Social Media and Social Networking

Get Social!

Do Users Care About Ads on Social Networking Sites?

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on May 20, 2009

They say that ads must be targeted only at places where your potential costumers are available. While this statement largely holds true, there may be cases that even your potential customers would not be too keen about buying your product at one of the most crowded places in the world – the social networking sites.

Generally, users do not portray their actual behavior on social networking sites. They are often manipulative and pretentious to grab the attention of their friends or connections. Hence, you might also likely find that their behavior would be different on different social networks. Also, thinking that users would enjoy seeing your ad displayed on the site and would eventually purchase your product is more of an optimistic approach towards marketing, rather than a practical one.

Before advertising your product on a social networking site, you must ask yourself the following questions:

1) Does my product need social network advertising?

2) What is the purpose behind putting up an ad on the social network? Is it to gain sales or increase my brand visibility and awareness?

3) Which social networks should I target to increase my chance of gaining business?

4) What kind of a message should I create to attract user’s attention?

5) Where would the user land by clicking on my ad, and how should I create content on the landing page to generate a sale?

Once you get the answers to these questions, you can proceed and identify whether users would still click on your ad or not through testing. The reason for this is that social networking users log on to the site mainly for entertainment and communication purposes. At that point of time, they may not like to get disturbed by advertisements being displayed time-and-again.

Secondly, some people have the notion that the offers or promotions mentioned in the ad may be to dupe them into buying the product, and eventually getting nothing out of it. Hence, it is very important that the marketer first tries to engage with his customers, prove his authenticity, and only then promote his products.

Security is another issue that may hold back users from purchasing your products through social networking sites. Again here the reliability factor comes into picture because, in case the user needs to provide personal details including the credit card number, he may be skeptical and reluctant to buy if he doesn’t know you or your brand well.

Therefore, looking at all these problems concerned with social network advertising, it may happen so that your ad does not get any click, in spite of creating a wonderful content for marketing the product. However, that doesn’t mean that social networks are bad for advertising. The only thing that you need to take care about as a marketer is that users would click on your ad and purchase your product only when they find you as a person/company that is trustworthy and willing to help satisfy their needs by providing value for money.

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