Why Advertising On Social Media Is A Waste Of Money
How many times have you been cruising through your social media feed and noticed an advertisement for a business that's nowhere near you? It's not just you, it's super common.
I'll admit, the only social media I have is Facebook.... or Meta.... whatever they're calling it these days. I don't spend hours on it, I just check it over lunch and after dinner each night to see what shenanigans my nephews are up to. Since my siblings are just like me, there's rarely anything new, except the ads.
Over last Christmas it was my turn at work to take the full week prior to the holiday. I had plans to do a bunch of projects for my parents, but like most well-laid plans, they were all completed on the first day. My parents have become "elderly people" these days so their idea of a solid day is waking up and sitting around the living room until it's time for bed. I had way too much time on my hands and wasted a lot of it looking around Facebook.
I became obsessed with hiding ads in my feed, then hopping into the settings and hiding all ads from every advertiser that was trying to "target" me based on the data Zuckerberg has mined on me these last twelve years... but no matter how many wildly unrelatable advertisers I block, even more show up in my feed. It makes me wonder why these businesses are wasting their money to show me products I'll never even have the opportunity to purchase?
I love seafood for the most part. Crab isn't my thing, but everything else is fair game... but why in the world would Red's Crab Shack in North Carolina show me an ad for today's lunch specials?
You know where Snellville is? Georgia.
Like any self-respecting man, I cut my own hair... because I'm cheap and it's just hair... but if I were to ever find myself in need of a high & tight while visiting Istanbul, Turkey, I might pop in I suppose.
Do Texans in Waxahachie not understand you can find a local YMCA in most medium and large communities?
If I hired a Florida-based landscaping service, how much do you think they'd charge me for the commute?
Because you can't buy wheels and tires anywhere but Denmark?
It's been my experience in adulthood that local news isn't worth watching, but if I did, would I watch it out of Des Moines, Iowa?
Are the contractors so hard up for work in Springfield, Massachusetts that they're looking to break into Tornado Alley now?
It's wild how Facebook is willing to take a business's money and show any & everybody their ads just to say they showed X-amount of people those ads.
I'm not even sandbagging here with randomly chosen businesses... this is literally my advertiser feed...
I don't even have words to describe it, but it can be explained.
While the radio guy deep within me would love to say "That's why you shouldn't advertise online..." and how "Radio is the still the most effective way to advertise" rabble...rabble...rabble..." that's just not me. I know the value of advertising and share everything I've learned about marketing anytime I think can... because seeing a local business thrive is good for everyone in any community.
While I'm no expert in webvertising (dibs, I made that word up) I do work with a bunch of people that actually specialize in how to effectively advertise online, and what they had to say isn't exactly shocking... You just have to know what you're doing.
Apparently, seeing random ads from all over the globe is what happens when business owners decide to handle their marketing themselves. While they may use their expertise to run their successful business as if concocting a perfect formula with chemistry, advertising is more or less akin to alchemy.
On the wild west web, there are things like targeting, geofencing, SEO & SEM, etc... Add in the fact that if you don't have a website, what's the point in advertising the products you sell online anyway?
I've been asked a million times "Where do you think I should be advertising my business?" and I have a pretty standard reply. Everywhere you can afford that will give real results. Radio, TV, the internet, etc... but as in all aspects of life, with the good comes the bad... there are bad ways that waste that marketing money too.
Print media is probably the biggest waste. It's super expensive and the results are slim. Outlets like a local newspapers have to make up profit losses through advertising. As the aging core demographic subscriber base dies off, their ad rates shoot through the roof to offset it. This forces the advertiser to make up that difference...
Besides, what's in the paper that you can't find online? They literally charge people to print out and deliver the internet. Even if there's an internet paywall, you just need a 12 Foot Ladder to climb over it... Though I will say, I have a neighbor that raises pigeons, and there just isn't a more affordable way to line his cages, but that data is skewed since he's also a million years old anyway...
If newspapers are the Slytherin House of advertising, then magazines are the muggles. Whether it's a local or state publication or something on a larger scale, it's a waste. Most people are familiar with the once-a-week/month coupon magazines that arrive via the mail. While some people look forward to it, the overwhelming majority toss it straight into the bin.
If magazines were muggles, Direct-Mail advertising has to be the dementors... They just suck all the happiness out of opening your mailbox. "Mailers" are a total waste. It's analog spam and as the City of Lawton continues to cut public services like trash pickup, we'd all rather not be sent stuff that takes up that precious trashcan space.
The list of bad marketing can go on... sign spinning, bus/bus stop ads, door to door, robocalling, email spamming, yada yada yada...
Proper advertising isn't that hard, but it's too easy to mess up. Doing it yourself vs consulting an expert could mean the difference between losing money and making money. While I wouldn't want to wrap this up as an advertisement for my own company, I will say the people I work with are the best at all of this in Southwest Oklahoma. Give them a shout, it'll cost you zero dollars to find out what you're doing wrong.