Last week, a national poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP) found that Congress only has a 9% favorability rating with 85% of voters viewing it in a negative light. Now, if that’s what PPP had reported, no one would have noticed.

However, the pollster decided to take a different approach and tested Congress’ popularity against a series of unpleasant and disliked things. Here’s what PPP found:

  • It’s gross to have head lice but at least they can be removed in a way that given the recent reelection rates members of Congress evidently can’t: Lice 67 Congress 19.
  • The NFL replacement refs may have screwed everything up, but voters think Congress is screwing everything up even worse: Replacement Refs 56 Congressmen 29.
  • Colonoscopies are not a terribly pleasant experience but at least they have some redeeming value that most voters aren’t seeing in Congress: Colonoscopies 58 Congress 31.
  • And you can make the same point about root canals: Root Canals 56 Congress 32.
  • You might get a bad deal from a used car salesmen, but voters evidently think they’re getting an even worse deal from Congress: Used Car Salesmen 57 Congress 32.
  • Being stuck in traffic sucks, but voters are even less happy about being stuck with this Congress: Traffic Jams 56 Congress 34.
  • It may be true that everyone hates the rock band Nickelback, but apparently everyone hates Congress even more: Nickelback 39 Congress 32.
  • Genghis Khan did a lot of bad stuff but it’s faded from voters’ minds in a way that Congress’ recent misdeeds haven’t: Genghis Khan 41 Congress 37.
  • Donald Trump isn’t held in very high esteem by the population, but he still manages to just barely edge Congress: Donald Trump 44 Congress 42.
  • Cockroaches are a pretty good reason to call the exterminator but voters might be even more concerned if their homes were infested with members of Congress: Cockroaches 45 Congress 43.

Now, the news wasn’t all bad for Congress. It beats out playground bullies (43/38), telemarketers (45/35), lobbyists (48/30), the Ebola virus (53/25), and meth labs (60/21).

But if you’re less popular than colonoscopies and root canals, then it might be time to reevaluate what you’re doing (reality) and how it’s being viewed (perception).

That brings me to another poll commissioned by Pitney Bowes Software, which was published recently by eMarketer. Unfortunately, the findings of this study indicate that YouTube marketing may be as unpopular as Congress.

Social media sites used by marketing decision-makers and internet users worldwideHere are the details: In August and September 2012, Vanson Bourne conducted online interviews with 300 senior marketing decision-makers working in business-to-consumer organizations across five international markets (Australia, France, Germany, the UK, and the US) and seven economic sectors (FMCG, Insurance, Public Sector, Retail, Retail Banking, Telecoms, and Utilities). The questionnaire focused on their use of social media as a marketing channel.

At the same time, 3,000 adult consumers in the same regions, who use either use or have previously used social media, were interviewed online to explore corresponding areas of interest, such as which social media they are using.

Here’s one of the key findings of the research: While consumers and marketers were aligned in their emphasis on Facebook as the most popular and trusted social media site, they disagreed about the importance of other social media outlets. Beyond Facebook, marketers devote most of their remaining spend on Twitter (57%). By contrast, consumers prefer YouTube (53%).

So, why are marketers so out of sync with consumers when it comes to YouTube? Are video content producers less popular than other social media marketers?

Is it time to reevaluate what we’re doing (reality) and how it’s being viewed (perception)? If it is, then here are a couple of steps we can take today:

Dare to compare: All the views, subscriptions and other outputs we generate on YouTube won’t get us a bigger slice of the marketing budget until we can compare our impact on business outcomes with other social media. To do that, we need all of our social media data in one place. And that means we need to start using products like Social Snap, a social media analytics platform that brings together hundreds of metrics from multiple data sources.

Bust some myths: Although 93% of consumers are using Facebook, do marketing decision-makers know that 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook? Do they know that 53% of consumers are using YouTube and 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc.) every week? And do they know that 31% of consumers are using Twitter, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute?

What do you think? Even members of Congress can leave a message in the comments box below.