Why You’re Seeing “Those” Facebook Ads

facebook_hot_gay_men.jpgYesterday I was checking Facebook and noticed an Advertisement on the left for a singles site targeting Homosexual Men. Well, maybe Facebook knows something I don’t, but I do have a wife, and yes, 4 kids – I am far from such! Not only that, but my Facebook Account specifically says I’m interested in WOMEN. I Twittered it and got responses from other people saying they had seen the same ads, and others as well that were definitely not targeted towards what they had entered on Facebook.

Valleywag (I skim it occasionally – yes, they do get some dirt occasionally that is actually news!) today posted an article about a similar situation. I also remember several times seeing an ad for wedding rings when it clearly says I’m married. So why are we seeing these non-targeted ads?

The reason is because there’s a flaw in Facebook’s advertising system. The ads you see on the left are only ads submitted by users, and they are submitted completely by users via a tool on Facebook called, “Social Ads“. So the ads are truly up to the users submitting them as to how targeted an audience they show to.

However, in some of these cases (like the Homosexual ads) I’m afraid it wasn’t the users’ fault the ads weren’t targeted correctly. Right now, when you sign up for a social ad, it gives you the option to filter by Location, Sex, Age, Keywords from your Activities, Favorite Music, Favorite Books, and About Me sections on your Profile, Education Status, Workplaces, and Relationship Status. As you can see there is no “Interested In” field in there. Note, there is no “Religion” field in there either, nor is there a political views field, or field for the IM networks you’re on. Because of this there is no way to target an ad only to homosexuals, or heterosexuals, or catholics, or christians, or Jews, or Muslims, or conservatives.

While Facebook gives great tools to target your advertising in ways you can’t through other venues, their advertising still has holes. To compete I anticipate these things will need to be made available to advertisers, or a better filtering system will have to be in place.

What do you think Facebook can do to improve this process?

(Image courtesy Valleywag)

Published by

jessestay

Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called SocialToo.com which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

0 thoughts on “Why You’re Seeing “Those” Facebook Ads”

  1. Good stuff Jesse! I think that facebook will fix this flaw in their advertising asap so they can continue to offer a very targeted advertising venue. It shouldn't be that hard, I just don't think it's ever surfaced.

    -Joseph
    @mclaughj on twitter

  2. Good stuff Jesse! I think that facebook will fix this flaw in their advertising asap so they can continue to offer a very targeted advertising venue. It shouldn't be that hard, I just don't think it's ever surfaced.

    -Joseph
    @mclaughj on twitter

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