Organic Advertising - Organic Posts
An example of organic advertising is just a regular post from a business page. It can also be a viral post that your friend shares that shows up on your timeline. This is an unpaid advertisement, no one is paying for it to be on your news feed. Simple, right?
For TOWN, I post a lot of advertisements that I don’t pay for, so that some of TOWN’s followers can see my post.
Paid Advertising - Sponsored Posts
Paid advertisement is a post that an individual or company has paid extra for to target you and your interests. Facebook uses your data so that advertisers can make sure that they will show up on your timeline. For example - Home Depot shows up on your timeline because of every search you’ve made, every message you’ve sent, and everything you’ve liked; Facebook adds it all up and voila - you’re interested in tools because you’re re-designing your kitchen and you said you need a hammer in your post, you’ve searched Instagram for inspiration, and you messaged a friend how excited you are to start on your project. Cue: Home Depot advertisements.
You can tell a post is sponsored by the very small Sponsored text under the post. See example on the left of the LinkedIn advertisement.
As a marketer, I can target you specifically by your interests, your location, your gender, and your age.
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, collect this information in multiple ways: what you actively do on social media (Pages you like, posts you shares, retweets, comments you make), photographs you upload, location check-ins, information you willingly give them to fill out your profile and more.
To be honest, I truly think Instagram and Facebook actually listen to us through our phones; how many times have you said a brand name and a day later an advertisement shows up on your feed?
Anyway, off-track, the results of the advertisement are OK. I paid $70.00 to run a TOWN post for 1 month - I reached 2,522 people and got 82 post clicks to my website.
You are constantly being analyzed and targeted on social media and throughout the internet. From banner advertisements to social posts, marketers can target you with data that you unknowingly provide. You can’t stop the data collection, unless you quit all of social media. There are no laws in place to protect your privacy or intellectual vulnerability. Not all marketing is bad - but when it’s being being used to make you feel bad about yourself, to hack your psyche, or to sway your opinions based on emotions and vulnerabilities - it is.
How can you take control?
It’s an overwhelming feeling once you understand how your mental state can suffer and your psyche can be hacked by online advertisements especially social media, but there are things you can do to take a bit of control back.
Block Ads: I recommend downloading Chrome as your search browser (yes, Google is a whole other story for another time). Chrome has a great Advertisement Blocker - this limits the amount of ads that show up on your browser while you’re online. Twitter Ads are blocked, Facebook ads are kind of blocked (they are figuring a way around it) and all ads throughout the internet are blocked. Download this ad blocker now to start taking control of your online presence: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/adblock/gighmmpiobklfepjocnamgkkbiglidom?hl=en-US
Curate Your Content: Do you have an Uncle who will not stop posting hate speech? Do you have a friend who only shares political memes? Unfollow, Unfriend - now! Curate your timeline to what you want to see and to what makes you feel good.
Disengage: Don’t feed the beast. Imagine if every Donald Trump bot was ignored - there would be no online conflict, there would be no Twitter fights, but bots tweeting out into a black hole. Your fight should be a positive one, spread the light.
As always, Knowledge is Power. Understand that when you like, share, comment, it’s being watched and analyzed. Hold back a bit from engaging, take social media vacations, post less and think more.