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Advertising on Facebook: Now what?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

 “A Hurricane Flattens Facebook.” That was the headline in Wired, a media outlet that carries about as much pull in the tech community as t-shirts and free beer. Upon reading the article, you do get the sense that this is not hyperbole. It’s been a tough go lately for the social media juggernaut and this latest story may very well be their toughest yet. But for many marketers, Facebook is a vital tool and one of the largest in their toolkit, as well. In this era of (justified) Facebook bashing, how should marketers approach advertising on Facebook?

This latest story concerns data and lots of it. 50 million people’s worth, to be exact. The (extremely) short of it is that Facebook encourages developers to create apps that work on their platform. One such developer created one such app. It was a personality quiz where users could input not only their info but that of their friends, too. Unfortunately, Facebook didn’t adequately protect the quiz’s data. So, thet developer took it and handed it to an analytics firm who then handed it to the political realm.

“Around the world,” it was written in Wired, “lawmakers, regulators, and Facebook users began asking very publicly how they could support a platform that didn’t do more to protect them.”

One other group that could be added to this list is advertisers. In fact, those who engage in advertising on Facebook was on a list Marketing Land created to outline the potential groups of users that could flee the social media platform. Even with this said, Marketing Land notes that there is really no change or need for change on the horizon:

“Unless or until there’s some massive structural change in the platform, it’s business as usual for marketers. They’re likely to carry on as though nothing at all were happening.”

Think about how you would react if you were in this same situation as Facebook. You’ve unfortunately made a few mistakes as of late. Your customers haven’t been entirely happy with your service and, now, they’re data wasn’t kept safe when they used it. While all this is going on, advertising via your service is a well-oiled machine. It consistently brings in heavy revenue. You’d make life pretty good for advertisers, no?

It may seem like we have taken a glass overly full view of this story. In our defence, Facebook does have a fairly adequate track record of learning from their mistakes and updating their offering. Mark Zuckerberg showcased as much in his response to the story, which fittingly came in the form of a Facebook post.

So, there’s reason to believe this will be no different. One such example can already be seen as the social media platform recently announced they had caught an issue regarding their Custom Audiences feature. It directly relates to user privacy.

So, how should marketers approach advertising on Facebook? The short answer is to just keep on keeping on. Unless you’re seeing a drastic decline in impressions, there’s no need to pull the plug.

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