Facebook Marketing Tip: Avoid Hard Sell Facebook Ads

by Emmon Scott  |  September 21, 2016hard-sell facebook ads, salesman

Summary: Avoid direct and blatant approaches to selling in Facebook ads and promoted posts since they are ineffective.

“Timing in life is everything.”
— Leonard Maltin

Over Thanksgiving, our son, who was home from Pittsburgh, found “The Hangover” on cable. The movie was near the beginning (Doug’s future father-in-law had just loaned him a vintage Mercedes to drive to Vegas), so we settled back to enjoy ourselves.

An hour later, we were fried. It was the ads. I wasn’t keeping time, but the station appeared to be alternating between 10 minutes of movie and 10 minutes of mind-numbing, life-sucking commercials.

What does this have to do wth Facebook and your business? When you post on Facebook, don’t post obvious, hard-sell ads. Facebook users, as a rule, don’t want to shop — they want to connect with friends and family. So by trying to hard sell your product or service,  you’re basically photobombing and videobombing their news feed.

When you think about it, it’s rude. And as a business practice, it’s foolish because you’re annoying the very people you want to win over.

Facebook Ads That Work

For one retail client who believed in posting hard sell Facebook ads, we ran a test (following Thomas Edison’s test and learn approach). We created a video with music, scenery and placed product in it. And at the same time we promoted, for the same spend, to the same audience, an END OF SUMMER SALE.

The results made us gasp. Our little video reached 200% more people than the SUMMER SALE ad, got 24 times more comments, sent 317% more people to retail website, and made dozens of sales. And the “SALE” post? No sales. Zilch.

Again, hard-sell Facebook ads don’t work. There’s another way. To quote Apple, “Think different.”

Facebook marketing tip: Keep Facebook videos short

Think about how products are placed in movies and TV shows. Sometimes it’s subtle, and products become part of the story in a way that seems natural and organic. I don’t know if it was intended as product placement, but two bottles of Coca-Cola play a critical, if tiny, role in “Slumdog Millionaire”. Or, on a large scale, FedEx is essentially a lead character in the movie “Cast Away”. I’ve watched both movies several times and never feel annoyed.

In short, figure out what your audience wants to see and then give it to them. The best way is to work what your selling into the ad in such a way that they can relate to it emotionally or with humor.

Other times, it’s better to keep your product out of it since people will still see your business name and profile as creating the post. Above all, remember to strike emotions. To rephrase a political adage: “It’s the emotions, stupid.