Today’s post is by Hillary Read, Marketing Manager at PPC Associates. Hillary has no Facebook buying experience, has very little stock buying experience, and generally distrusts ads when she’s not working for a digital marketing agency.
I haven’t owned stock since the early 1990s, when I cashed in my five shares or whatever of Boston Celtics stock (a creative Christmas present from when I was eight). I can count on one stingy hand the number of times I’ve clicked on a PPC ad (at least when Google product listings were free), and I’ve never clicked on a display or Facebook ad except by accident.
I don’t trust ads. They’re trying to sell me something.
Now, this isn’t going to be one of those super-helpful how-to posts. I’m not a Facebook ads buyer, and I wouldn’t even know how to start. I do know some basic Facebook ads tenets — one of which is that people aren’t on Facebook to shop, so direct-response marketing techniques are misplaced.
I also know this: I do trust my friends.
This afternoon, I noticed the following page post ad in my news feed:
For me, there are two huge reasons this kind of ad is more effective than the sponsored ads on the right side of the page. First, it’s in the middle of the page, not in the dedicated ad space to the side, which is basically the difference between sitting through a commercial between sitcom segments and making a conscious choice to flip through a Sharper Image catalog. Second, my friend likes it. She doesn’t want me to buy it; she just likes it.
Did I click on the post? No. Dove created the post, and Dove wants me to buy Dove. But I noted the post because my friend Tess is a lovely person of high character and good hygiene, and she likes Dove. She doesn’t “+1″ Dove, which is a contrived contortion of “like” that means, in offline circles, she’s not bringing Dove to a wedding as her guest. Even if she did “+1″ Dove, it would be seriously hard to notice:
So…my friend likes Dove. I like my friend. I may take a curious sniff of Dove’s body wash the next time I’m in the supermarket. I don’t know of the attribution platform sophisticated enough to track that sequence, but I know they’re working on it.
Add that very simple trust-based appraisal system to all that Facebook data we haven’t touched on yet, that data they haven’t quite figured out how to use but will someday in a search engine to blow away all search engines, and I’m in.
If Facebook is one big ad for itself, I guess I’m finally clicking (turns out being a little thick can have its benefits).