Yesterday, the polling firm Gallup questioned whether social media advertising actually works in its annual report on consumer behaviour.
In a section titled “The Myth Of Social Media,” Gallup reported that 62% of 18,000 Americans surveyed said ads on Facebook and Twitter do not influence the purchases they make.
Naturally, the study was not well received by Facebook, a company whose $US10 billion-a-year advertising business is entirely contingent on brands believing that its ads DO influence purchase decisions.
In a statement sent via email yesterday afternoon, a Facebook spokesperson blasted Gallup’s most recent survey, as well as the company’s method of relying on what people voluntarily tell them to produce its reports.
Instead, the spokesperson said, brands should look at Facebook studies that have tracked how consumers actually behave after they see its ads.
“The only thing this poll shows is that self-reported behavioural data is unreliable. For decades, studies that look at people’s actual, real-world behaviour have shown that ads on all mediums, including social media, affect the things people buy,” the spokesperson said.
“The most successful marketers in the world don’t just take our word for it when it comes to ad effectiveness, they have asked us to prove that our ads work. And we have. Those marketers hold us to a very high standard; we look at actual changes in attitudes and behaviours using experimental design — the same approach used in medical trials.”
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