How Facebook Ads Could Backfire & How to Prepare


Social media outlets have skyrocketed to popularity in recent years, leading more and more companies to invest in paid Facebook advertisements. Ad campaigns are costly and must be properly managed to avoid wasteful spending. If a business is going to put forth the finances, time, and resources into a social media campaign, it should be successful.

With regards to Facebook paid ads, one important factor to take into account is social perceptions and commentary. Users have the ability to openly react and comment on any advertisements, leaving companies open to the imminent threat of internet criticism and “trolls.” Unfortunately, this system of indiscriminate feedback is a huge part of modern internet culture and something that businesses must account for in their marketing practices.

An example of this open commentary concept negatively affecting a paid ad is an article about the southeast Asian ride service Grab, who ran a Facebook campaign that was met with tons of backlash and negative comments from users sharing their bad experiences with the company. While some negativity is expected in every comments section, consistently bad feedback is going to catch the attention of users and likely cause them to shy away from using your services.

While no company can completely eradicate backlash, measures can be taken to decrease the likelihood of negative publicity. Some of these methods include implementing Facebook’s privacy features that allow you to hide or delete negative comments, ban certain users, review and approve all comments prior to them being posted, and disable tagging abilities.

The decision on how to handle bad publicity is important and can make or break your ad campaign. Some companies choose to simply remove all negative comments from their page, which works in theory but can also cause distrust among consumers who are wondering why your company is choosing to “sweep things under the rug” instead of providing solutions. This is why many companies opt to publicly respond to negative comments with consolation and support options.

In this case, a response is the better choice; it shows customers that you’re taking their feedback and well-being into consideration. Ignoring negative publicity can exacerbate the situation and make consumers feel neglected.

Paid Facebook advertisements, while a great asset to any marketing plan, present a certain level of risk that must be monitored and mitigated. Damage control is an inevitable part of any ad campaign but with the proper strategy in place, your social media marketing can and will be successful.

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