The Reason I Love Facebook Ads

September 22, 2011

Given all the changes that happened yesterday, this probably isn’t the Facebook post that you were expecting. I’m not here to complain about the changes, or profess my love for Google+. I’m actually here to talk about a Facebook change that I love.

Three weeks ago, I got engaged to my best friend. After phone calls to those most important to me, I did what most twentysomethings do: I changed my Facebook relationship status to engaged. It wasn’t until about a week ago, though, when I started easing myself into wedding planning, that I started to notice an interesting fridge benefit- helpful, relevant Facebook ads. Overnight, my ads went from bizarreĀ  “Lose 25 pounds in a week!,” to incredibly helpful: “Cute Bridesmaid Dresses,” “Voted Best Engagement Photography” and “Start Your Wedding Planning Here!”

A few of my Facebook ads from September 21

I’ve probably clicked on ten ads in the past week, and it’s gotten to the point where I make a point to look at the ads every time I log-on. I don’t want to miss an ad and end up missing a great suggestion for a DJ!

It’s a very interesting mental shift. Everyone’s concerned that TiVo allows consumers to skip past ads, and I’m actually worried that I may miss one.

The golden nugget here? Advertising, when carefully targeted, can be incredibly effective. This is especially true for Facebook, which allows advertisers to go past the “most people who watch this show are females between the ages of 25 and 35” to “this woman is single, lives in the 55401 zip code of Minneapolis, is 25 and just took her first job out of college at General Mills.” This increased targeting capability is incredibly valuable for marketers because it can mean the difference between advertising serving as an utility or an annoyance.

That said, Facebook advertising doesn’t always get it right. Likely to blame are lazy marketers taking a scattershot approach because they’re only paying for the cost of a click. As with any good media plan, take the time to research your audience and appropriately target your messages. Who knows, someone may actually enjoy your ad!