Dear advertisers, you are what you post

A recent study revealed that over 70% of the Millennium generation “wants to be famous online”.

Not surprising of course. Has there ever been a group of young people between 16 and 24 years old who didn’t want to be famous in some way?

The question that isn’t asked is, “Famous for what?”

For marketers looking to attract today’s group of young consumers, gathering online followers is very often the measurement of success. The more followers a product or brand gains, the more they can charge for advertising space on their content page. Sounds just like tv, radio, print, and all other forms of media. The more eyeballs attracted the more can be charged for paid advertising.

For years, this simple formula has been used to develop media plans. But there has been a change that should disturb advertisers and any brand.

An article in the Wall Street Journal noted how Facebook has revised their guidelines to rankings of posts. Facebook found that the more extreme the posts the higher up in responses received. The sober and thoughtful postings and responses ranked lower and were not seen.

Advertisers who were just looking for eyeballs didn’t realize that their brands were now being seen in relation to social media posts that were not just extreme but downright false, inflammatory and sometimes even dangerous.

Facebook has now revised their policy to try to correct this situation. If a post is considered extreme then it can be rejected and never seen. We can get into a discussion about First Amendment rights but this is about business.

Does a brand or product want to be associated with extremism in any form? Don’t extreme views have the effect of washing over and staining the brand or product that is advertising in its presence?

When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas? And unless you are a pet care product, I doubt any brand wants to be associated with loathsome creatures.

True.

About nhbrownlee

Advertising copywriter, Creative Director and state of New York college professor. I love true stories. Who doesn't?
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