Jonny Marshall

Member Article

An inside-look at social context in Facebook Ads

Realistically, there are only so many types of ads you’re going to create—or even attempt to create—when advertising on Facebook. The line between trendsetter and trend-rider is very, very thin, but to think that someone would actually risk going far outside of the norm is laughable when talking about reputable business advertising with Facebook. If you wanted to go wild, you would try it on another avenue where your brand may not possibly be damaged. You wouldn’t try it on the world’s biggest social networking site.

For advertisers looking to pull more conversions out of their ads, developing ads that play into social context is a great way to go about it. Ads with social context decidedly outperform engagement ads. And other than organic impression ads, social context rules the roost – with some arguing that the numbers on organic ads are skewed to begin with and favor a different set of standards not held to with the previous two types.

Social context is how we exist in the world, so it’s only logical that we exist online the same way. The most prevalent example of social context can be seen by simply viewing your likes, dislikes and habits compared to those of your friends and family – members of your social circle. You are more than likely going to share common traits with your social circle, liking what is accepted, disliking what is not. In the milieu of Facebook ads, what your friends think of material is the epitome of social context, and thus playing off of friends and not necessary a tangible market is the direction in which advertisers must move.

A Seamless Integration of Social Context

The real task with social context integration comes not with integrating your ads to be socially acceptable, but rather providing a subtle touch that allows for the same type of engagement ad to take on a new social context meaning by applying a simple change.

For instance, if you have a regular ad that dealt with digital cameras, the bottom of your ad may read similar to : “7,120 people are fans of XX.” With social context, the subtle change here comes with instead seeing: “Jane Doe, Janey Smith, John Lion, Oren Hall and Virginia Maryland are fans of XX.”

Of course, with the latter example, a user will see that his or her friends are actually fans of the ad and of your business. With the regular engagement approach, things are basically meaningless. Sure, you can see that many people are fans of “XX,” but you cannot relate with those people. There is no social context provided.

As you can see, it’s a very subtle yet poignant change that takes place when you add social context to an ad. Ideally, you do want to create new and better ads at every conceivable opportunity. You just have to remember that these ads need to play well in the realm of social context.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jonny Marshall .

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