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The Schizophrenic Nature of Facebook Ads

As marketers, we are always looking for some way to get a leg up on the competition. Whether it’s aggressively producing content to play the Google ranking game or looking to reach our customers with better engagement measures in social media or just plain buying advertising, it’s a tricky thing to balance.

In that mix also is the consideration of being in front of the customer but not annoying the customer. There is nothing worse then having a well-intentioned ad campaign backfire because it was inappropriate in some way or just plain over-the-top obnoxious by being everywhere.

Well, with the introduction of several new advertising options in Facebook, ranging from Premium Ads to mobile ads to ads on log-out pages to the pre-existing ads in news streams to ads in that boring old right hand column, Facebook is going to be littered with ads. If there was ever a double-edged sword for marketers, this is it.

First, you have one of the most far reaching tools on the entire Internet. Facebook has done an amazing job of amassing some 900 million accounts in its relatively short history. It’s staggering to think about the reach the social media giant has. As a result, marketers want to be there, because not only are there a ton of prospects and customers there, but they are also being divided up by specific needs and wants like few places on the Web can do. A veritable advertisers paradise.

But there is a dark side. That is the very real risk an advertiser runs of ticking off a Facebook user. Here is an example I can imagine. I use Facebook’s mobile app quite a bit. I admittedly struggle with it when I try to type an update or see information on a small screen (even the large phone Android screens of today are difficult to maneuver). I am not looking forward to having precious screen space taken up by an ad that may or may not have me pegged real well. Heck, even if it’s perfect I am going to be annoyed because the ad will be in my way. Now, some might say that if the ad is “in the way” then it is good and I will have to see it. I would agree but if you are trying to reach me don’t you think you might want to make it so I am happy when I see your ad rather than frustrated that you are in my way?

This may end up being a minor consideration overall. Then again it may not. The trump card that Facebook holds in all of this is the simple fact that no matter how happy or angry anyone gets with Facebook there is no where else to go to get the same experience. You can be all brave and announce that you will close your Facebook account and go over to Google where …uhhhhh…none of your real friends are. You don’t think the folks ar Facebook aren’t banking on this fact? That is the whole reason why they have worked so hard to get where they are.

So the two sides of Facebook ads exist and they are real. As a marketer, the quicker you accept this fact the better off you will be.

Your thoughts?

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