, rising action, climax, and the solution brought by the product (which is the resolution). But every ad can’t be in a movie form. Tell a story that highlights the solution your product brings. Following the “More is Less” rule, your motive is primarily not entertainment, it is to provide a solution to a problem.
Be Interactive: social media was made for social interaction. Users want to be engaged. Run quizzes, reply comments, show empathy, and let users know that the person on the other end is human and not another computer. Since the announcement by Facebook in January 2018 that they would emphasize meaningful interactions, posts with more engagement in the form of comments, likes, and shares from Facebook friends now get more reach.
Ads are very useful but can be interruptions. Focus more on getting attention and the effectiveness in your reach will increase.