Facebook is pushing its new social advertising platform for brands and bands. Interesting technology, sure to be exploited by clueless ad agencies until it drives members from Facebook. Too bad, because it’s a very cool idea!
Advertisers can use the new technology to build pages on Facebook to promote products, music bands or celebrities. Facebook users can then list themselves as “fans” of brands and bands they like. Industry response, so far, has been mixed.
When these “fans” write product reviews, play a game, download a song, etc, advertisers can pay to have the friends of the fan notified with a social ad. Facebook calls the people who interact with the brand in this way “fan-sumers.” (Yecch, that’s marketing speak gone mad!)
It seems to me that Facebook’s advertising, like blog advertising, is a great opportunity to advertisers to join the conversation in a meaningful way. But given how poorly conceived most blog ads are, it’s doubtful that agencies are going to get a real clue about Facebook ads either. Hint – ads that flash and scream don’t work in social media.
The promo promises
“You can increase the viral distribution of your Facebook Page with Facebook Social Ads…Think of it as word-of-mouth marketing, only completely free and happening online.”
Let’s get this straight – content goes viral if and when the concept and execution are interesting and cool enough to make people want to tell their friends about it. Quite often how, who and what goes viral is surprising, rather than planned.
B.L. I couldn’t agree more, so how will Facebook ads go viral? Well, I can think of four reasons:
1) Compensation for forwarding ads. For example, “Earn Facebook points”,
2) Personal value. For example, “Here’s a job listing I thought you’d like”,
3) Entertainment. For example, “This is really funny, watch this”,
4) Social good. For example, “Visit http://www.freerice.com and donate rice to the needy”.
As you say, the viral concept is more surprising than planned, I can’t wait to watch the creative attempts.