STUDY: Social Media Advertising Doesn’t Work So Well

By Shawn Paul Wood 


Yesterday, we brought you the story of a well-off British gent discussing how WPP’s GroupM will double its Twitter advertising budget to $100 million for 2014.

Today in what may seem like an attempt to show him up, Gallup released its latest study into the wild. It tells the world something the rest of us have known for years: Social media advertising is as good as flushing $100 bills down the toilet.

Here’s why those Benjamins are swirling down the drain.

Based on Gallup’s new State of the American Consumer report, only 5% of people with money say social media has “a great deal of influence” on their purchasing decisions; 30% settled on “some influence”, presumably because they’re indecisive.

gallup advertising

Based on the poll, it seems “the creative generation” isn’t too terribly enamored with ads on social media. Even Millennials say they are not swayed—48% of respondents in that cohort said that social doesn’t influence their purchasing decisions (though they are more suggestible than their elders).

generation gap social media ads

“A solid majority of American adults say that social media have no influence at all on their purchasing decisions — suggesting that the advertising may be reaching smaller segments of the market, or that the influence on consumers is indirect or goes unnoticed,” Gallup concluded.

Gallup goes on to share the dirty secret that people are more likely to consult in-store displays, television commercials, mail catalogs, and even magazines than a brand’s Facebook or Twitter account when making a purchasing decision.

Good luck with all that, Sir Sorrell.