Facebook Ads: Nobody’s Really Persuaded to Buy Stuff

    June 5, 2012
    Drew Bowling
    Comments are off for this post.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has announced it’s considering adding Mark Zuckerberg’s trademark grin to the list of endangered species, the agency said in a statement today. Public sightings and documentation of his grin in the wild have diminished significantly over the past several weeks, owing to citing the Facebook CEO’s increased strife and scrutiny following his company’s shabby initial public offering. The agency is concerned that the over-hunting for the once-flourishing Zuckerberg grins will endanger the future sustainability of the expression’s survival.*

Aside from being blamed for Facebook’s famously bad IPO and being sued for possibly pulling a Martha Stewart-style stock dump to save his financial interests, Zuckerberg’s widely used online social networking business may be faltering, according to a new poll from Reuters/Ipsos.

The poll found that four out of five Facebook users have never been enticed to make a purchase of a product or service due to advertisements or user comments on the site. General Motors’ decision to pull its paid advertisements from Facebook last month seems to corroborate this finding. The automotive company said the reason it was pulling the ads was because, simply put, they didn’t believe the ads worked.

Facebook’s struggled to convince marketers that ads on the site actually do work, but what’s worse is that it’s going to be hard for Facebook to improve the efficiency of its advertising services if people are spending less time on the site, which appears to be the latest Thing to Worry About for Zuckerberg and Company. Another troubling finding to come from the survey: 34% of Facebookers said they were spending less time on the site compared to six months ago; only 20% of users said that they were spending more time there. Of the people who were spending less time on the site, the biggest reason they cited for visiting less was that the site is “boring, “not relevant,” or “not useful.”

It would appear that people kinda miss having that direct contact to other Facebook users and aren’t so keen on this voyeuristic hyper-social direction that Facebook has taken with the implementation of auto-posting apps for activities like social readers and Zynga games. Adding to Facebook’s waning relevancy is the fact that simply friending or following a person or page isn’t even a real guarantee that you’ll be a party to their updates.

While that still leaves just shy of 6 million users visiting the site at least as much as usual (if not more), if Facebook was having trouble encouraging 9 million people to engage those advertisements, the prospects of convincing a two-thirds of that number to do so isn’t exactly the most promising endeavor.

The company’s IPO hasn’t done much to win any favorability among users, either, as some people think that it seems to have broken the stock market as 46% said Facebook’s IPO has made them less favorable of investing in the stock market in general. Since the company’s IPO on May 18, shares have declined 29% and currently hover just below $27.00, $11 lower than the company’s IPO price of $38. It’s one thing to take down advertisers in Facebook’s slow, Crisco’ed slide down into Lonesome Town, but it’s another thing to drag down one of the biggest institutions of capitalism. Who knew such a thing were possible?

While the IPO hasn’t done Facebook any favors, the general pall that’s growing over the company is that it’s being viewed as a business now and less like a personal communication tool. Perhaps it’s become apparent to Facebook users that they are nothing more than a product or currency for the company and, better late than never, have realized they aren’t so comfortable with being commodified like that.

*This statement from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is actually completely made up.

  • ryan

    Facebutt is for little kids like myspace and idiots. Go tweet that.
    email works just fine all this social networking stuff and having to sign up just to go somewhere else to comment endlessly about nothing is absurd and a complete waste of time and invasion of privacy. It seriously is for little kids and unintelligent morons and socially inept people.

  • Tasha

    yep dam Auto Posting I HATE that among other junk FB did despite us users saying we didn’t want but it was shoved down our throats & on top of FB saying they Own ? I post & My Pic’s give me a break I won’t be Suckerburged anymore who heck wants to be shoved into pile crap & I liked playing the game but I still have Tetris no crap No Ads No Auto Posting just fun & Mark is still young & has plenty of money so he’ll get over it.

    • Mike Ratherson

      I hate the Auto Posting being rammed down our throats too! I closed “Words With Friends” and switched to “Scrabble” because of this. I also opened a “Games Only” account and took “Poker Palace” off my main page & only play it on the games page now because of the “Post As Me” nag screen & becuase they posted all my friends on the table saying “Hi. Add me,” one of which is my deceased sister. “Happy Aquarium” has about 12 pop ups every time I play & everyone I know has quit playing. I’m about done with Facebook except that I like to play Poker online. I’m sick of being pushed around on Facebook just to play games. Facebook is the new Big Brother. I wish them a Myspace-style free fall!

  • http://www.sprinklerrepairdallastx.com Anthony

    I think Twitter is far more interesting, and plus Facebook doesn’t have the mobile aspect figured out. It’s lame.

    • Jim Dittmer

      i agree w/ you the problem w/ TWITTER is the 140 character limit

  • C. V. A. 3

    I have alot of friends that have a facebook account, and have told me that I should get one also. After everything I have read in the last month I am glad I did not get an account. To me it seams that the people with accounts are just products of Facebook. I dont need that and I really dont think anyone else should be used as a product either. I say anyone who has an account with Facebook and you feel that you are being taken advantage of, let them now how you feel by closing your account. It may take you some time to close your account. What I understand is that Facebook does not make it easy for you to close your account. Give it a try and see for yourself.

  • http://videofacebookdownload.com/ Download FaceBook Video

    Internet Marketers have Known for a long time that facebook has little or low conversions.. The answer is simple.. People don’t go to facebook to buy products in mind.. They go to connect with friends instead.. To buy products or services people typically go to a search engine or review site… In my opinion facebook is only good for “social proof” in sales copy via many comments our high number of likes… That’s it!

  • Sue

    I count myself among the number of FB users visiting less and less often. Changes made within the last few months are annoying at best and a deal-breaker at worst. Why change something that was not broken?
    Something needs to change SOON.

  • http://www.californiajam.com Scott

    Is it too much to ask to GET THIS PIECE OF JUNK OFF MY COMPUTER ??? !!!

  • M

    Used to use facebook for games, it was fun for a while and then got boring, however I NEVER ever looked at adds. If I ever did look at an add it was for a game I wanted to play. My friends and I never use facebook for communication. If we want to converse we use the phone since in most wireless plans its free. My wife uses Facebook alot for conversing with friends but she is getting sick of it as well and we both never look at the adds, any adds we have ever looked at we can get the items in the adds cheaper somewhere else so why bother.