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Will This Make Facebook Ads More Effective?

    June 12, 2014
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

The effectiveness of Facebook ads has been questioned time and time again. A few months ago, the topic picked up a great deal of momentum after a controversial video came out suggesting fake accounts were harming results. Forrester’s Vice President and Principal Analyst said brands were becoming disillusioned with Facebook.

Other than relying on the organic sharing of your content and hoping for referrals from that, however, advertising is about the only way your’e likely to get any results from Facebook. It’s not going to be from the organic reach of your Page posts, which Facebook confirmed last week. At least Facebook appears to be making moves to increase the effectiveness of its ads.

Do you think Facebook ads are becoming more effective? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Here’s the graph that Forrester shared with its comments. Granted, that’s based on Q3 2013 data. But still.

Facebook said it will soon start including information about the websites and apps its users visit in its ad targeting, ignoring the user’s browser’s “Do Not Track” setting.

“Many companies already do this,” the company said in a blog post. Facebook’s stance is essentially that not everyone agrees about this practice, so they’re going to go ahead and do it. From AdAge:

Facebook already enables retargeting to users who’ve previously visited specific websites and apps, which advertisers can turn on by affixing tracking software to their products. Additionally, ads can be retargeted to Facebook users on their desktop screens via FBX, the company’s ad exchange, which a plethora of demand-side platforms like Turn and AdRoll are plugged into.

But what Facebook is now enabling is far more expansive in terms how it uses data for ad targeting. In a move bound to stir up some controversy given the company’s reach and scale, the social network will not be honoring the do-not-track setting on web browsers. A Facebook spokesman said that’s “because currently there is no industry consensus.” Social-media competitors Twitter and Pinterest do honor the setting. Google and Yahoo do not

Facebook uses the example of a user who is considering purchasing a new television, and starts researching TVs on the web and in mobile apps. That’s when the user could start seeing ads for TVs on Facebook. It may also use that information to show you ads for other electronics later on, ‘like speakers or a game console to go with your new TV.”

This does have the potential to make ads a great deal more effective, and frankly, it’s surprising that the company hasn’t been doing this for a long time already.

You can opt out of this kind of targeting by using the Digital Advertising Alliance opt out (which is in beta). You can see a list of all the companies, agencies, and ad networks that participate in this here. Facebook will presumably be added to the list. It’s a big list.

Facebook also introduced an Ad Preferences tool, which users can access from any Facebook ad. You could remove electronics from your ad interests, for example.

How Ads Work on Facebook from Facebook on Vimeo.

If users use the ad preferences tool enough, it should help ads become more effective, simply because it won’t be showing them to users who explicitly don’t want to see that particular kind of ad.

As we discussed in a recent articles, Facebook has been working on making its platform better for small businesses, and has put together the Facebook Small And Medium Business Council.

The company also, of course, announced the Audience Network in April, which will help mobile app developers monetize their apps using Facebook ads. Naturally, that means increased exposure for advertisers.

BIA/Kelsey projects social ad revenues in the U.S. to hit $15 billion in 2018, largely driven by Facebook News Feed ads and Twitter’s promoted tweets. Resolution Media found that while advertisers invested 127% more in Facebook than in Twitter in 2013, Twitter consistently delivered a higher click-through rate. According to Adobe, however, Facebook ad CTRs were up 20% quarter-over-quarter in Q1.

Do you believe Facebook ads will become more effective? Were they already effective? Let us know in the comments.

Image via Facebook


  • William MATAR

    Ask me, never use facebook ads… Google Adwords is better. People inside fb are happy to be inside fb and not so much interested to visit external websites. In Opposite ads founds through adsense (Google publishers) or inside Google Search are more natural to be clicked and to be discovered…

  • http://www.backwaterstudio.com Kathleen Johnson

    [Quote]The effectiveness of Facebook ads has been questioned time and time again. .[/Quote]

    Very interesting article that collaborates exactly what we have been discussing for a long time – that the advertising on Facebook is not effective. I know I skip over all the adds – not once stopping to check them. That is not what I am on Facebook pages for. If you read beyond the lines of this article – this is very very interesting.

    [Quote]Facebook said it will soon start including information about the websites and apps its users visit in its ad targeting, ignoring the user’s browser’s “Do Not Track” setting. [Quote]

    Really? One of my biggest issues trying to expand on Facebook is jumping over the paranoid credibility issues on Facebook with the above 50 year olds who have little internet savvy who, at this point, have serious trust issues with Facebook as it is. If they “ignore” the settings and do this – it will set off another firestorm of credibility issues.

    I think its not a question about the current lack of effectiveness of the Advertising – but if we all want to continue on with Facebook making a “profit” and the users getting a bang for their buck – you have to ask, what would work? And, to my knowledge – Facebook forgot to ask the users what would “work” for them. There is this chasm between Facebook and its users that is curious – a networking site where there is zero interaction between management and its user base. Ever tried to “talk” to someone at Facebook?

  • http://www.frontlineweb.biz Michael Andrews

    I agree with William adwords is by far more affective

  • Simon

    We advertise our facebook page on our website and we send more traffic to facebook than we receive back. Maybe your readers should see if there experience is the same.

    As for paid advertising, we have done this a number of times to target geographically the USA and UK, but the vast majority of the reach is in Asia, from countries such as India, and when questioning facebook about this issue every time we’ve advertised, we are simply ignored. Facebook? or facelessbook?

    Our organic reach has dropped by more than 60% over the last few weeks, so we are now questioning the amount of space FB have on our website and whether it pays us to promote our facebook page, or should we sell that space to an advertiser instead.