By May Laursen

December 10th, 2013

I’m a single woman in my twenties that lives in Copenhagen. Full stop. Based on these few sociodemographic traits – small business vendors in the Copenhagen area are able to stuff my feed with everything from yoga classes, blackhead facials and dating sites. I’ve noticed that one of the dating sites are split testing with pictures of men of different age groups – find it a bit bold to target me with Mr. 60+ – but I guess you can’t fault a marketeer for trying, though some consumers might disagree.

Too far Facebook, too far
Facebook’s release of news feed ads set a milestone in advertising on social networks – Marketeers hadn’t been as excited since the invention of QR barcodes. It was not just about the new creative requirements and mobile optimization. It was a very symbolic transition from the right-hand side ads in dedicated frames, to the holy ground of the News Feed, the motherland of baby pictures and #yolo Instagrams.

Now, marketeers can entice your inner dormant consumerist whilst you’re innocently commenting on your friend’s foodie photos, thuspenetrating the not-fully-defined region of online public private spheres.

And yes, the clunks of promoted content landing in feeds didn’t go by unnoticed. The question “Why is this in my newsfeed” was raised at coffee tables and subways across the globe – A unified sigh of despair: TOO FAR Facebook, too far.

Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things

Meanwhile, marketeers kept drooling by looking at the CPCs on news feed ads, yours truly included. The reality is that no one forced that person to click that ad – maybe they weren’t aware it was an ad – but ipso facto they clicked it because they found the content interesting. End of story. Toyota said that there was a car for everyone – I believe there’s an ad for everyone. It’s in every marketeer’s interest not to spam or clog your feed, but it’s not as simple as it might seem.

The balancing act of securing relevance of your promoted content whilst reaching a larger audience is tricky. You’ll never get it right – but you owe it to your business and every social network out there to keep trying. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have given us great targeting options, it’s a sin not to utilize them.

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