Facebook advertising is becoming a touchy subject, and advertisers want to know if Facebook ads are worth it? It is now up to popular opinion. Advertisers want to know that their ad spend is worth it on social media, and they do not want their name to be on the line because of it. Some advertisers have momentarily pulled out of the channel, to put their ad spend elsewhere, but was it for a good reason? Let's look back at how we got here, how Facebook advertising actually works, and what it holds in the near future. Is it all just a mountain out of a big molehill? Let's look at everything here.
Facebook's relationship with ads: It's complicated
Advertisers have been worried that Facebook may sell third party information ever since the news came out that Cambridge Analytica used third-party data for harmful purposes. However, Facebook's lifeblood is in advertising spending. In fact, they are the second biggest in ad spend at more than $40 billion in annual revenue.
The truth? Ever since the news came out and Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress, only a few members of the Facebook community have actually left. And, the number of advertisers pulling out of Facebook is pretty minimal to even affect the social network. Let's face it then; Facebook advertising is staying put.
While there are many users who are questioning the social network, there is room for improvements. Facebook's terms are once again set to change, impacting what kind of information can be shared and what kind of third-party apps will be able to access its data. The better way to sum it up is that Facebook now has its eyes on securing the platform and changing user privacy. This means less information for advertisers to collect from users. What are the advertisers going to do now? Sapna Maheshwari of the New York Times says,
"It has also resulted in a perhaps counterintuitive lesson for marketers: Several are devising new ways to build up their own customer data lists out of concern that they were too reliant on Facebook for such information."
That much is true, Facebook perhaps made it too easy for marketers to obtain information for better targeting in paid ads. However, there is much to come in the future to help negate this.
How Ads Target Customers
Marketers may know a thing or two about creating ads and selecting specific interests. Did you know that you could be getting too specific in your ads? According to a study, Facebook allows ads to be shown to people who had a habit of sharing a particular topic, apps they use, and even mobile devices. If your friend is sharing a news article they found on peanut allergies, turns out, Facebook was collecting that data and sharing peanut or allergy related products targeted with them. As a marketer, you could be selecting brands too specific, which backfires ultimately. This specific way of targeting is warned on Facebook for being overly specific and can have the opposite effect on ad results. Click To Tweet
Facebook Custom Audiences
Facebook is rolling out a new advertising tool to help certify whether or not email addresses were used in a safe way. This new permissions tool will require that the agencies and businesses creating their targeted audiences and custom audiences certify that they have permission to use the data. This tool would close the loophole between the questionable use of users' information.
Facebook's Powerful AI
One of the main issues with Facebook's previous troubles was the ineffectiveness of Artificial Intelligence (AI) not being able to tell the "bad guys" from the "good guys." Facebook's future, however, could be in its own designed semiconductors. The chips they are developing would have a purpose when it comes to AI, power hardware devices. Could this save them from their privacy woes? Maybe.
How do you make Facebook ads worth it?
Just because you are advertising your brand on Facebook, does not necessarily mean that you are breaching others users' data privacy. Click To Tweet It is good to know, however, that Facebook is increasingly making it harder for suspicious advertisers and apps to do so. One way is to not make these advertising mistakes:
- Not setting attainable goals: Track ROI by page "likes," post engagement, website click-throughs, etc.
- Not A/B testing: Try multiple ads at the same time. Change up your copy, images, and targeting. See what works and brings you results.
- Not Carefully Targeting: Try not to be too specific, so you do not throw potential customers off. But also try not to be too broad, reaching everything. Meet somewhere in the middle.
- Sad Ad Copy: Try to not use too much text in your ads. Short and sweet always wins.
- Images: Make sure they adhere to Facebook's policies. And make them eye-catching at the same time!
- Don't oversaturate your targeting: Don't be one of those advertisers who continually show the same ads to the same audiences. If you're starting to see a lag in engagement, change it up.
- You're not following the rules: Always, always, always use email lists you have permission to use. And don't abuse anything collected by sharing private information.
Is Facebook Advertising Really Worth It?
The long and the short of it is: Yes. Do not be fooled by headlines, Facebook is a money churning machine. Even if a few advertisers split from the network, that was their own choice. Facebook advertising is worth it if you do not plan on using users' information illegally. That's really the one way to get yourself into a big mess. Don't make the same mistakes others make with poor Facebook advertising habits.
Facebook has so much potential for your brand to gain new customers through. Do not miss out on untapped potential. Remain transparent to those you are advertising through - no gimmicks. And, if you need an expert, be sure to trust our social media strategists at Northcutt. We can help you manage your social media, social media ads, and strategy. If you want to do it right, let us help you.