It’s No Picnic on Social Media

angry-faceThere’s a lot of anger and frustration from marketing execs on social platforms. How’s the view from where you sit?

“Outrage,” “anger,” “more toxic than ever,” “very difficult now”… these are just a few of the phrases being used by marketing executives describing their experiences on various social media this year.

For Jan Gooding, chair of Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMco), her frustration stems from Facebook’s announcement that they badly miscalculated their video ad metrics for the last two years.

“I felt really outraged and angry when I first [learned of the miscalculation],” Gooding said during a joint Mediatel and Magnetic event on Thursday. “And I felt it mattered massively; as an advertiser, am I getting what I thought I was paying for?” Gooding’s comments were covered in an article by David Pidgeon in Mediatel Newsline.

“However, despite Gooding’s criticisms,” Pidgeon added, “she said advertisers are highly unlikely to stop spending with Facebook because the platform has become such an important part of the customer journey in a digital-first economy.”

Her frustration is understandable, and she’s anxious to see the platform “mature.”

“That maturity comes about by paying taxes and by finding ways to show veracity in your data. And I appreciate that their data is proprietary, but we also need to know that it’s truthful,” Gooding notes.

Frustration is not reserved just for Facebook. One brand manager says that within the last year, Twitter has become a highly toxic environment for her team.

“Twitter has become a less exciting and engaging space in general, but part of the reason is because it has become a customer service-based channel. People are used to getting a quick response. When I think of it now, I think of lots of angry, impatient people,” the unidentified marketer said to Digiday’s Grace Caffyn.

“If someone’s not happy, the reaction is always the same. There’s no middle ground, just all-out rage. To them, we are the worst people in history. If people don’t get the answer they want, they can become trolls. They don’t realize there is a person behind that screen; they see it as an outlet to vent,” she continues.

Is it bad enough for their company to consider abandoning the channel?

“It’s never off the table. At the moment, it’s still manageable, and I don’t want to neglect the good followers we do have on there just because it’s not the easiest channel,” she said.

It’s rough going when the platforms that brands rely on to engage come fully loaded with frustration and angst. Our jobs are tough enough already, and this kind of built-in suffering is crazy.

Some good news around all of this might be the self-policing by the industry that is attempting to redefine the way metrics are used. Maybe once we really understand what’s going on with the data, we’ll all be able to make better choices about how our brands engage, and where.

Until then, stay safe out there, everybody, and keep the faith.