All this discussion about low click-throughs on Facebook is getting me agitated. It’s not a mystery. It’s Advertising 101. As I’ve said all along.
GM announced this week that it’s pulling its $10 million ad budget from the site. That started an avalanche of anti-Facebook-ad activity, just before its long-awaited IPO.
You know when someone will click an ad on Facebook? When she finds it interesting. Otherwise, she doesn’t even see it. It’s called iconic advertising and it attracts people in the market for the product or service today.
When someone goes to Google and searches for a product, then clicks on a sponsored link, that’s a whole different ballgame. That’s not display advertising. That’s called directional advertising. The user is actively searching for that product.
On Facebook, users are browsing Facebook. Facebook is the digital newspaper. And the ads are like newspaper ads, though highly targeted. Facebook is the highway; the ads are road-side billboards.
Targeting is the most important part of iconic advertising; because iconic advertising only works when someone is interested in the product. The better an ad can be targeted, the better chance that the user is in the market for the product. But a lot of it is up to chance.
Low click-throughs on Facebook ads have more to do with the nature of iconic advertising than Facebook’s perception in the minds of the consumer. The consumer doesn’t know why he clicks or doesn’t click on an ad. When something interests him, he’s going to click and not even think about it. And probably not even remember it later when someone shoves a survey in his face and asks him if he’s ever clicked on a Facebook ad.
That being said, I believe Facebook will do a better job in the coming months of incorporating its advertising into the content and news feed rather than having it tabled on the side panel, where it’s easier to ignore.
Watch for the next wave of Facebook advertising to be better integrated and displayed. It’s all coming soon to a screen near you.