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Socially Enabled Ads: An Update


More online ads are becoming less about impressions and clicks and more about engagement, interaction, and sharing. All the ad units integrating social sharing functionality and content are taking this trend to the next level. Here’s a quick list of just a few I compiled with the help of Bianca Garcia, one of our social media planners.

Facebook’s Engagement Ads

By now, we all should know that Facebook’s engagement ads are the socially engaging/interactive home page ads. But some people may not have noticed that Facebook now combines certain ad functionalities to give the user (and advertiser) more opportunities to engage and connect.

For instance, these ads used to be just plain graphic plus text copy, or a single-focus ad: Give a Gift ad, Watch a Video, or Become a Fan. Now there are so many things we can do, all in one ad unit. For example, you can Watch a Video, RSVP to an Event, Take a Poll, and Become a Fan.

Of course, the two best things about these ads remain: the viral component and the ability to custom target. Any of these social actions taken by the user shows up in his/her news feed, and is then seen by their friends, spawning basically free publicity and viral spread. Custom targeting still lets advertisers target their Facebook ads by demographics (age, gender, geographic location), keywords found in the user’s profile, education, workplaces, relationships, and even languages.

An example of this is the engagement ad for “Grey’s Anatomy” season finale. Users can watch the video within the ad unit (it expands once the play button is hit) and RSVP to the event, virtually keeping the brand (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and the event (season ender episode) in their personal calendars.

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