Facebook & Sponsored Ads

/// Facebook & Sponsored Ads

December 20, 2012  |  Blog

Whether you have seen sponsored ads on Facebook or have considered using them to promote your business, it’s important to analyze how they work. You should consider whether they can actually help marketers or brand makers if users are unaware that their profile or name is associated with a sponsored ad in a news feed.

In many cases, users are unaware or don’t fully understand that their “likes” are being used to push and promote products during targeted promotional windows in order to drive sales. To be blunt, Facebook is essentially selling ad space utilizing each user’s social network. It may be a great business model, but it’s not necessarily ethical because it’s not exactly transparent if it is not making users aware of how others within their network are seeing their content.

It is essentially like Facebook posting to your wall without you knowing it. Everything a user posts on his or her wall gets filtered in the news feed. However, Facebook uses each user’s profile as part of a brand promotion based on him or her liking a product. Users are unaware of how their profile appears in their friends’ news feed. This is the flaw in the model, and if you are a marketer, it is something you should think about to prevent backfire that could have a negative impact on your brand building efforts.

The bottom line is that Facebook has built a reputation on users building and creating authentic and transparent profiles, and yet the technology the site is using to serve up ads is not built on thar same authenticity. This could anger some users once they realize they are reading ads, not authentic stories in their news feed.

What do you think? Are you okay with your brand being associated with a user who might have liked your product being associated with your promo without him or her knowing about it? Do you think this is an effective marketing tactic?

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