Social network ads ‘must get more creative’

Over two-thirds – 66% – of social network users say they rarely pay attention to adverts on social networking sites, according to new research from Mintel.

Social network ads 'must get more creative'

In addition, 56% say they do not like to buy products they have seen advertised on social networking sites, suggesting, says Mintel, that brands have to go beyond paid ads to influence consumer purchasing decisions.

Furthermore, the number of consumers agreeing that they rarely pay attention to ads on social networking sites rises to 70% of users aged 25 to 34. Just 11% of consumers say they actively pay attention to advertising on social networks while 31% listen instead to recommendations for products and services from their online social network.

Cecilia Liao, senior technology analyst at Mintel, said: “Our research does not suggest that advertising on social networks is ineffective, but that social network users may not find ads on social networks particularly memorable or relevant, on a conscious level at least.

“This highlights the fact that companies who want to use social media as a promotional tool need to look beyond text ads or interactive banners and invest in actual engagement with the consumers. Static ads are not always the best way forward for consumer interaction, which is why it’s so important for marketers to use social networks to communicate and engage with customers through organic content, status updates and interesting creative campaigns.”

Fifty-eight per cent of consumers say they have been more diligent in researching prices since the economic downturn, fuelling the growth of group-buying discount websites and social network deals. Some 15% of social network users say they currently use social networking sites to find cheap deals on things to do, and 13% to find out about information about brands.

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