GM, Facebook, Promoted Posts and the Future of Digital Advertising

May 24, 2012 by Eric Taubert

Facebook - Promoted Posts - Pomegranate - Pom8 

GM’s decision, and very public announcement in the Wall Street Journal, about their plans to stop advertising with Facebook have stoked the fires of online debate over the efficacy of digital advertising.

A bevy of excellent articles have been written by major players examining this decision in-depth.

But there's another trend, only loosely related to the GM announcement, which deserves some analysis -- the change in how those targeted by digital advertisements actually view them.

One snippet from the Wall Street Journal article cited Facebook's own statistics from March "that only 16% of a brand's fans will see a post about the brand without paying. If the brand pays Facebook a fee per ad, Facebook will use technology to ensure that the ad is seen by 75% of those who click a company's "like" button on its website."

There’s only one problem: There's a difference between something that’s “seen” and something that’s “displayed”.

Not every piece of content displayed on a computer screen is seen. Over time, many of us have been conditioned to tune large portions of the page out. We’ve learned where the real content is and where the ads are - and we tend not to look at the ads.

While Facebook may be displaying your ad on the screens of 75% of the users who clicked your “like” button - it’s pretty safe to say that ad is only being seen by a much smaller percentage of users. 


Does this mean brands shouldn’t purchase Facebook ads?

No, it doesn’t mean that, at all.

What it does mean, is that it’s more important than ever for brands to approach Facebook advertising with set budgets, realistic goals and as a single part of a larger promotional and marketing strategy, watching the metrics as you go.

Facebook is the largest social media company in the world. It has access to eyeballs -- and even if many of them aren’t looking at the ads, a whole bunch still are.

If you’ve ever managed an ad campaign on Facebook, then you know -- people do click on these ads. You also know that some skill is required to achieve optimal results.

Keeping Facebook conversion rates up and customer acquisition costs down,” states Ben Kunz, contributor at Bloomberg Businessweek, “requires a constant battery of audience-targeting refinement, creative testing, and website “landing page” adjustments.

Once the click occurs, Facebook has delivered the value you’ve paid them for...the traffic has been delivered...the rest is up to you.


Now, Facebook has just launched “Promoted Posts”.

They must understand that brands are becoming discouraged by paying to be placed in the semi-visible sidebar. According to Facebook, "when you promote a post, it will be shown in the news feeds of more of the people who like your Page than you would reach normally. Friends of the people who have interacted with your post will also be more likely to see the story in their news feeds for up to 3 days from when the post was first created.

...the most effective advertisements in digital are now being disguised as content. Facebook is even joining in...expect to see more of this trend in the coming months and years.

Why? Because...


Modern consumers still love to buy -- but they hate being sold.

Consumers are forced to endure a ceaseless onslaught of constant competition for the few remaining moments of their short attention spans.

This is why advertising is changing. This is why people are becoming blind to ads -- and why you need to extend beyond CPC ads if you expect to reach those of us who aren’t clicking on Facebook advertisements.

This is the age of digital empowerment. The information superhighway leads directly to our pockets and the mobile devices almost every set of eyes are glued to.

When questions arise...answers are there for the taking.

When needs are just a search query away.

People are looking for information...not advertisements.

They don’t want high pressure sales pitches. They want to do research and sell themselves on your solution before they make the call.

Your future clients are using search engines and social media to locate answers and solutions. If your company isn’t producing those answers and solutions -- or isn’t packaging them attractively, updating them regularly and publishing them where they can be easily found -- then your competitors will be the ones reaping rewards.


Pomegranate Digital Agency will help your business design a comprehensive plan optimized to reach your entire targeted audience.

Learn more by Contacting Pomegranate Today!


-- Written By Eric Taubert

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