Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has told marketers to stop posting “boring” ads on the social media platform and think more carefully about the art of storytelling, reports Mumbrella.
Although commenters have pointed to the uphill battle brands have when reaching their audiences via Facebook ads, experts say if brands are going to be on social media channels, particularly Facebook, they need to pay to play.
Sandberg was speaking at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this week when she said the industry needed to get to the point where every ad on Facebook was “delightful”.
She said the principle for creating ads for Facebook was the same as how the most engaging Facebook users used the medium, according to Mumbrella.
“Some friends post stuff that you’re excited to see, and some friends post boring stuff – the same principle applies [for marketers],” said Sandberg.
Sandberg said some brands were taking advantage of “storytelling”, which was driving sales for those companies.
Sandberg also took the opportunity to take a stand against how women are portrayed in advertising and said if Facebook was launched today it would have started as a mobile app.
Social media specialist Catriona Pollard told SmartCompany brands shouldn’t think of Facebook ads as traditional advertising.
“Some ads are boring and some ads simply don’t translate, it’s not a magazine or a newspaper,” says Pollard.
Pollard says many small businesses think of block ads down the side of the page when they think of Facebook advertising and those types of ads have been shown not to be particularly effective.
“Adding a storytelling element to the way you interact with your customer is important… You need to think about it more as an interactive way to build long-term relations,” she says.
Pollard says one of the best ways to advertise on Facebook is by “sponsoring” a post.
“With Facebook ads you need to think like you’re not advertising at all, like you’re not promoting something. I know that sounds weird and goes against everything you think of in terms of advertising,” she says.
Pollard recommends companies should spend money on advertising expertise within the business, such as articles they’ve written on certain topics.
“Customers will engage with that and say, ‘I feel something toward that brand’,” she says.