Created my first facebook ad today, for an event next week in Guelph. I am not that impressed with the functionality – or the fact it has taken more than four hours (and counting) for the ad to be approved.
Sure, it’s interesting that I can choose a specific age range and geographic location for the audience. But the innovations stop there. I don’t see a lot of other options to target ads at this point. The limited keywords you can associate with your ad are not that useful.
But the real kicker is that I don’t think facebook ads confer any real benefits to progressive campaigns that they don’t already get from the natural dynamics of facebook.
I am trying to seed a group of activists in Guelph, Ontario, in advance of a by-election to be called any day now. But I know that the best advertisement for joining any group is to have your friends join the group (or RSVP for an event held by the group). People are far more likely to join if they see several friends are already in the group than if they see an advertisement that advertises the group. The simple act of joining the a group is an advertisement AND an endorsement of that group directed at your immediate social network. No advertisement can beat that implicit endorsement by your friends.
This was illustrated to me this morning when three of my friends became fans of a politician in another by-election, in Montreal. I was made aware of the politician (and my friends’ endorsements) simply because three people in my network support her. So for organizing for social causes on facebook, ads are not the best use of time or money. Now I know.