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The Psychology of Facebook Ads

Published: January 31, 2013

Author: Molly Shotwell

Today’s post is by Hillary Read, Marketing Manager at PPC Associates.
PPC Associates CEO David Rodnitzky has long posited that good ad copy appeals to one of these emotions: fear, vanity, greed, or exclusivity. You know, the old “two-day sale,” “best new [product],” “inventory running low – don’t miss out,” etc. That stuff is all over the SERPs, and there’s a reason for it: conversions, right there within reach.
But what about Facebook ads? The user is different in a bunch of ways: he/she is there to socialize, not shop; there’s been no intent expressed; there are images involved; and many Facebook ads have more top-of-the-funnel goals than search ads (although well-executed Facebook ads are converting better and better). Because of all this, the emotions in play respond to, in general, much softer sells.
Here’s how I’d boil down the emotional appeals:
Inclusivity. The exact opposite of exclusivity…which makes sense for a social platform. These guys aren’t exactly beating around the bush, either:
inclusivity facebook ads
Intimacy. A lot of effective ads, like the ones combining FBX and dynamic creatives, tell users, “We know what you like…and you like this.” (Frequency caps help keep you on the right side of the intimate/creepy line, of course.)

intimate facebook ads
That’s a very nice way of pointing out – correctly – my weakness for shoes.

Reassurance. People like you? My friends like you? People trust you? Sure, you can sell my home and buy my gold! (I can only imagine the value of these conversions.)
reassuring facebook ads
Congeniality. Aww, these are fun-loving folks. They must know I’m fun, too. I’ll give ’em a shot (irrelevance or no)!
congenial facebook ads
Any to add? Please leave a comment.
– Hillary Read

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