Should Ads Leave Social Platforms Alone?

GM Motors think Facebook ads don’t work at all. AdAge’s Small Agency of the Year, VIA, says Facebook ads are some of the worst performing ads on the Internet. Do ads and social platforms don’t really blend well?

GM’s the third largest advertiser in the US and it just withdrew its $10 million worth of ad budget from Facebook. Whether it’s an isolated case or a microcosm of the nature of Facebook ads, it really sends a message to brands. So are paid social ads like the ones on Facebook really mediocre? You can’t blame brands and marketers for using Facebook’s ad platform to increase awareness on the social web, after all social networks like Facebook has become a destination-location for brands and customers.

Facebook has transformed itself from a simple social networking site into a marketplace of sorts. And when a place becomes a market expect ads to follow, but let’s things straight here. Social platforms are made for customers not for brands, one of the reasons why the twitters, the linkedins, and the pinterests are successful is that they gave control to the user. So when you try to bombard users with ads it’s no different from a person getting irritated with tv commercials. The salesman approach sucks, my friend.

Nobody likes interruptions, users want control which is why they switch to a another channel when their favorite show is spoiled by commercials. With Facebook ads, it’s worse because users tend to ignore those ad near the ticker and chatbox. It’s obvious that people are logging in to chat with their friends and relatives, then some ad is displayed near it. No wonder Facebook ads are ignored. Nobody likes an ad butting in while you’re on the phone, right? I’m baffled that Facebook hasn’t notice this structure on the user interface yet.

Advertising should leave social platforms alone but the monetization issues arise when you realize that being on Facebook or Pinterest is free of charge. Monetizing social platforms is still a tricky issue, I read somewhere that Facebook wants to charge a fee to highlight your posts and that’s more ridiculous than paid social ads. If other brands follow GM Motor’s example, it’s time for Facebook to return to the lab. Perhaps, make something out of that Instagram deal to nail mobile advertising?