The possible reasons are many. They include increased competition from other social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, as well as the company’s less-than-stellar reputation when it comes to data privacy and a series of high-profile boycotts. When asked about the social platforms they advertise on, only Facebook was becoming less relevant to advertisers. High cost, lack of transparency, and a lack of suitable targeting options were the most common concerns.
With that said, advertisers did report an increasing interest in self-serve advertising platforms. We call this the Facebook Effect: having long served SME (also known as SMB) advertisers with a do-it-yourself ad platform, the social media giant has whetted their appetite for automated solutions that cater to lower budgets. For many small businesses, Facebook Ads Manager was probably their first experience of booking an online ad by themselves. In the survey, nearly seven in 10 SME advertisers described themselves as proficient or highly proficient in self-serve advertising tools.
As Julia Belanger, General Manager at The Washington Post’s Zeus Prime, observed during a panel discussion in April: “We saw that advertisers were going to social, not because it was effective, but because it was fast, and easy, and they could pay with their credit card.” The Washington Post, for its part, is trying to tap into that demand with Zeus Prime: “a first-of-its-kind, self-service marketplace that will accelerate monetization gains for publishers while giving brands a seamless way to extend their reach and message.”