Facebook advertising – is it all it’s cracked up to be?

It seems like everyone is at it nowadays – Facebook advertising is more or less a standard element of many brands’ social media activity. But how often are marketers taking a step back to ponder WHY exactly they are running advertising campaigns? What do they hope to achieve?

Over the weekend, I read a very interesting piece from Econsultancy titled ‘Three reasons why advertising and social media don’t mix’, which got me thinking… I don’t entirely agree with the title’s statement; however I strongly believe that advertisers need to have clear objectives for their advertising campaigns to make them worthwhile.

The author of the article, Steve Davies notes that the reason brands are turning to social advertising “stems from the misuse of ‘proxy’ measures in determining social ROI, such as followers, likes, shares and fans”. I think he has a point here. Marketers will proudly report their month on month increase in Fan base – but what exactly have they gained from this ‘growth’? How has the advertising activity REALLY benefited the brand?

In the article, Steve Davies argues 3 reasons as to why social media and advertising don’t mix:

  1. 1.       “The struggle for power which brands are destined to lose”

Social media pages should not be misused as a “contemporary media ecosystem.”

  1. 2.       “Relevancy and purpose versus yield”

Brands need to aim to create positive experiences with their target audience.

  1. 3.       “The clue is in the title – ‘Social’”

It’s about building ‘real’ relationships with consumers – dated advertising and PR methods no longer resonate.

But what’s your opinion when it comes to social advertising?

In my view, all marketers need to have a clear picture of what they want to achieve before embarking on any advertising spree. Could the budget spend be better used elsewhere to perhaps create a more engaging social media presence? There’s no point driving people to your Page if there’s nothing there to engage them when they arrive…

In summary, I’d suggest it’s a case of trialing and testing ads to see if they work for your brand and its social objectives.

For first time users, Facebook advertising can be a little overwhelming – I’d recommend having a flick through this article from HubSpot for a simple run through of all the different advertising options available. But don’t start without a clear plan in place!

Image courtesy of Marcopako, facebook logo, under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license


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