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Using sponsored posts on Facebook? Prepare for backlash

Sponsored posts on Facebook can expand your reach to people who otherwise may never have heard of you, but consumers often react vehemently to your being injected into their newsfeed, so proceed with caution.

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Sponsored posts on Facebook: unintended consequences

Promoting your brand has long been an option on Facebook, either through sidebar ads, done for free through posting status updates on your personal wall or business page, or through paid, sponsored posts that pushes an ad into a user’s newsfeed whether you’re connected or not.

Communications expert, Bob LeDrew came across a sponsored post (pictured above), witnessing that the first comment on the post was written in anger to the Realtor, and while LeDrew says the agent handled it well by apologizing, calmly explaining why they see the ad, and offered solutions. Out of curiosity, LeDrew visited the agent’s Facebook Page and saw the following:


You just might anger your potential clients

LeDrew said that this “points out to businesses using new social media options for advertising such as sponsored posts on social networks that they may well tick off people who see them.”

“Be prepared to receive angry — even intemperate — feedback, and to respond in a measured and factual manner,” LeDrew added. “Imagine if the realtor had responded by saying ‘Look, if you don’t like it just hit ignore, okay? It’s not my problem!’”

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LeDrew concluded, “in fact, depending on the type of advertising you’re planning on doing and the nature of your business or organization, the potential for negative responses might well dissuade you from doing such advertising. Proceed carefully!”

Another real world example

Erica Ramus, Broker/Owner of RAMUS Realty Group agrees that web advertising expands a business’ reach, but that consumers don’t always understand how the advertising model works and they can become angry as seen above.

Ramus said, “For example, I advertise on Zillow, which now lists property information on most homes in the U.S. – both for sale and NOT for sale. I regularly receive angry calls and/or emails from homeowners who want me to remove their home’s data from Zillow. They see their home information and my photo in the upper right corner, as if I’m marketing their home for sale. I patiently explain it’s not me putting the info out there, it’s Zillow, and as it’s public information it’s not going to go away.”

“The backlash can be worse on Facebook ads,” Ramus added, “where the consumer may see your ad in the right hand ad feed – or in the midst of their newsfeed as a sponsored post. I don’t run ads on Facebook anymore, after receiving feedback that locals resented getting my open house announcements and new listing information in their feed and considered it SPAM, not interesting information.”

Ramus asserted that the last thing a marketer wants to be labeled as is a spammer. “We don’t control where the ads go, sidebar or newsfeed, so I won’t run ads there.”

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Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.


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