Advertising has been key to Facebook’s growth, helping the company nearly triple its Q2 profit. But executives are hesitant to overdo it.
“The optimal ad load is really a mix of art and science. We also want to be thoughtful about making sure each person’s overall feed experience has the right balance of organic and ad content,” CFO Dave Wehner said during last week’s earnings call.
It makes sense why Wehner is leery of overloading users with ads. On other platforms, promoted content sometimes fails to gain traction, or only receives negative engagement.
However, a new study finds that Facebook users engage with promoted posts the same way that they react to organic content. Emotion reactions on Specialty Retailers’ promoted posts mirror the relatively positive sentiments organic posts experience, according to L2’s Promoted Posts report.
Beyond traditional “likes,” which account for 97% of reactions observed in the study, promoted and organic posts generate similar distributions of Wow, Sad, Angry, Haha, and Love reactions. Two exceptions are Alex and Ani and Kay Jewelers, which receive more engagement on their promoted posts than on organic content. Alex and Ani’s posts garner a Love reaction rate of 4.5%, while that of Kay Jewelers is 5.9% – substantially higher than both brands’ organic engagement. That suggests that promoted content does not attract the same loathing as more blatant advertising options such as pop-ups.