According to physics, every object in a system moves following a path of least resistance: the easiest way to change status.
People follow the same law, too, when they get in touch with something new and unexpected. It's a way to protect their scarce resources: time and attention.
This is why most Social Ads on Facebook fail: brands often use them as banners. No specific targeting, no idea of who's interacting, bold picture and an unclear copy. This is not anyone's path of least resistance.
There is another way of thinking about Social Ads on Facebook. Considering them "conversational media". Facebook Social Ads are a way for brands to reach people interested in a conversation that's happening somewhere else, which they would otherwise ignore. Social Ads on Facebook succeed when they integrate with people's life. Good Facebook Social Ads brings to people's attention content targeted on a specific topic, at the right time in their life and it's just a sparkle for a conversation.
Think about it. Otherwise it's almost impossible for brands to integrate in this scenario, portrayed in this Infographic by Jess3.
Right now, if you search something, you get a totally different result than I would for the same search. This is because the software we use to access information gives us a personalized answer. This is brilliant. Except when it's not.
What if the software fails to show you that piece of information you didn't know you needed? Eli Pariser calls this a "filter bubble": a situation in which you are "locked out" from the information that could be useful for you, because of an algorithm.
Watch Eli's TED Talk to see this point clearly.
Mark Zuckerberg once said
A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.He intended to highlight the importance of content curation made by a software: the Facebook news feed.
When we search something in Google, we get a totally personalized result, even if we're not logged in, says Eli. There are 57 variables considered by Google, that include the kind of computer we search from, the browser we use or where we are).
In this context it's clear that we need to integrate a strong human component with the algorithm that provides us information and conversation. It's fundamental to have a human approach with people we want to reach with our information and to remember that the "human feed", cooperating with content curation via software, will be the only way for us to get relevant conversations.
Brands should be aware of this and understand how "optimizing for SEO" has little sense, if it's not matched with an "optimization for people" of everything they communicate online.
Optimize for people.