It’s safe to say that marketing and advertising have been changed drastically by social media, but you might not know about the transparency tools that are available for Facebook and Twitter. After all, only about 30 percent of Americans say that they trust social media, so it only makes sense that the two biggest social media platforms are providing users the means to see exactly what ads are showing up on their feeds. Naturally, marketers can take full advantage of these tools as well to gain a leg up on their competition and come up with new ideas for their own campaigns.
The Facebook Ad Transparency Tool
Facebook actually makes it very easy to see what kinds of ads businesses are running on their pages. All you need to do is click on the Info and Ads tab on the left side of a brand’s page to see all the ads that the brand is currently running. You can even see which ads are running in specific regions. You will also be able to tell when a page was created, whether the name of the page was ever changed, and any other information that might be available for the sake of transparency.
The Twitter Ads Transparency Center
The Twitter Ads Transparency Center allows users to view the ads that a Twitter business page is currently running. Like Facebook’s transparency tool, it’s very easy to use and can provide some insight into how a brand is being advertised. Not only does it show all of the ads that have been run in the last seven days, but it provides metrics such as favorites and retweets so users and marketers can tell what ads are working and which ones are not. It will even show you ads that have been suspended for any reason. If it’s been run in the last week, you will be able to see it.
To use Ads Transparency Center, simply go to the search box on the upper right corner of the screen, enter a username or business name, and select any of the profiles associated with the name. You will be taken to a landing page that will provide you with all of the information you could need about the previous week’s ads.
How You Can Use This Information
Now that we’ve talked about how to access these transparency tools, let’s go over how marketers can use them to their advantage. The first and most obvious use of an ad transparency tool is to view the ads that are currently being run by your competitors. When you view ads through these tools, you can engage with them just like you would if you came across the ad organically on your Facebook or Twitter feed. You can click through the ads to go to the business’s website, view visual components of the ads (although there currently isn’t a way to view in-stream videos through Twitter’s Ads Transparency Center), and see any promotions that a business may be running.
Naturally, all of the information you get from viewing your competitors’ ads can be used to your advantage. While you should never outright copy what other businesses are doing, you can still take inspiration from them. Take note of not just what kinds of ads are being run, but how successful they’ve been. Twitter’s Ads Transparency Center is very useful in this regard since it shows which ads have been shared and favorited by others, but Facebook’s ad transparency tool is also great if you want to see what kinds of ads are being run in different regions.
Keep in mind that while you can and should take inspiration from other marketing campaigns, not every advertising strategy works for every brand. You will no doubt find things that will be perfect for your own campaign, but you will also find ads that will never appeal to your main clientele even if they’ve been successful for other companies. The last thing you want is to ruin your marketing efforts with the wrong kind of ad.
Finding New Ad Features
Viewing other ads with transparency tools might also allow you to see the latest ad features in action. Facebook and Twitter are constantly rolling out new features and tools that can be used to improve advertisements, and while you can and should keep tabs on all the updates that are made, it’s difficult to keep up with that. Besides, knowing that there are new ad features available on Facebook and Twitter and actually seeing how they look are two different things. Seeing how other businesses are making the most out of these new features will provide you with inspiration to do the same.
Sharing Active Ad Campaigns
Of course, these transparency tools don’t just allow you to look at other business’ ads. You can look at the ads that you are running as well, which comes in handy when it comes to keeping track of how you are marketing your brand. It can also help you go back to ads for certain promotions that some of your clients may have missed. If a client asks you about a certain sale or promotion that you are running and they want to see the ad that is attached to it, you can always use the transparency tools to go back to the ad and provide the client with the proper link. Just remember that this can work against you.
Many businesses have promotions that are only available to certain clients such as those who have been loyal customers for a certain period of time or those who signed up for a specific program. Since everyone can see your business’s active ads, a prospective customer could come across a promotion that isn’t available to them. This can breed resentment, or at the very least send mixed messages to your consumers. Promotions that award loyalty are not a bad thing to have, but you do need to remember to remain fair to all potential consumers.
At a glance, it can look like these transparency tools were put into place for the benefit of users, but marketers can still use them to their advantage. Both of these tools are accessible and easy to use, so don’t neglect them when it comes time to update your social media marketing strategy.