Facebook Takes Another Hit

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(By Spike Santee) If you are still facing competition for local advertising dollars from Facebook, you need to arm yourself with the latest research and news and go tell our impressive story. 

Many local business owners have developed the perception that adverting their business on Facebook is a good investment. They don’t seem to care that their audience reach is extremely limited and their cost per thousand is astronomically high. It is easy for a local business owner to find themselves in a personal feedback loop where even the smallest response is considered a big success. 

According to the newly released Infinite Dial 2019 report, social media usage across all platforms has leveled out over the past few years at around 79% of the population. According to the Nielsen Audio Today 2018 report, 93% of the population listens to AM & FM Radio.

The percent of the population using Facebook dropped to 61% from 67% in one year. There are an estimated 15 million fewer Facebook users today than a year ago. 

But beyond the metrics, Facebook faces many reputational challenges that damage the effectiveness of the advertising your local business owner is placing on the platform. 

Facebook exists today in a constate state of controversy. 

The 2016 presidential election brought endless reports of bots, trolls, and Russian-purchased political ads spreading fake news on both sides. CEO Mark Zuckerberg brushed off the notion that fake news on Facebook could possibly influence U.S. politics.

But now, with government indictments of Russian hackers and more evidence turning up every day, nobody believes that any more. Facebook has deleted over a half billion fake users accounts and continues to delete new fake user accounts every day. 

AM and FM radio doesn’t have fake users. Facebook gets to report how many users they have. AM and FM Radio rely on a third party to measure the audience size. 

In addition to the drop in Facebook users, the controversy is negatively impacting Facebook’s reputation in a measurable way. In the recently released Axios Harris Poll of the Top 100 Most Reputable Companies, Facebook took a nose dive, falling 43 spots, to an unenviable rank of 94 out of 100.

Consumers are losing trust in the messenger. Consequently, the consumer trust level of local advertisers on Facebook suffers too. 

In the world of Madison Avenue, some of the world’s largest advertisers are growing more skeptical of Facebook’s claims they are addressing the problems, after news broke they put profits over user privacy last year by continuing to sell data Facebook said was private.

Keynote speaker at RadioShow 2018 Rishad Tobaccowala, the Chief Growth Officer for the Publicis Groupe, the fourth-largest advertising agency in the world, told The New York Times recently, “We know Facebook will do whatever it takes to make money. They have absolutely no morals.”

AM and FM radio continues to play a central role in the daily lives of hundreds of millions of consumers. Your local radio stations specifically continue to profoundly enrich the lives of your listeners and create value for your advertisers

Ninety-three percent of your local population listens to AM and FM radio. That’s more than watch television, or use smartphones, tablets, or computers. 

According to Nielsen’s 18+ ratings data, AM/FM radio continues to reach more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million consumers, compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR, and time-shifted), 203.8 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone. 

Looking at the audio landscape, broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 68.5 million for streaming audio, 35.7 million using satellite radio, and 21.9 million consuming podcasts.

There are no fake users, audience levels are measured by a third party. People listen to their favorite radio station based on an emotional connection, they love the DJs, we play their favorite music. The consumers in your town trust your radio station. They trust what your radio station tells them. They trust Facebook less and less every day. 

Frustrated with their results from social media and television, the world’s largest advertiser, Proctor & Gamble, has rediscovered the power of radio and is pouring millions of dollars back into radio to reach the consumers they can’t reach on television or with social media. 

With radio back in their advertising plans, Proctor and Gamble reported their strongest quarterly sales grow in five years in the third quarter of 2018!

Radio works and it works great! As local radio advertising salespeople, you are the tip of the radio advertising marketing efforts. Radio has a great story to tell and it’s up to you to spread the word. 

Let me know if I can help. Talk to you soon.  

Spike Santee is the author of The Four Keys to Advertising Success and the president of SpikeSantee.com. Contact Spike at (785) 230-5350.

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