Facebook ads? Not for me (and many others)

The recent launch of the Facebook IPO has set the stock world ablaze but I’m wondering what’s going to happen to Facebook now that its been revealed that a reported 75% of users don’t click ads.

In the mentioned post, there are two numbers thrown around:

  • 44% of users have never clicked an ad
  • 31% rarely click ads

When you consider that Facebook’s entire business model is based on advertising – it becomes apparently clear that the social platform could be in for a rocky future especially since major brands, such as GM, has begun to pull their advertising – with many other large businesses following suit.

Why We Don’t Click

There are a lot of factors that go into why or why not people click on advertisements but Facebook has a specialty case on their hands.

My best explanation is the fact that PPC ads work well on search engines and places where people seek content because the products, services, and information touted by ads fulfill a need for the individual; the ads are relevant to the user’s quest to learn or buy something.

In Facebook’s case, people use the platform to talk to friends, family, and share their general interests. People using Facebook aren’t in a buying mindset – they’re there to have fun. Likewise, a large majority of the web has “wised up” and can spot the difference between real and paid content (i.e. a friend suggesting a product or following a business fan page vs. being boarded by advertisements).

Facebook: Brand Only?

The introduction of the Facebook fan page has done wonders for businesses and individuals building a brand; the ability to build a community and keep lively discussions in a public platform is incredibly powerful but all of this works because it’s low resistant and interactive.

Facebook ads are often intrusive and irrelevant to users: Intrusive in the sense that people are there to talk to friends, share pictures, and setup events, and irrelevant because many businesses don’t fully understand how to craft their ads so it’s relevant to the users.

In all, Facebook has enough users to make up for the inherent lack of clicks but it does pose an interesting question: what would happen to the platform if the big players pulled out?

What do you think? Do you use Facebook ads in your business? Have you ever clicked one?