When the advertising community first discovered Facebook, a bunch of execs decided it was the next big thing and started putting ad money into the small text and video ads, sponsored gifts, banners, and dozens of other Facebook ad platforms. But what they for the most part failed to realize is that Facebook ads must be social and interactive in nature in order to have impact. Running a text ad in seemingly random profiles that links to an outside website is or even a sponsored gift without a Facebook Page linked to it is tantamount to running Google ads for laptop computers with keywords like "merchandise."
Recently, though, companies and agencies are getting it more, and that makes me happy. Here are 3 examples with my rating on a scale of 1-10:
1) Milk, the new Gus Vas Sant movie. They are running Facebook social video ads which play a trailer and allow users to comment, and also links to a pretty dynamic Facebook page currently with 2500+ fans. I like it, interactive and well-done. I'm curious about their targeting- but if it's targeted well, it's an example of a great Facebook campaign. 9 out of 10.
2) Papa John's has been all over Facebook, with a page with over 185,000 fans, "Free gift" sponsorship, and social ads. I love almost everything they're doing- but my only issue is a big one. They're advertising everywhere on Facebook for a 'free pizza', but the fine print indicates that this is only with another purchase. Wish they were more transparent. 6 out of 10 for this alone.
3)The local NY ad from Laser Cosmetica, links off of Facebook, but at least links to a dedicated landing page for Facebook users only, such as this ad here. No FB Page presence. I'll give this campaign a 4 out of 10.
The good news is, many more companies and agencies are getting Facebook and social ads much better than they were even 6 months ago. A general rule of thumb is keep ads social and interactive whenever possible, and link them to Facebook Pages and groups whenever possible, not off site.