Facebook’s advertising options have been very effective for some companies.
However, it is not yet perfect and not everyone has an understanding of how Facebook ads and sponsored stories work. Rather than go into the mechanics of the system, just picture this scenario:
You’re browsing your newsfeed and you see an ad or sponsored story suggested by a loved one who has passed away. For many users, your initial reaction would probably be “WTF?” But Facebook doesn’t know who among it’s billion-plus users have died and who are still alive.
For users who understand Facebook’s social advertising engine, this is understandable. Nonetheless, the negative effects are two-sided. It can be hurtful to users and it’s still an awkward feeling to have. It also generates negative feelings and ill will towards the advertiser. There is a real possibility of being seen as an insensitive and greedy company.
I have personally see this happen, and as an advertiser myself, I dread the possibility hurting someone because of a harmless ad. No amount of sincere condolences and apologies would erase the emotional feelings that this situation will surely cause.
There are over 30 million Facebook accounts belonging to those who have passed away. It’s nearly impossible to avoid these situations without completely stopping all Facebook advertising. Ads are what continue to let Facebook be free of charge for all of us. For many businesses, Facebook ads are all that can be afforded to get the much needed exposure to grow in this challenging economy.
Fortunately these situations can be avoided without having to stop advertising. Here’s one simple step to help Facebook update its system to prevent both users and advertisers from being placed in these uncomfortable situations. You can request that your loved one’s Facebook profile be memorialized.
Complete this Memorialization Request