I used to hate going through all the comments on my social media ads because let’s face it, people can be opinionated. And there’s maybe no better place to have an opinion than on social media. And there may be no better target for wanton opinions than a face-less company.
But then, I had a change of heart.
Not about people being opinionated, that’s still very much true.
But about the utility of the comments.
I found out I was looking at these comments the wrong way. Yes, there are still the Mr.GetOutOfMyFeed posters complaining about seeing ads on their free platform. There are still plenty of amateur comedians all making the same joke every fourth comment. But if you focus only on these types of comments you’ll miss multiple opportunities to improve your ad, landing page, and sales funnel.
Don’t believe me? I’m going to walkthrough real life examples from the green and green tech industry that I can apply to any industry.
Going Green Creates More Questions Than Answers
AKUA is a meat-alternative company that makes its products out of kelp. They sell kelp jerky and their recently-created kelp burgers. It was an advertisement for their new burgers that came up in my Facebook feed today. Scrolling through the comments, I knew this would be a perfect example I could use to illustrate my point.
As someone who does marketing for green and green tech companies, a familiar pattern appears in the comment section of Facebook ads. Besides the negative, boarish, punny, and clever, there’s often genuine concerns, unanswered questions, and skepticism.
Is It Really Ecologically Better Than What It’s Replacing?
If you are targeting environmentally-conscious shoppers, you have to make sure your product fits that narrative. The dying of the kelp forests has nothing to do with AKUA who farms their own kelp. They mention this fact in the subheader on the landing page:
Even though this line is the second line on the landing page, clearly, from the comment above, and the many like it, the message isn’t coming through.
Whether dying kelp forests are their problem or not, this information acts as an objection. Therefore, marketers must treat this fact as an objection and bust it as thoroughly as any other objection.
If people aren’t reading the subheader, put it in the ad copy. If they aren’t convinced by “ocean farmed,” explain ocean farming to them. Show your audience why ocean farming isn’t factory farming on the seafloor.
Does It Really Taste Better Than What It’s Replacing?
We know you (AKUA) think it tastes delicious. That’s not really the question. The question is if people like myself like the taste.
Companies, especially green companies, make this mistake all the time. Are wind turbines loud? Not really. Will ice mess up your solar panels or roof. No. They try to talk away a problem instead of showing people. Show don’t tell is a marketing mantra for a reason. No one believes what you say.
If you want to convince a meat-eater like me that this is good, I need visual proof in the ad, on the landing page, anywhere and everywhere. There needs to be people eating this burger, surprised by how tasty it is. A hidden-camera barbecue with kelp burgers. Blind tastings. Real reactions. Four out of five meat eaters say this. How we won over barbecue champ so-and-so.
Is It Better For Me Than What It’s Replacing?
We’ve covered the moral high ground and base experience. But what about the discerning, brake-pumping, rational mind?
The above comment was also repeated over and over despite AKUA telling people that the nutritional information is the second image on the landing page. And to be fair to the commenters, I couldn’t find it at first either. That’s because it was the second product image in the product image carousel, not the second image on the page.
A lot has been written about the nutritional advantages and disadvantages of meat alternatives. This means that the potential buyer is likely sophisticated about the potential nutritional problems.
AKUA’s landing page only has a screenshot of the nutrition label. That isn’t going to cut it. People hate reading labels. Give them the jist! How does the fat content compare to beef? A third of the saturated fat of beef.
The person above mentioned the salt content, which from a quick comparison does look 3 times as much. Not great news. But you can’t hide from it either. Remember it’s an objection, and marketers have to bust objections. One way you could try to field these concerns is by creating a FAQ section on the landing page to answer questions like these.
Bonus Objection: “It’s A Sales Funnel!”
“It’s a sales call,” warns one comment. I see this comment repeated a lot, especially when it comes to home solar products.
And they’re not wrong either. Solar panels are a high-consideration purchase. The amount of panels you need varies based on location, roof structure, and a number of other variables. Discussing your particular situation with a professional is likely the best course of action.
That said, I would challenge solar panel makers to consider what is really being said here. This comment isn’t about the sales staff, it’s about being pressured into a decision. With that being the case, how can solar companies change their acquisition strategy to make it more self-serve?
Marketers from all industries can learn a lot from their social media comments. Consider this another channel for social listening and customer feedback. These comments are a hotbed of objections that need to be busted in your messaging, questions regarding your product’s claims, and trepidations around your sales process. By paying attention to your social media ad comments you can iterate and improve your marketing winning more customers and increasing your company’s revenue.
Ryan Olestro is the founder of Human Nature Marketing. He lives in Madison Wisconsin with his wife, son, and two cats. When he’s not testing the latest marketing strategies, you can find him writing short stories, playing video games, and rooting on his hometown sports teams.