Social Media and Beyond...

Fun Fact: according to HubSpot, the average banner ad has up to 0.04% click-through rate, which makes you more likely to complete Navy SEAL training or survive a plane crash than click a banner ad. Unfortunately, the picture looks even worse on mobile.

Solve Media reports that Americans are 116x more likely to survive a rattlesnake bite than intentionally click on a mobile ad. Brand guru David Aaker said that the advertising value associated with one hour of an Internet user’s time is less than $.10. This number is low even compared to the challenged performance of television which comes to $.25 and print which is $1.00.

The worst news, however, is that it gets even worse for online. The current solution is to impose a 15 or 30 second ad in the form of a video segment, which is bound to engender frustration and eventual hatred.

When was the last time you saw Facebook users commenting on a sponsored post? If you rehash display ads as sponsored content on social media, it makes them very easy to ignore.

Banner ads on social media are just puffery. Think about it: if your friend posts on Facebook, “Hey everyone, look at my new car—it’s way better than all the other cars on the road”, do you pay attention? Why would you comment or share that?

From experience of working on professional social media accounts I’ve found that boasting cannot ignite conversation or interactivity, it fails because it leaves nothing to talk about.

Admittedly, I spend too much time online, and I have found that online advertising has become obstructive, often preventing me from completing the task I’m trying to achieve. My verdict is that we must find new and more interesting methods to encourage viewers to want to engage with online advertising.

We must create more stimulating platforms and metaphors for online content. We must Create.

Social media is similar to fashion, in the sense that it is constantly evolving. The future appears to be leaning towards micro-video platforms like Vine and Instagram video which stand out by the simplicity of their message.

Take the anti-smoking campaign launched recently by Saatchi for World No Tobacco Day: Digiday reported that the first 5 days of the campaign garnered the ads 50,000 likes and 26,000 re-Vines.

Despite the success of this campaign, however, Social Bakers reports that Instagram video is the clear winner when it comes to micro-video for businesses.

By tracking how often brands posted to Twitter using Vine and Instagram, they were able to determine that Instagram clearly beat out Vine: “Twenty-eight percent of brands currently use Instagram for content, while only 7% use Vine”.

2014 has so far brought us some surprising trends in terms of how businesses' messages are evolving around social media.

With LinkedIn growing in popularity among B2B users, Pinterest boasting impressive retention rates and Google+ going through radical evolutionary changes, it will be to see what happens during the remainder of 2014.

- James Peck