eric whelan

Sneaky Advertising on Facebook

If you’re looking to advertise to a large audience, anyone can go and buy ad space on Facebook (even if it is getting more and more expensive). Or you could try and hijack the comments on an already established brand’s page.

Today while checking out the HTC page on Facebook (which has over 700k followers), I came across this post and its attached comment:

I have to give it to “Mahnoor” and “Zeshaan”. This isn’t something that I’ve seen before. I’ve often come across very obvious links to spammy websites, trojans etc, but to try and hide their motives by having someone under another account responding is pretty brazen. The posts were added several hours apart too, another move to try and convince readers that it was indeed a real question and a genuine response.

There are a couple of things that gave it away; the language, the fact that neither of the posters have a genuine photo (which is rare enough on FB) and, of course, the fact that the question had nothing to do HTC or its products. But I can’t help but wonder if this approach would have seen a larger click-through than if the website had simply bought advertising space on the site.