This month, Facebook redesigned its News Feed to provide even more real estate to advertising. They also announced that the sponsored stores they’ve created in News Feeds haven’t turned off users the way they feared. That means that opportunities will continue to increase for brands to elbow in front of their audiences socially.
The opportunity isn’t about real estate though. It’s about what brands do with this real estate. As the lines continue to blur between advertising and engagement, it’s up to brands to make sure their presence is welcome. If brands treat Facebook as interruption media, their audience will treat them as interruptors.
Here’s a cautionary tale and a screen shot from a Wistia called “Facebook Newsfeed Advertising: Why We Won’t Do That Again.”
Wistia shared this observation:
“When advertising is styled exactly like a post from a friend, it feels tricky, but we’re not falling for it, so all it does is make us angry … Your post doesn’t have to be sales-y to get people riled up. We made a point of focusing our first sponsored Newsfeed post on useful content that was available for free. But it’s not about what you’re posting, it’s about where you post it and what people expected to see there.”
It shows the perils of reaching an audience socially even with the best intent. What’s clear is that there will continue to be more of it.
Ultimately I think it’s up to brands, not Facebook, to figure out how to act in this new world.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away one signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. I’ll pick one comment. Thanks!)