So­cial me­dia MAD­NESS

Com­pa­nies of­ten miss ma­jor step when ad­ver­tis­ing

SundayXtra - - ENTERTAINMENT -

I’ VE been driv­ing around town lately and have been see­ing th­ese huge bill­board ad­ver­tise­ments. It’s pretty cool that com­pa­nies are in­vest­ing thou­sands of dol­lars monthly to ad­ver­tise their brand or their new prod­uct out in the mid­dle of traf­fic. I mean, when peo­ple are sit­ting in traf­fic, they al­ways look to the sky to see the ad­ver­tise­ments, right?

Next time you are stopped at a light, take a look at what the drivers around you are do­ing. I guar­an­tee that more than 50 per cent of them are check­ing their smart­phones. They are tex­ting, tweet­ing, check­ing Face­book or read­ing a sum­mary of an email no­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Why are com­pa­nies paying a lot of money ev­ery month to have their bill­board in the sky when peo­ple aren’t even look­ing at the road, never mind the ad­ver­tise­ment?

As dan­ger­ous and as il­le­gal as it is, peo­ple still text, tweet and drive all the time.

There may be a few ex­cep­tions here that I must men­tion so I don’t have real­tors or mort­gage spe­cial­ists send­ing me hate mail. For some busi­nesses, bill­boards can work be­cause fa­cial recog­ni­tion may be a large part of their busi­ness model. In this ar­ti­cle, I am aim­ing my crit­i­cism to­wards larger com­pa­nies who have a prod­uct.

I also must make a con­flict- of- in­ter­est dec­la­ra­tion. If you’ve ever read my bi­og­ra­phy above, I run a full- ser­vice dig­i­tal agency called iBX. We work with na­tional brands. Our bread and but­ter as a com­pany is so­cial me­dia con­sult­ing.

Lately on tele­vi­sion, print ads, bill­board, benches and buses, I’ve seen com­pa­nies place a few so­cial me­dia icons onto the ad. You know, Twit­ter, Face­book and YouTube icons. Com­pa­nies place th­ese on the ads so they ap­pear hip and so­cial- me­dia friendly. I ap­plaud the ef­fort, but laugh at the ex­e­cu­tion. If you are go­ing to place so­cial me­dia icons onto a non- dig­i­tal ad­ver­tise­ment, you must do one thing: TELL THE CON­SUMER WHAT YOUR USER­NAME IS! I can’t be­lieve com­pa­nies miss this step.

There is a com­pany that is run­ning a se­ries of ads down­town right now. You could take a drive down Portage Av­enue near Polo Park and see two or three of their bill­boards. They are pretty nice ads with great imag­ing. Of course they put Face­book, Twit­ter and YouTube icons on their ads. How­ever, it wasn’t as easy as it should be find­ing the com­pany on Face­book and Twit­ter. Their user­name on Face­book and their Twit­ter name are two dif­fer­ent things.

Maybe I am just ex­tremely ad­ver­tis­ing OCD, but I just wish com­pa­nies could do it right when try­ing to im­ple­ment so­cial me­dia in their ads. It’s sim­ple. Throw up your icons if you wish and then iden­tify your­self on those plat­forms. But be sure to in­clude your user­name with the lo­gos. It lets con­sumers know your iden­tity across the so­cial net­works. Be­cause if you are putting up the icons with some hope of gain­ing new fans or fol­low­ers, if they don’t know what your user­name or Twit­ter han­dle is, you will not gain any new fans, plain and sim­ple.

If you are try­ing to at­tract new users to so­cial me­dia chan­nels, why not cre­ate an on­line cam­paign ded­i­cated to­wards that? Draw­ing users from so­cial me­dia onto the com­pany’s so­cial chan­nels makes a lot of sense, right?

Fi­nal ques­tion: Have you ever seen those ad­ver­tise­ments with huge QR codes on buses lately? I get a pretty big kick out of those be­cause how am I sup­posed to open the QR read­ing app ( which not too many peo­ple have or care about) and take a pic­ture of a mov­ing bus? I al­ways like to be pro­fes­sional but — LOL.

Thanks for read­ing folks. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ the­david­bell and please send me an email [email protected] the­david­bell. com telling me what you thought about th­ese ideas. I’d love to hear them!

David Bell cre­ates a mock­ing bill­board of his own.

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