By Cara Friedman As avid Facebook users, we have all come to expect that the site will always be changing. Almost everyday we log in to our accounts expecting there to be a minor change here and there. Some of the more recent changes have been the way we see events and requests on our side bar, the process of ignoring friend requests, and even how we view a user's name in Facebook chat. While these tweaks help make the site more user friendly, it's the subtle change to advertisements that catches the marketer's attention.
When creating an ad you have the option of having the ad link to your Facebook page or to an outside website. In the past, the user was not able to tell the difference until they clicked on the ad and were taken to the appropriate destination. Now, Facebook has added a way to see where you are clicking through to. When an ad is linked to an outside website, the destination URL is displayed underneath the title. When there is no destination URL in the ad, you can assume that the ad will take you to the default Facebook page.
At first glance, this change seems just as minor as the others but the implications are huge. Often, users choose not to click on Facebook ads in fear that it is spam. Now, users can see the URL and can be assured that what they are clicking on is legitimate. You are likely to see that CTRs (click-through-rates) will be increasing due to this change. This change will be especially noticeable for companies who run ads to highlight certain promotions. In the past, the Facebook user would see an ad for a 25% coupon to their favorite store and think it was spam. Now, the Facebook user has the satisfaction of knowing that this promotion is in fact sponsored by the correct company. Having the link in the ad is going to provide some much needed clarity for everyone.
However, this works both ways. If you place a misleading ad in hopes of attracting a different demographic, these users will not be fooled. They can view the destination URL of the ad and can decide for themselves whether your website is relevant to them or not. Before, it was hard to identify where ads were linking to and that prompted the user to click due to curiosity. The mystery is gone. Facebook users can decide instantly whether or not they want to click to an outside link or not.
Do you think this will make a big difference in your ads' CTR? Or is this just a subtlety that will go unnoticed? Share your thoughts in the comments!