Facebook advertising—-one more apology and still conting

Facebook got itself into another controversy regarding its ad submission guidelines, when a photo of a Canadian girl who hanged herself in April, were used in an ad for dating site.

What is even more shocking is that fact that the same girl was the subject of cyber bullying (on Facebook and other SNB) after a photo of her alleged rape was shared online.

Facebook released a statement including a line “We apologize for any harm this has caused.” They also banned the advertiser ionechat.com permanently.

The incident just raises the question and legitimacy of the self-service advertising business (which it considers as a significant advantage it boasts over its competitors) that operates on Facebook.

While this is not the first time Facebook finds itself in such situations, three months back Facebook got itself into a mess with Marks & Spencer’s over MS ads appearing next to inappropriate content. This led to MS cancelling all their adverts on FB. Similar incident happened with BskyB. 

Facebook did revise and implement lot of radical changes in their advertising operations, but like any digital advertising problems, it still is a long way before such things are sorted. 

Maybe the only way is to bring in a stricter regulation of advertisements like a television or a print medium operates with…but again who is going to bring such things under control is a big question.Even if so, how effective such measures would be useful considering the vast digital space is again a problem.


Social media rantings and brands

Unhappy customers taking their vent out on twitter is quite common, but a customer buying sponsored tweets to vent out the feeling…well, its something new.

That is exactly what a gentlemen flying the British Airways did. He was unsatisfied on the carrier’s indifference towards his lost luggage ( was actually his fathers) and decided to go ahead and actually purchase the 140 character service.     

The paid tweets are generally purchased by advertisers to reach a wider audience. The paid tweets are also given a higher prominence by twitter.He apparently paid $1000 for this. It took less than six hours for the tweets to get picked up by various media firms and garnered more than 25000+ impressions.

Ultimately, BA had to respond and sorted out the baggage issue the following morning. Readers might be aware that such ranting is not the first of it’s kind. Virgin atlantic had similar experience in 2009, with a customer sending out a complaint letter to Richard Branson on the poor food quality. Brnason himself had to intervene and invited the customer to select food and wines for future flights. 


This leaves us with few questions in our mind:-


—What are the response that a brand needs to respond to? I mean is it really worth for the brand to respond to someone with just about 6 followers?

—How does the brand ascertain that the person is a legimate guy and not a troll?

—Finally, for marketers, is social media really relevant as an interaction tool for brand and customers, rather than using the medium for advertising purposes?

What do you think?

Twitter and its latest lead generation cards

This week Twitter released its Lead Generation cards globally, which had been in limited beta from May.

Initial reports look promising with a far higher engagement metrics as against even a promoted tweets.


As the name indicates, its a tweet with lead generation enablement, which includes an interested customer sharing his email address with the advertiser right on twitter without leaving the web page or the app. This can be picked up for further nurture by the advertiser.

The engagement rates were pegged at 4.6% ( this may not sound much, but for a digital marketer, this does) as against the average of 1%- 3% seen on promoted tweets. The engagement rate be attributed to the fact that the user doesn’t need to leave Twitter.

For advertisers, setting up this just takes few minutes and the results can be downloaded on a simple CSV file.

The lead generation cards comes in as Twitters latest product suite which includes a keyword targeting product, Ad API, retargeting option,and the recent demographic targeting.

Would be interesting to see what Facebook comes up with in the following days.

The User Experience of the Internet of Things

The User Experience of the Internet of Things.


Facebook copying Twitter?

The never innovate-never grow bug seems to have caught Facebook.
Facebook seems to be drawing inspiration from Twitter.Based on a report by WSJ, Facebook seems to be testing a Trending Topic section on the news feeds of certain users.
This appears on the top-right hand side of Facebook news feed. The purpose remains same as twitter—to show the most popular keywords that people are posting on Facebook.Just to give an example, if people are talking about the rise in The Rupee v/s The $, FB shall showcase a post by your friend accompanied by a text—Indian Rupee, 500 posts about that.

Keeping a separate section specifically just to let know of what is being talked about could help in getting this popular.Click and you get to see what the public is also talking about.
Readers would be aware of the recently introduced Hashtag feature on Facebook( there were some controversies around this when introduced in June) is the base on which this trending topic is being introduced.
Integrating both the posts and Hashtag would be in the making—however the catch is how FB is going to make this look different from Twitter.
–No tentative dates were announced either on this test being completely deployed, as this is being tested with limited users in the US—