Facebook Pages, Part 4: Most of the ad money is spent on the least effective media

Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Facebook for business, Wing It Blog | Comments Off

In his recent post media observer Frederic Filloux points out an amazing discrepancy between where ad money is spent and which media we trust the most. I highly recommend spending a few minutes looking at the charts and polling he references as they are revealing to say the least. Basically, the most trusted source of information on buying decisions is friends and family followed by online consumer opinions and editorial articles about products and services. When you get to paid ad media the trust factor plummets with newspaper, radio, banner and mobile ads at the bottom. Yet this is where the vast majority of advertising money is spent.

Social media and interaction is the most trusted place on the web for recommendations

As obvious as this sounds to most of us, apparently the pundits in the media buying world have not gotten the message. A Page with many Likes on Facebook is far more trusted than any advertisement, especially if any of your Friends also Like it. But the ad agencies and media buyers can’t make big money on this because the vast majority of the media options out there reward a buyer for spending as much of the client’s money as possible, regardless of effectiveness- they are still commissioned.

Facebook Pages aren’t free. They have become more complex to set up and maintain and getting those Likes isn’t easy. Yet they are inexorably moving to the head of the pack for their ability to move the needle. Comparatively, the money you spend there has much more impact, in the longer run, than wasting money on Google Ads, Banners, Newspapers, Radio and TV. The key phrase here is ‘longer run’. You need a commitment.

It’s the Reputation, stupid

No you’re not stupid, and my paraphrasing of James Carvilles’ political axiom (“It’s the economy, stupid”) is a bit glib. But that is it in a nutshell. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see the model:

  • I’m thinking about making a purchase or doing business with a company
  • I go to Facebook and ask if my Friends or any of their Friends have done this
  • A Facebook Ad appears on my page if I reference a company or product that has a Facebook Page (if the company or product has a Facebook Page and makes an ad buy with those parameters)
  • Someone tells me about their experience


  • I click on the ad and check out a bunch of other stuff on the Page (possibly including user comments)

This is how it’s going to go down in the future whether the platform is Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or something new we haven’t seen yet.

Don’t ignore this. Please…