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Clear History: Advertisers Face a New Challenge on Social Media

advertising social media

The beauty of targeted ads is that they can focus directly on people who have already expressed an interest in that type of product or service. This can lead to a rise in conversion rates, even when the total amount of people who see the ad shrinks. You do not waste time and resources putting the ad in front of a lot of people who have no interest and would never make a purchase -- no matter how good that ad is. Instead, you show it to those who really appreciate it and, often, you just have to convert them to your specific product. You know that they're already planning to buy something along those lines.

Well, targeted ads have been very successful on Facebook and other social media sites in the past. Is that going to change? Facebook just added a key update: It now lets users delete their history.

Removing Ad Data

This works, to some degree, the same way that you delete your browser history. The browser in its standard mode records every site that you visit. That can be very helpful if you accidentally close a tab or forget where you went a day before. You can quickly find articles and resources. However, if you want to delete that data, you can either delete individual sites or you can just clear everything through a certain time.

Facebook has not offered this feature for its social media platform until now. The option is called “Off-Facebook Activity.” When users go to it through the settings menu, they can see which different brands have communicated with Facebook to share data. The brands then use the information to create those impactful targeted ads.

In addition to seeing the information and the brand list, users now have the option to delete it if they so choose.

The Challenges

This could potentially create a few new advertising challenges. The most obvious is that companies could lack the information needed to target specific users -- which could be the users’ intent if they grow tired of seeing the same ads. This pushes advertising back into the realm of putting content in front of everyone and hoping to find the right users.

Another challenge is if the company attempts to track the social media campaign to see what ads worked. The ad may have been successful and may have led to a sale, but, if the person deleted the data after the fact, the company could lose the record of that. This may make the ad look less useful and they won’t know if the person saw it before. The inverse is also true. Ads that don’t work may be harder to track when companies do not know how many users really saw them or if they really didn’t work.

Moving Forward

While some users are celebrating this change, it may just mean they get more ads that they don’t want to see at all, rather than targeted ads that are actually useful. It can also make it more difficult to find success online with ad tactics that have worked wonders in the past. With this sort of challenge looming, it is more important than ever to work with professionals who can help guide the way to sustained success.

Jonathan Schlosser

Posted on 30th January, 2020 by Jonathan Schlosser

About Jonathan Schlosser

Jon Schlosser is a professional writer and SEO specialist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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