Social Media Plummets to Least Trusted Digital Channel

Statistics show that Australians are some of the most active social media users in the world! Of the Australian population, 60% are active on Facebook with 1 in 2 users logging in every day. It’s the same story for Instagram with 1 in 3 Australians active on the social medium. So, how come social media has plummeted to the least trusted digital channel, surpassing programmatic trading? 


A recent study commissioned by the Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA), which surveyed over 400 marketers, found that 60% of respondents have had an undesirable experience with digital marketing. Further, 63% of respondents cite the misreporting of metrics, ad fraud and brand safety comparisons as a major reason for trust issues with social media platforms. Of those impacted, 70% of marketers said it resulted in wasted ad dollars. Yikes!


Only 12% of marketers are confident in digital ads and 34% possess a neutral or low trust. The channel that caused the biggest trust issue was social media, noted by 63% (72% of media agency professionals and 40% of marketers). This was followed by programmatic trading at 56% and online video at 45%. 


The top 5 issues noted as the most important for the industry to tackle in the next 12 months include proof of performance measurement (59%), cross-media audience measurement (56%), non-human traffic (53%), ad fraud (51%), and brand safety (48%). To combat these issues, seven in ten respondents agreed that more robust self-regulation needs to be executed.

AMAA CEO, Josanne Ryan, stated “each year with this pulse of industry trust in the digital trading ecosystem, we see the concern over issues increasing”. 

This lack of trust is a result of poor industry transparency and security breaches, heightened by recent embarrassments such as the Facebook Analytica scandal. As a result, users are taking unyielding security measures, some even deleting their accounts over the privacy concerns and lack of trust in the social media platforms they’re engaging with. Subsequently, this lack of industry transparency may lead to more marketers taking media buying inhouse. 


However, with Facebook recently introducing the ‘recent ad activity’ tool for users, consumer feedback will determine how business ads will run in the future. Brands with a particularly large number of poor ad reviews will be subject to investigation and potentially banned. Knowing the ‘tricks of the trade’ will aid in lowering novice mistakes and enable businesses to reap the rewards of this new function. Outsourcing digital marketing has never been more beneficial for small companies.