Facebook and Twitter Updates: Ad Transparency

Facebook and Twitter have recently introduced features that allow anyone (even your competitors) to view your current ads without admin access.

The updates were announced on Thursday (28th June) and are designed to ensure ad transparency on both platforms.

Changes to Facebook

Facebook has updated its pages to include an ‘Info and Ads’ tab, which publicly displays all the ads currently running on your page. However, it doesn’t show which location(s), demographic(s) or interest(s) you’re targeting, and only displays the reach and engagement for video ads (where the number of views can easily be seen underneath anyway).

This new feature will make Facebook advertising even more competitive, as anyone can see your ads and copy them.

Changes to Twitter

Twitter also launched its Ad Transparency Centre which allows you to see all running ads from the last seven days using any Twitter handle, without even being logged on to Twitter.

All you need to do is click on the transparency centre link (ads.twitter.com/transparency) and search for any Twitter handle; if there are any ads running, they’ll show up on the search results page.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though…

If you run a small business, you can view these new features as an opportunity: by researching what your competitors are doing, you can use the information to your advantage.

Not only will it help you to ascertain what your advantages are, but you can rest assured that bigger businesses, with bigger budgets, will have done their research and will be spending their money wisely!

For example, if you were a small business or start-up owner that sells trainers, you can simply head over to Nike’s Facebook Page and review their product-based ads. You can check out how their ad copy is written, see the type of calls to action they’ve used and click on the ad to visit the landing page. The information gathered from your findings will help you write a compelling ad and create a good landing page.

These ‘tricks’ are, however, at the disadvantage of the big brands and marketers because they get charged each time anyone clicks on their ads. And neither Facebook nor Twitter can differentiate between who is merely researching for advert ideas to model and who is clicking through to actually buy their product or service. So, our advice is: if you must click on an ad, be nice – and try not to do so more than once!

How can you tell which ads are profitable?

Well, you can’t! However, you can save the date you saw an ad on a page and see how long it stays live for; if it’s about 30 days, then that’s a good indication that it’s profitable, as any business would be silly to run an ad at a loss for a whole month!

When it comes to ads targeting (which is a very important element of any ad), you have to know what you’re doing as you can’t model what you can’t see! Know your industry: Who are your direct competitors? Do they have a Facebook page or a Twitter handle? Check out their pages and see the ads they’re currently running. That might give you an insight into what you should (and shouldn’t) be doing.

You should also consider your USPs and market your business accordingly. If you’d like to know more about how to prepare your advertising and marketing plans, check out our blog post: ‘How to make social media work for your business’.

Finally, consider the bigger picture

Make sure the activity you create online is also supported offline. Differentiate your business from those that are similar; yours needs to stand out from the crowd, as today’s customer demands a lot more than just value for money. You need to step out of your comfort zone to attract and retain loyal customers.

This is where brand identity, key messaging and creative marketing will come in handy. And when you start to see results, don’t forget to shout about it! Let people know just how good you are at what you do by showcasing customer testimonials and case studies on your website and social media channels.

 …and don’t forget to call us if you’d like support with doing this!