Facebook Advertising: You’re Doing It Wrong

Facebook gives you a huge amount of power to target you advertise to, but I find that marketers simply aren’t using this power to get their ads to reach their full potential.

What I and others have noticed is that people are targeting people based on only a few data points. This leads to a much broader reach when advertising on Facebook, but does that lead to a higher conversion rate? Doubtful. Would you launch an AdWords campaign and disregard negative keywords? I would sure hope not.

Here is an example. I asked on App.net for examples of bad Facebook advertising. I got a response that I found especially troubling. So a person on Facebook has indicated that he is male, interested in men and is in a relationship. The advertisements he is shown is mostly for gay dating sites.

These sites clearly only looked at his “gender” and “interested in” data points. They didn’t bother to look to see if he was in a relationship. What this tells some people is that this company believes in the stereotype that homosexuals are promiscuous and non-monogamous. This may not have been the intention, but that is the way some people will take it (including the person who gave me this example).

What I would hope was the actual reason they only looked at gender and interested in data points is that they wanted to increase their ad impressions by keeping the advertisement as generic as possible.

So what can you do when you see ad advertisement that you don’t like on Facebook? Well the obvious solution is to complain to the company. Tell them they are being lazy in creating their campaigns and that they are wasting their money advertising the way they are. This may or may not work. Maybe this tactic is working for them.

The other solution is to make the campaign not work for them. Click the ad. Browse around the site and don’t convert. Show them that advertising like this doesn’t work by making them have to pay Facebook for the ad you just clicked on.

What kinds of ineffective marketing do you see on Facebook?