Keeping the "Social" in social network advertising

Social Network Advertising

Social network advertising is now extremely popular amongst online and offline businesses but it takes a different approach that other forms of advertising. The very ethos of social networks means that it is not a particularly user-friendly medium for advertisers new to the game.

Social network advertising however when done right is incredibly lucrative and is the main reason why these networks now enjoy vast advertising revenues although that was never their intention to start with – or was it ….

In his excellent book The Ultimate guide to Facebook advertising, Perry Marshall emphasises the social part of social network advertising and stresses that we should bear that in mind at all times if we advertise on that platform. People are there mainly to socialise after all, not to be sold at. The Catch 22 here is that information that FB gathers from its subscribers is like marketing gold dust. This however does not mean that prospecting for that gold dust is easy.

In a previous blog I talked about how easy Facebook makes it to define an audience that will be most receptive to a specific advert. This seems amazing at first glance but it’s not the end of the story for social network advertising as I recently discovered.

You can define an ideal audience for your offering but you still need to get the message right in terms of the “social” aspect. In other words you need to come across as a friend or as Perry says as someone just passing by the front porch where you are sitting enjoying your day – not as yet another sales person. In social network advertising the hard sell does not work and even if your ad wouldn’t come across that way on more traditional advertising mediums, on Facebook it might.

My own recent experience reinforced that basic fact about social network advertising: I created an ad for my SFM business, which led to a page offering the free 7-day bootcamp video series that introduces this business. To get these videos and investigate the business you just need to input a name and email address.

I defined what I think is a good audience for this business carefully and used an image they could relate to – I established that by using the Facebook audience criteria – I got that bit right. What I didn’t get right, as it soon became apparent was the wording. I inadvertently forgot the number one rule of social network advertising and came across – to some at least – as someone selling just another “scammy”, Internet business. Not actually the case I hasten to add but it’s all about perception.

My add attracted a couple of pretty nasty comments in fact. Although sadly this will often be the case in any online venture because of the bad reputation that online “get rich quick” schemes have tarred us all with, it proved to me that I had chosen the wrong words in this case. This can be down to using phrases like “fire your boss”, (guilty!) So actually given that you are strictly limited in the number of words you can use in an FB ad, it’s a very valuable lesson in choosing them wisely.

So a bit of a social network advertising boo boo for me this time but all part of the process and in fact quite useful in it’s way. I also got a great comment from someone who took time to basically confirm the point I’ve made above. The Internet has more than it’s fair share of unscrupulous marketers and they have a language that the savvy social network community are wise too. In future I will be making sure I don’t accidentally use it.


I am a full time internet entrepreneur. I run several online businesses as an independent affiliate in the areas of internet marketing training, advertising and trading/network marketing. I persona;;y mentor anyone who joins my teams and am dedicated to helping others achieve financial and lifestyle independence. Based in Scotland, I am a keen musician, photographer and writer. I live with my partner who is a self employed driving instructor and I help her with marketing her successful busines...

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