8 Ethical Tactics to Build Brand Trust with Facebook Advertising


How to be a Facebook Advertising Vigilante

As a moth drawn to a flame, my eyes and mouse hovered over the article “You won’t BELIEVE what these teen heartthrobs look like now.” It was my busiest day of the week, and yet, I was a woman hypnotized: I clicked the clickbait anyway. Hook, line, & sinker.

I’m sure you have also encountered mind-garbage articles on your social-media feeds. Even more detrimental are the fake news and advertised false promises that have recently become rampant online. They take a toll; according to a 2015 Nielsen Report on Trust in Advertising, 57% of online users say they do not fully trust advertising on social media. Duly, lack of trust results in a lack of business.

As digital marketers, we have the ability to turn the tables on shady Paid-Social trends. Business owners with useful services/products still need help reaching their relevant audiences. So how does one maintain that balance between clickbait and actual, informative/helpful advertising? Check out these eight effective tactics to ethically build brand trust with Facebook Advertising.

1. Remarketing Lists
Facebook remarketing lists are custom audiences that allow you to target people who’ve recently been to your site, signed up for your email newsletter, or downloaded your app. The beauty of these audiences is that you know that these users have already responded positively to your brand and are more likely to convert. Now that these unique users have entered your sales funnel, show them your best-performing content to continue building a rapport between your brand and potential customers.

2. Friends of Fans Audiences
Social proof is a crucial psychological factor affecting online trust. Consider this scenario: You want to go out to dinner at a new restaurant. You see an online ad promoting Restaurant A, and your best friend highly recommends Restaurant B to you. You’re more likely to rely on your friend’s recommendation, correct? Similarly, targeting the friends of your Facebook fans automatically allows your fans to cast a positive light on your brand to their friends. Not only is your impact 1:1, your first contact with new users feels personalized and authentically valuable.


Let your Facebook Fans speak for your brand!

3. Promote your best content on Facebook — without strings attached.
Take a look at your Google Analytics account to determine your best-performing organic pages. Whether this is a landing page containing a popular whitepaper or a blog post with a video tutorial, your organic content is an invaluable tool for informing your paid content. While it’s tempting to want to create hard-sell ads with the goal of quick-sale conversions, you’ll gain much more trust (and eventually more conversions) by focusing on generating brand awareness and initial interest with your best content – especially if it doesn’t require the user to give anything in return. Be patient: Awareness campaigns are the first part of the sales funnel, but they are fundamental to raising your overall consumer confidence and conversion rate.

4. Giveaways & Sweepstakes
Following the same train of thought, people love getting something for free. Hosting a giveaway is a great way to both build customer trust and your brand’s unique voice. First, pick a product or service relevant to your brand and valuable to your target customer. Next, create your Facebook giveaway campaign using a free service like Rafflecopter, and promote it via Facebook Ads.

While giveaways allow you to show off your brand’s unique personality, they also are a seriously advantageous tactic frequently utilized by digital marketing strategists. Jacqui Liberman, CEO of Gossip Genie, always suggests saving a portion of her clients’ budget for giveaways and contests: “Not only are they a fun way to engage our fans, but they provide a unique way to build email lists, generate website traffic and/or increase audience participation.”


Know your Facebook Promotion Guidelines before you kick off your giveaway

5. Use Reviews and Testimonials
Similar to targeting friends of your fans, using the social proof of reviews and testimonials of your brand can make a world of difference for your Facebook Advertising. Pair eye-catching carousel images with customer reviews as the headline or text of your ad. Collect a few video testimonials and run a newsfeed video campaign. No matter what stage in the buying cycle, highlighting User-Generated Content (USG) is a great way to build brand affinity with your audience. (And if you have a negative review, politely respond to the reviewer – this shows others that you care about your product and their concerns and goes an exceptionally long way toward building brand credibility.) “Promoting genuine content that is going to add value to your customers without strings attached is truly the only way to publish contests on social media.  The bi-product of this behavior will assure brand trust”

– Jacqui Liberman
Founder & CEO of Gossip Genie

6. Ads and Landing Page Congruency
From your call-to-action to your headline, every element of your ad should align visually and conceptually with its respective landing page. Providing this level of consistency instantly reassures the user of your promised product or service, as well as your brand’s quality and trustworthiness.

7. Optimize for User Experience
While it is tempting to want to optimize for as many conversions as possible, you’ll see much more success when you focus your optimizations on providing the best user experience for your site’s visitors.

This means consistently A/B testing the Facebook ad copy, images, and audience targeting to understand what garners positive user response. Rather than solely focusing on clicks or conversions, contextualize your ad performance by understanding which metric rates track user experience as they relate to your business goals.

To understand which Key Performance Indicators to focus on, reconcile your business goals (e.g. Brand awareness, low CPA, high conversion rate) with the metrics that best illustrate how your user is reacting to your advertisements and site. For example, if you have an e-commerce clothing site, and your main goal is to make sales, an important advertising metric to focus on would be which Facebook campaign has the lowest CPA, as well as which campaign attracts people who return to the site to make additional purchases.

Analyzing the high-performing aspects of these successful campaigns not only allows you to learn more about your ideal customer but also provides a better experience for them on your site.


Always make optimizations keeping in mind how to better appeal to your audience

8. Play by the Rules & Tell the Truth
Take all the above advice with a grain of salt. Facebook has been in the advertising world for years now – if you seem disingenuous or overbearing in your advertising, your brand will suffer for it.

Don’t use reviews containing multiple exclamation points, as they can take away from your brand’s credibility. When running a contest, ethically pick a winner for your giveaway and promote them on your page. Pay close attention to the specifics of Facebook Advertising policy – particularly using images with over 20% text, exploiting sensitive material, or misleading play buttons that suggest video capability.


When you’re happy to serve your customer, they are happy to be your customer!


Though online communication has recently gotten an untrustworthy reputation, your business can still hugely benefit by simply being authentic in your Facebook advertising. By integrating truth in your paid Facebook content, you integrate the value of your brand in the mind of your consumer.

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