Social media advertisements – do people trust them?

Image from Pixaby

By Leigha O’Reilly Hughes

Advertising on social media is a field that is constantly growing. In order for brands to connect with their audiences they must produce advertisements that instantly drag them into the product they are selling. 

These advertisements must be personalised to the users’ wants and preferences. The advertisements must be interactive to ensure people engage with the content the brand is producing. 

When Instagram first introduced stories to their platform in 2016 they saw it as an opportunity for the business to use the powers of stories to connect with customers with products and content they are already engaged in. 

“We saw how quickly people adapted to the new format. Everyday 400 million instagram accounts use stories,” says the Instagram business team. 

“Of the 500 million accounts using Instagram stories, one third of the most viewed stories come from business and one in five stories get a direct message from viewers.”

Large businesses not only benefit from advertisements on social media. Small businesses can take to their platforms to advertise themselves and their products. 

“For me having a small business, sponsored stories and posts are so important to reach new audiences that I wouldn’t normally reach with organic content,” says Zoe Bates, owner of a small Irish business named ZoeCosmetics, which sells makeup products. 

“I can specifically target places I want to dip in more and gain new followers and engagement. It brings the opportunity of new people visiting my page and new names on orders, which is one of the main reasons I promote on stories in the first place.”

However, even with the heavy use of advertisements on the many different social media platforms, people are still skeptical about them. 

According to SurveyMonkey, nearly 3 out of 4 users, think that there are too many advertisements on social media. Some 44% of users find the ads irrelevant to their wants and needs and don’t put a lot of trust into them. 

Users feel as though there is a lack of security and legitimacy when it comes to advertisements on social media. This is due to the deceptive content that can be found on social media as people can be paid to say they enjoy a product when that isn’t how they really feel about it. 

This ties in with the impact influencers can have on a brand or product’s success on social media . According to a study by Meteor Solutions, over 30% of a brand’s actions are determined by influencers. 

Influencers can have a significant impact on the sales and reputation of a brand. They create sponsored advertisement posts that relate with their audience, as well as offering discount codes given by the companies. This is all a strategy to get people to buy products. 

However, many people don’t trust influencers and their advertisements on social media. People believe that when an influencer posts an ad, they are being paid to say positive things about the product, which lowers the credibility amongst the audience. 

This shows that even though advertisements are extremely big on social media, with an ad popping up after every few scrolls or the many influencers people follow pushing a product or a discount code in their face, not many people actually trust what they see. 

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