Here Comes The Spam! Has Facebook Advertising Gone Too Far?

By on March 5, 2013

Facebook advertising is in a crisis state – there seems to be a never ending influx of it ordered by the freshly concerned shareholders of this public company. Jason Falls recently wrote about Facebook saturation, and we see his point. Is something peculiar and Myspace 1.0-like happening to the social media giant?


Ads Here, Ads There, Ads Everywhere

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Facebook advertising has rapidly increased. My private newsfeed now consists of strange promoted upcoming events, ‘most shared’ posts from the businesses I do follow, and endless business page suggestions from companies I’ve never even heard of – something has happened, and people are noticing.

These days when a friend likes a business, it shows up as a full on post ‘Jane Doe likes Business Page x’ sprawled across your page. These adverts are getting to people, there are too many of them. Yet businesses love the new Facebook advertising options, don’t they? Otherwise why would Facebook be doing all of these intrusive changes?


The Truth About Facebook Advertising Campaigns

In his latest post on Facebook advertising, Jason Falls takes a look at how useful the current Facebook ad campaigns really are to small business owners. For a $5000.00 investment, the return was 1.5 million impressions and 40,000 claims. That means 40K people clicked on the offer that was shown. That’s a lot of people taking interest in adverts.

Are businesses making money? Well, if that small business invested $5000.00, giving away a redeemable coupon, then according to the numbers – a heck of a lot of money was made from that ad campaign. This may be different from gathering likes and using sponsored stories to gain fans – but the proof is there – it works.

It’s clear then that BECAUSE these Facebook advertising options are working, Facebook wants to make more of them. They want a diverse range of ads to suit all people, all budgets, across the world. That’s how they will increase their revenue. As ads become more social, they are also becoming more interactive and engaging.

Fans WANT the offers from their favorite businesses that are giving away coupons and free stuff, because it adds value to being their fan. As for the other ads – the cold ‘suggested business’ ads, these may work intermittently, but they are more of an irritation than anything else. It’s Facebook’s attempt at building stronger business pages. Why?

The more fans a business page has, the more Facebook advertising power is has. You can only show ads to your fans and their friends – right? Those are the rules. So Facebook has gone on a twisted ‘like ALL of these businesses’ rampage, suggesting 5-10 businesses to you per day if you’re unlucky. It’s devalued the experience for me a little.


Speaking About Advertising, What’s Facebook Up To?

There is a very clear increase in the frequency of Facebook advertising, offers and sponsored stories. Facebook, as Jason Falls so eloquently writes, must become a revenue engine. I fear however that this new model may lead to a breakdown in trust between user and platform. No-one likes useless adverts. They like repeated spammy adverts even less.

All you can do as a Facebook user or Facebook advertising user is to use their ‘spam’ options. If you see a spammy ad, report it as spam, hide posts you don’t like – give Facebook the knowledge it needs to keep your page free of irritations. Remember Facebook or any social media site, is not a passive service. It takes user and owner input to grow!

How do you feel about the increase in Facebook adverts?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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