Facebook Ads- The Double Edged Sword

Katherine Bennett - January 6, 2010

Social media sites are known for giving social media users a plethora of options. YouTube allows social media users to view videos based on their search. Twitter allows social media users to follow whoever they choose. Last, but not least Facebook allows users to hide comments and even friends from their Facebook home page. However, Facebook has given social media users an option that may not be in the best interest of advertisers. Facebook allows users to delete Facebook advertisements as long as they choose a reason.

That’s right, social media users can delete Facebook ads. How do I know? I’ve done it myself. Recently, I was on Facebook and kept getting and ad for modeling. I noticed that there was an “x” in the top right hand corner of the ad. So I clicked on it. To my surprise Facebook asked why I didn’t want to see the ad, and gave me several options to choose. I chose irrelevant and the ad disappeared. As a Facebook user this is exciting, but as an advertiser this raises a red flag. There are two ways to view this Facebook feature, either as a negative or a positive.

The negative side of this feature is quite obvious. There are people out there who can basically block your ad from being shown to them. Like most engines the change probably takes a while to get kick in. For example, I’ve deleted ads, stating that they were irrelevant and a few minutes later the same ad reappeared. The real concern is that there is no report in Facebook with these results. It would be nice if Facebook created an alert or report that said your ad has been deleted by 30 users who stated that it was irrelevant. This would help advertisers refine their audience, as well as tweak their message. Let’s get to some good news.

The positive of this feature is that a user viewed your ad and that your ad stands out among the clutter. When a social media user chooses to delete an ad it means that there is one less lost impression. Now your ad can be shown to a more relevant social media user. Think about it, it’s almost like negative keywords. A social media user is saying, “I’m not the right audience, send your ad to a more qualified user.” This is a positive especially when an advertiser has a limited budget. However, there is a work around to this feature. Facebook only allows users to delete ads created in Facebook. If an advertiser chooses to do placement targeting with Google, and target Facebook, the ads can’t be deleted.

Facebook is a great option for advertisers who want to target a specific audience. However, Facebook allows social media users to delete Facebook ads, which acts as a double edged sword. Advertisers have to be wise in the way that they use Facebook. If an advertiser feels their ad may be getting deleted, they should adjust the target audience settings or use placement targeting through Google.

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