8/3 #Cmgrchat: Community & Advertising

Advertising.  It’s everywhere.  And over the years we’ve had to get more creative about how we advertise online.  As community managers are we immune?  Is advertising part of our responsibility?  Are there interesting ways to advertise to communities that make more sense?   Afterall, community managers are also users so we have a unique view into both sides of the fence. Here’s what everyone had to say…


Q1) Do YOU read ads and/or click on them? Why/Why not?

bite4size No, unless I’m working on ads we are creating. Got too much else to read.

primesuspect Unless it’s EXTREMELY compelling, no. Probably have clicked on five ads in the last two years

tmonhollon Search engine ads, yes, because if it’s relevant and i’m looking for a business not a resource. Display ads, sometimes

KyleHarty If I can “skip” it, I will

RichardDedor As a #cmgr, I sometimes see what ads are there in Facebook and def check out the Twitter #trends, but don’t click

Tribe2point0 I notice them – in fact yesterday’s ads on Facebook told a lot about me and my interests but I tend to not click on any ads

pushingvision I don’t really see the ads anymore. Unless they’re completely ridiculous. I purposely don’t click them.

KellyLux I’ve probably clicked on more promoted tweets than anything else. Seem more interesting/targeted, perhaps?

JPedde I would say the only ads I’ve ever clicked on, that wasn’t an accident, were Facebook ads.

rachaelgk The only time I click is if it’s something I meant to visit anyway (happens more as they get more tailored- see: google)


Q2: How do communities react to adding advertising? Where are the best placements?

jefro_net Open source communities strongly dislike advertising in my experience

themaria I think all communities dislike advertising

theTsaritsa So long as it’s not pop-ups, has sound, or intrusive, ads are fine. Banner ads, sidebar ads– not a big deal.

bite4size: Individual ads aren’t as exciting as social media campaigns. Those get me engaged and interested.

rylanddevero Nothing worse than a pop-up banner ad with music/voiceover. Haven’t found a community yet that appreciates them.

PrashSabharwal  If it is a self-supported community, introducing the adverts because the site needs help can increase reception.

rachaelgk Best advertising is inspiring people to talk about you on their own.

tmonhollon Personally I think the highly targeted advertising that’s possible via social is more relevant and useful to the consumer too


Q3) Have advertisements been successful for your company?

primesuspect  Absolutely. Our sponsorship program was well received by both companies and the community. A win-win

rachaelgk The Guard did a Facebook takeover in April – wildly successful. Facebook ads are very valuable (for that client).

ilovegarick Socializing, engaging, connecting & building relationships across the Web has been working for me rather than outright commercials

JessicaRMurray We don’t run ads for @socialmediaclub membership, but occasionally will use FB ads to promote upcoming events & see good results.

tmonhollon Strategic mix of paid advertising and organic optimization has been very successful. Here’s how I define

Jmodio There are so many different variables affecting everything, you need a mixture of efforts.

Jmodio: You might use ads to bring in your fan base, but then use a CM to help it grow and thrive, and then WOM can take seed.


Q4. What are some ways to get similar results WITHOUT paid advertisements?

annabelleblue I love the Sponsored Stories on FB (and hi everyone!). Seeing good results @aveda with them.

JPedde Everything not paid is organic. Linkbuilding, Guest posts, PR, WOM, Social (to an extend) – all advertising.

tmonhollon You have to define “results” first, as well as you you measure them. Is it clicks, tracked calls, emails, subs?

candacecorner Takes a lot more effort, but tapping maintained influencer relationships or WOM could help

evanhamilton Be part of the conversation. Find the Tweetchat/meetup/whatever for your niche, and participate genuinely

vanilla Before and after. Planning, messaging, tracking, landing pages, call-to-actions, A/B testing, all the fun stuff.


Q5. How do you feel about places like FB and LinkedIn using your likeness in their ads?

shesafitchick Some people freak out over that. I don’t mind it. If i have to see ads, I’d rather see interesting ones lol.

DaveCayem Don’t like it at all

lttlewys RT @davecayem: Don’t like it at all #cmgrchat ~I’m with you, it’s horrible, especially if they pull my kids images!!!

JessicaRMurray Not comfortable w/ using b/c I don’t know what context. Wouldn’t want my photos in job searching ads, and threaten current job

rachaelgk  More branding for me! (Kidding.) (Mostly.

pushingvision When I see my friends referenced in an ad, I’m more skeptical of it. Phishing scam? Just feels wrong.

JGfromOC It’s social media – they built the platforms that allow us all to connect. Why be there if you don’t want to share? My 2 cents

vanilla kind of sounds like those stories about people traveling to a foreign country and seeing their picture on a billboard



If you have any suggestions for future topics or comments about the above, leave them in the comment section!

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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.