If you think it seems odd for Facebook, THE social network, to offer ads that aren’t social, you’re not alone.
Has anyone else noticed something like this floating through their News Feed recently?
It was my first encounter with Facebook's new Suggested Posts. Facebook began testing Page Post Ads in August. These are the first ads you will see that are not directly connected to a Page you “Like” or friends you are connected to. Users are beginning to see ads in their desktop and mobile feeds with the label “Suggested Post” (such as the ad featured above) attached to it. There is no connection between the user and the advertiser who created the ad; you are not connected through a friend that likes the Page either. In other words, unlike Sponsored Stories, these ads come from outside your social network.
If you think it seems odd for Facebook, THE social network, to offer ads that aren't social, you're not alone. The ad that came through my News Feed (for The Original El Taco) is for a mexican restaurant located in Atlanta, GA. My only experience in Atlanta has been at the airport. I do, however, dig Madonna. So, if the new ads seem less relevant, and obviously less “organic” than other ads that come through your social network, don't be alarmed. Did this ad work for me? No. The new ads could be okay for users if they are relevant, however, Facebook is running the risk of commercializing the News Feed. The new Suggested Post tool is simply a way for marketers to target consumers they aren't already connected with, whether it is a hit or miss. In general, it will be a great tool for brands to extend the reach of their Facebook ads.
The biggest benefit Suggested Posts offer marketers is their ability to help users “discover” their app. Companies want to satiate consumers' hunger for apps on their mobile devices, and competition is steep. The ability to do this type of demographic targeting and have an ad appear in the News Feed could give an edge to brands that have only been able to be seen on the right hand side of the Page until now, however, we'll be interested to see how well Suggested Posts perform. Facebook hasn't officially announced Suggested Posts on the network; they're still in testing. Watch for the ads in your News Feed, we're sure a bigger announcement is coming if they perform well.