What are advertisers biggest mistakes on social media?

Advertising on Social Media started getting a lot of attention in 2012. There was a lot of experimentation and even some naysayers – remember General Motors the week of Facebook’s IPO. In the end most marketers came to the conclusion that there is a big consumer audience on social media and in particular on Facebook. The question is how to best reach them. After much activity, there is now data that marketers can leverage to make the most out of their social ad dollars (click here to download the full White Paper: Fired Over Social Media Ads: the secrets of social media product placement).

Sidebar Facebook Ads don’t work

The ads on the sidebar are effective in rare instances, but usually they don’t work. Look at the way people read social media – this is a heat map of site tracking users eyeballs when shown a Facebook page.

Facebook heat map of user eyebals

Where eyeballs go on social media – Jakob NIelsen

All of the action is in the News Feed in the center of the page. This is where you see stories of your friends lives and is where your attention is captured and maintained. It is exactly why Facebook introduce Sponsored Stories and other premium advertising products that get brands into the News Feed. The results are clear. Advertising in the News Feed is eight times more effective than other locations on Facebook as outlined by dwinQ’s Bret Kinsella in his post last week: Facebook Marketing Rules of 8 and 16.

Getting into the News Feed is the key to effective brand placement on Facebook. It’s about having a relationship with the consumer and not distributing what is viewed as ad spam.

Social Media Ads can Backfire

Social Media Product Placement in the News Feed

As a matter of fact not only are social media ads often ineffective, they can hurt your brand. A Nielsen study in 2012 revealed that 33% of people agreed with the sentiment that social media ads were more annoying than other online ads. People enter social media with the same expectations as entering their local pub. They don’t want an insurance salesman harassing them during liesure time with friends. So the risk of visibility advertising on the side of Facebook is annoying 1/3 of the people that see it, but the good news is that eye tracking charts show us no one is seeing those ads!

So what does work? What we are seeing is that product promotion in the News Feed when delivered by someone with a relationship to the individual has impact. There are ad products from Facebook that have shown effectiveness where brands advertise to people that have “Liked” their brand page. Better yet, is getting a Facebook user to promote your brand directly to their friends for you. This is product placement in the movie of an individual’s life where Facebook is the theater.

For more insight on social media product placement and social media advertising strategies that work, download the white paper here: Fired Over Social Media Ads: the secrets of social media product placement.

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