As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “the only constant is change.” That’s always been true of marketing and advertising, but the rapid shift from traditional advertising to social advertising has come at a blistering pace. According to a recent article by AdAge, in just a few short years, Facebook alone has surpassed the reach of the four TV broadcast networks in two key demographics: 18-to-24-year-olds and 25-to-34-year-olds. Pretty incredible really – and a testament to how many people are on social media. Pew Research Center issued a report and noted that an eye-popping 71 percent of all U.S. adults are on a social network. When this usage is broken down by demographic, the numbers get even more impressive: 89 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds are posting, while 78 percent of 30-to-49-year-olds are on, as are 60 percent of 50-to-64-year-olds and 43 percent of those over 65.
With that kind of volume and reach to consumers, it’s easy to understand why social networks and brands big and small are banking on social media advertising. As brands evaluate a media landscape that’s increasingly fractured, many are intrigued by the opportunity to target specific demographics, social connections, interests, and habits. Combine that targeting with high engagement and desirable demographics and you can begin to understand the growth predictions. BIA/Kelsey recently came out with a study that offers one view, forecasting $11 billion of social ad spend in 2017, up from $4.7 billion last year.
So, with the explosion of social advertising across platforms, how will consumers react? Will they continue to be receptive to messages in their social environments or will they tune out? Continue reading