Watch out for challenges using Facebook Messenger ads

After clicking the "not now" button, the advertiser remained in my messenger app and popped up again with another message. As a consumer, that is going to be annoying.

Last month we had to solve a new problem. That was Facebook Ads. Suddenly, all kinds of ad accounts got suspended, promptly closing the doors for many businesses. To top it off, the quality of Facebook leads has dropped.

The ad said, "Need an Electrician?" The first qualifying question was "Do You Need an Electrician?" A considerable number, 80% of respondents responded "no." How can that be? The ad was clearly designed for those who are looking for an Electrician.  
Facebook Messenger Ads

The ad wasn't new. However, the pixel was changed to comply with Facebook's new policies. Facebook changed their pixel settings to accommodate iOS. But what about the customer experience?

Facebook abandoned its Analytics application shortly after Google unveiled Analytics 4. That was an excellent tool for Pixel insights. Unfortunately, without it, you need to dig deep into your campaigns for the same information.

I've always been a fan of the predictable nature of Google Advertising, so that was my go to platform for many campaigns. That changed back in March 2020. Facebook all of a sudden got really good. At that time, we were able to really hone in on particular target audiences. Everyone was staying home, and Facebook usage skyrocketed. The world was coming together digitally in the face of Covid-19. Advertising was great.

In April, that all changed. Apple announced that it would force privacy disclaimers on apps, and Facebook scrambled to get us all ready. In the middle of the month, Facebook ad account suspensions increased. Accounts were suspended for policy violations only to be reinstated a few days later.

My colleagues and I have all pivoted strategies. I would like to hear from more of you on your Facebook experiences.

This guy has too many ad messages popping up in his DMs

What about the user experience?

I ran a little informal focus group where 10 of us clicked on ads to find a messenger ad. We were able to find a few constants:

First, the advertiser was presented as a person and took up the chat window. The UI made it unclear how we was to close the ad. It felt non-skippable.  The only thing to do was to click the "not now" button.

After clicking the "not now" button, the advertiser remained in my messenger app and popped up again with another message. As a consumer, that is going to be annoying.

The big deduction from my little test was that messenger campaigns suck. Non-skip style advertising is very 2018, and it's 2021. We've learned to keep control in the hands of users. That includes chats, windows, and all other standard settings. Do that in a way that they can quickly understand too. Definitely make it clear how to close an ad.

The Solution?

Make sure you are always watching your audience. Does your audience use Facebook? If so, then consider the campaign type you choose and delivery options available to you. It's essential to select the right one that will present your offer in a manner that is well received by your audience. Some retail products still do extraordinarily well on Facebook, and niche communities still exist around niche brands.

Facebook is a social platform. It's the ideal platform to host a digital Tupperware party. The buy and sell open market culture thrives on Facebook, and you'll find a lot of parallels between your local buy and sell site (like Kijiji, for example) and Facebook marketplace. The products and services that market well in this environment are ideal for Facebook.