Does it really surprise you?
In June of 2013, Facebook boasted an astonishing 1 million “currently active” advertisers on the platform. Simultaneously, disgruntled Facebook addicts shook their heads in utter disappointment at their former social media hero Zuckerberg. Oh, the misery of the pristine Facebook walls now polluted, now tainted, by these horrendous advertisements!
Okay, but really…how bad can Facebook ads be if nearly 25 million small businesses continue to dish out the dollar bills for their little time in the spotlight? Surely, the ads must have some success. Right? So before pointing fingers at our $29.7 billion net worth youngster for a colossal scam of unsuccessful advertisements in change for massive revenues, we decided to construct a basic survey to gauge the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook.
We released this two-pronged survey to dozens of random Facebook users to evaluate their attitudes towards and response to advertisements on the platform . In short, here’s what the results illustrated:
- 72.73% find Facebook to be “intrusive“
- 83.78% of participants claim to have never purchased a product or service after seeing it advertised on Facebook
- almost 3/4 of respondents say Facebook does increase overall brand awareness and 69.70% note that it is effective in promoting deals, offers, and savings opportunities; only 15.15% say Facebook actually successful in encouraging the purchase of a business’s services or products
Facebook Advertising: How Does it Make You Feel
The first concept evaluated by the survey includes the emotions and attitudes of Facebook users towards the advertisements on the social media site. In one question, the study asks respondents to select which words or phrases best describe how they view Facebook ads. “I find advertisements on Facebook to be __________ .” Out of a range of options from fun and helpful, to a way to learn about new products or services, the majority of users seemed to agree on one adjective to describe Facebook ads: intrusive.
Ouch! Somehow, I can’t imagine that appearing intrusive (synonyms being pushy and invasive) in the eyes of potential clients exactly falls into most companies’ marketing plans. Comments left on this question varied from “annoying” and “not very interesting”, to “I ignore them”, “I use an AdBlocker app”, or “on occasion I will see something new and click on it”. Looks like it’s 1 for Zuckerberg, 0 for businesses advertising on Facebook. But hey, at least some Facebook users felt that the advertisements are helpful or informative (12%), or a way to see more products or services (30%).
In addition to this question, we also asked participants to select how closely they felt Facebook advertisements match their specific interests/needs. 2/3 of the answers fell between “hardly close”, and “moderately close”, with the remaining selections in “not close at all” or “unsure”
Do Facebook Advertisements Work?
The second area of the survey focuses on the actionable aspect of the advertisements. Certainly marketing should encourage some positive reaction or lead from the audience. In this section, participants were asked questions such as:
- How regularly do you click on Facebook advertisements?
- Have you ever purchased a product or service after seeing it advertised on Facebook? (If so, was the ad on Facebook your first introduction to the company or product?
- How often do you like, comment on, or share a post shared by a business page (without incentive)? With incentive (as part of a contest or give-away)?
Almost half of the respondents report that they have never clicked on a Facebook advertisement, the remaining half selected that they “rarely” or “sometimes” click advertisement links. And purchasing? 16% claim to have made a purchase through a Facebook advertisement, the majority of these after being introduced to the company or product for the first time.
So, Should You Be Advertising On Facebook?
Facebook advertisements are still right out of the gate as far as promotional and marketing techniques go. That being said, there is not substantial information to support that advertisements (paid or unpaid) on Facebook are effective. Still, a few points can be made about this case:
- Facebook advertisements may not be the most direct route for attracting clients; many campaigns are paid for per impression or clicks, rather than leads
- Paid advertisements offer high exposure rates which can increase overall brand awareness while supplying customers with incentives through offers and promotions
- Advertisements on Facebook may be geared towards a highly specific market of your choosing
- Advertisement campaigns can be budgeted per impressions from users
The good news? Nearly 757 million users are active on Facebook each day (December 2013 statistics). The bad news? People, especially web-surfers, flat out despise advertisements no matter the shape or form, and will do practically anything to remove them from their life. When was the last time you sat through a YouTube advertisement by choice? This can even be seen in this very own survey from one user who discusses their use of AppBlocker.
And this is only scratching surface on the forms of advertising on the platform. Paid media (i.e. advertisements), owned media (content written on the site), and earned media (content that is shared or pushed onto newsfeeds of friends or fans associated with the page), all have very different outcomes and purposes.
The face of marketing is always changing, and this is no exception.
Content is still king.
Featured photo from http://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/