Surprise: Social Media Ads Don't Do Shit

It's a real drag that Facebook is making it harder for businesses to reach their followers, right? Lucky for spurned social media marketers, a new study indicates all that Facebook spending accomplishes absolutely fuck-all.

A Gallup report, by way of the Wall Street Journal, crunched social spending over the course of a year and found it's mostly for nought:

Gallup says 62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions. Another 30% said it had some influence. U.S. companies spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013, but Gallup says "consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content."

That 62 percent figure is pretty bad, but when y0u add on the 30 percent who say Facebook ads have "some" influence (which sounds vaguely feckless), you're looking at only 5 percent of sampled people who are spending money because of social ads. The other 3 percent "don't know." This is a potential bummer for Facebook and Twitter, as their entire business raison d'etre is pushing companies to spend money on these ads that probably don't work any better than the banner ads of yore.

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