Marketing Guide

The trust of users in social networks is undermined

According to an Outbrain study with Savanta, social media ads are perceived as the most intrusive, followed by displays and paid search.

Since they began to bloom social networks in the early 1990s, the digital and technological field has not stopped experiencing transcendental changes. The social networks of that time are not the same as the current ones, nor do they cover the same needs. Today, smartphones are already one more extension of us and immediacy plays a fundamental role in our daily communications.

For this reason, social networks have evolved as society has advanced and, despite the fact that 58% of the world’s population uses one of them, the trust placed by users is breaking down.

This is demonstrated by the overall study that Outbrain has submitted In collaboration with savanta on the behavior of people in the online environment, which focuses on the most current concern of users: Privacy.

Increasingly aware of the value of their data, they are looking for a less exposure and more productive browsing. This is also reflected in the rejection of intrusive advertising with the increasing use of ad blockers.

In fact, Facebook has recently (and for the first time) reported a decrease in the number of daily active users, with a drop of one million in the fourth quarter of 2021. These figures demonstrate the suspicion of users towards poorly controlled environments in which privacy is not always guaranteed.

In this sense, the Outbrain study indicates that the twenty-one% of global consumers plan to spend less time on social media in the next 6 months. Of them, the 39% look for a absolute disconnection33% spend this time at work or study and 36% will spend it consulting national and local news websites, as well as lifestyle websites.

What can brands do?

These results are a wake up call for marketers, who are aware that this distrust can mark future strategies. One of the conclusions is that users believe more in the veracity of editorial-style websites than in social networks: the 75% of consumers trust content and recommendations from editorial environments vs. 54% who trust content and recommendations from user-generated content on social media.

This trust also extends to advertising. While the social networks they have become one of the media where brands have focused when creating advertising campaigns, users do not finish perceiving these spaces as a credible advertising channel.

The Outbrain study points out that the social media ads are perceived as the most intrusive, followed by the displays and the paid search. For its part, native advertising is considered the least intrusive: 64% of consumers trust native ads seen in editorial environments.

On the other hand (and despite the reluctance to offer personal data), the Tailor-made recommendations for each user and occasion are highly valued by the consumer. The most attractive formats when viewing suggestions are the Headlines (46%), the still images (44%) and animations or video (39%). Among the public between 18 and 24 years old, unique and personalized audiovisual formats are the ones that generate the most interest.

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