Effectively Engaging People on Facebook through Social Context

Say that today was opposite day and you were just browsing Facebook as an average user instead of an advertiser when, all the sudden, an ad catches your eye. It’s a relatively colorful, original ad, and a few of your friends have already liked it. Are you going to click on it and like it? The answer is, per the statistics out there, a resounding yes. You are far more likely to click this ad because of its social context – it’s popular amongst your friends and you’re likely to also like it.

Likewise, if an ad crosses your screen that has a few dozen dislikes, you’re liable to have the exact same result. It’s down to understanding the social psychology and this it’s important for advertisers to be incredibly effective at engaging people on Facebook via social context. It can literally make or break an ad depending on how many people like or dislike what they see.

There’s an art to effectively engaging people via social context. Creating something that catches on is hit-or-miss in many areas, but you can most certainly line yourself up for far more hits than misses, as long as you’re willing to follow working formulas and popular trends.

Tips on Social Context Engagement

Beyond Text and Imagery

Using a very original, enthralling image, along with poignant text, is a great way to get your ad noticed and ultimately liked by many Facebook users. However, you shouldn’t stop there. While you always want to look for new, fresh and exciting ways to advertise with the basic ad format, you also need to look into different means of social media to provide more social context, such as videos clips/commercial spots, audio spots and other interactive means. It could even be a small game, a poll, or anything that allows people to be interactive with the ad. Something that’s engaging beyond visual stimulation is far more likely to receive a like – and likes beget likes in a social context.

On-Topic with a Pop Culture Twist

A great way to engage in social context is to make sure that your ad is as relative as possible. While it is true that new statistics show that women over 50 are clicking at higher rates than that coveted 18-30 demographic, the latter is still the most responsible for liking an ad. This means that you need to cater to that demographic. Make sure that your ads are on topic and are actually dealing with what you’re promoting; but also make sure that your ads are relative to the world we inhabit today and not a throwback to 2002 or before. It’s about frame of reference.

Control Your Ads before Full Release

Just as likes can beget more likes, a dislike is also going to spiral out of control. If you put an ad out there that has been disliked by a few friends, that trend is most likely going to continue. It’s like sitcoms with a laugh track – it’s there to let everyone know what’s funny. Without it, most people don’t get the humor. It’s a little cynical; even more so when you realize it’s true. People need a push in the right direction, and dislikes are a push in the opposite direction. Make sure you’re controlling your ads and are only releasing the more popular advertisements.
If you are able to effectively engage in a social context with your ads, you are going to experience a lot of success in terms of click-throughs and even with brand awareness. It’s something that every advertiser should be focusing on.

Craig Robinson who compiled this information is the Editor-in-chief at Qwaya. Besides writing about Facebook marketing, Craig engages in research about Social context. Follow Craig on Twitter here.