Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Are the ads on social networks even remotely effective? That is the question often pondered on by social network users. We see them every day when we use Facebook, but how many of us take notice of them? Let alone click on them?

As you are reading this.. Without switching to your Facebook tab, try to recall an ad you might have seen.

It is no surprise that you’re having some difficulty. Social network ads are small and non-invasive compared to the regular animated flash banners we see on most sites. They are placed out of the usual reading pattern of users and consist mostly of a small thumbnail and text.

Unless you’re on Ren Ren, the Facebook of China’s youth, who have flash banners in close proximity to the social content. You’re unlikely to be paying attention to the advertisement’s message.

I know its shocking but companies have sworn that social media advertising actually works! Despite the recent GM Facebook ad campaign failure, big brands like Ford and Coke have found value in Facebook advertising and intend to expand its use of the advertising platform. Others like Joseph Perla think that Facebook ads are no different from a ponzi scheme. He and some others raised a compelling argument that the fat advertising returns posted by Facebook is not sustainable mainly due to the fact that the influx of advertisers it is experiencing is only going to be momentary. When advertisers both big and small have experienced Facebook and discovered that their ROI is abysmal, Facebook’s main revenue source will dry up and they would soon be killed by the next social network.

So who’s right and who’s wrong? Are brands like Ford and Coke enjoying a temporary success on Facebook? In my opinion, it depends on what your campaign objectives are. If you are looking to sell a laptop on Facebook, then you’ll probably get more sales going door to door. Facebook ads seldom work well if sales is your KPI and especially if your product costs more than a box of cereal. Apps, games and easily redeemed vouchers on the other hand seem to do better due to its relevance to social networking. The ads would work well if you are looking to raise the number of fans on your Facebook page, raising awareness or simply driving traffic. Here are a couple of tips for you to make the best out of social network ads.

  1. Social networks allow for ads to be targeted but ads have to be relevant.
  2. Ads have a tight character limit, so make your call to action compelling, clear and concise.
  3. Experiment and rotate creatives and copies to get the best click-through rate.
  4.  Have a strong value proposition to encourage users to click
  5. Due to its obscure location, ads should try to be as disruptive as possible. Copies like “EXCLUSIVE TO FB USERS” or “50% OFF”.

Click here to see examples of effective social network ads.

Though there is a huge controversy as to the effectiveness of social network ads, I (like many others) have personally had successful campaigns on Facebook. In my opinion, the results are really subjective and would depend heavily on your campaign’s KPI and creatives.

What do you think? Share your experiences with me! Leave a comment!


We live in the era of social media today. Our journey to the social metropolis we have today took (believe it or not) 34 years! It all began in 1978 with the Computerized Bulletin Board System, or CBBS, created by Ward Christensen during the Great Blizzard in Chicago.

Social media is a global and cultural phenomenon. A primary communication channel to most people today. With Internet access readily available with the help of mobile devices, information can be updated in real-time anywhere. With mobile penetration only going up. We see social media penetration increasing as well. In the Philippines, majority of the social media is consumed through mobile phones. In fact based on a study by Susan Huynh,  by 2016, mobile internet users will exceed PC and laptop internet users.

7 out of 10 people using their mobile phones in the subway in Singapore are on a social app. 9 out of 10 people taking out their phones during a street fight are informing the world. That one last person would most probably be calling the authorities and that is just how our lives have changed.

But how has this impacted the corporations and businesses? No, I’m not talking about the drop in productivity in the office. I’m talking about how has it changed the way advertisers and marketers approach the consumers. The entire media landscape has changed. Its no longer a monologue between brands and consumers, it is now a dialogue.

How are brands handling it?

Even before Facebook allowed anyone to join in September 2006, brands already saw the potential and were advertising on Facebook. A whopping $3.08 billion was spent to advertise on social networking sites in 2011. But does advertising work on social networking sites? Should brands blindly buy banners and textlinks to advertise products? No. Social media doesn’t work like websites or newspapers.

Social media is about building a community and creating brand advocacy. Building positive brand advocacy is not easy but if successful, it would be hard for competitors to replicate. Which explains why only a handful of brands have been successful on social media and I will cover some of such campaigns in my future posts.

The beauty of social media is the data. Social media has opened real opportunities for tracking and understanding human behavior in ways never known before. From advanced targeting and retargeting to segmenting customers, there is just so much data. Brands are now paying business intelligence companies big bucks to analyse this sea of data and to find out what the consumers want. As strategist, Brand Amery said, “A good way to approach data is understand what you’re trying to achieve and what you want the consumers to do, and always place it in context of the bigger picture.”

Social media has another function and that is customer service. Many brands have turned their Facebook walls into customer service channels. Be it rants or compliments, brands can access their relationship with consumers and if possible rectify consumers’ problems. This actually blurs the line between advertising and PR.

Investing in social media, is not just investing in a causal relationship with consumers. It is a very powerful tool for gaining insight into the characteristics of a brand’s target market, a great customer relationship tool, and a great way to build personal attributes to a brand.