How Effective are Facebook Ads? Very. Case in Point: President Trump

How Effective are Facebook Ads? Very. Case in Point: President Trump

Ryan Shelley

18 October 2017

Facebook Ads and the President of the USA, strange bedfellows without a doubt. So let’s start at the top. Unless you’ve been living under a rock – like a giant Uluru sized rock WITH soundproofing – you’ve heard rumours surrounding the biggest political scandal in a generation; the possible collusion between now President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, and the Russian government.

Facebook Ads and Presidential election

During the 2016 Presidential election the popularist Republican candidate Donald Trump shocked the world by defeating the Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton. Having led in the polls by wide margins at every stage of the election and with the full support of the Democratic party’s powerhouse behind her, Hilary’s defeat was a shock to everyone – well, except perhaps Donald Trump.

In the wake of results, pundits searched far and wide for the cause of the upset. Was it the email scandal exacerbated by former Director of the FBI, James Comey? Did Clinton’s lack of “stamina” and “charisma” contribute? Was it the historically low Democratic turnout on election day? These questions and many more were thrown around until certain hawk-eyed journalists noticed something stranger. Russia. Trump, many of his associates, cabinet members and business partners had strong relations to Russia. Some with Putin directly. This sparked an ongoing investigation with more twists and turns than a dirt rally car race that continues to dominate world news.

While it’s still uncertain as to what degree, if any, the President colluded with his Russian counterpart, one thing has been made certain. Facebook Ads. Russian backed companies were running hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ads promoting false articles on the social media platform. These articles in turn were shared thousands, if not millions, of times by unsuspecting Americans. These ads are now being seen as instrumental in President Trump’s victory.

The Take-Away? Facebook Ads Work.

This election is probably the best ad Facebook could have ever hoped for.


There are plenty or moral and ethical questions to be asked and answered by Facebook following the election. However, what’s undeniable is the effectiveness of Facebook ads. With a relatively low initial investment and engaging content the campaign was able to directly affect consumer behavior. In this instance it was an election, but for a savvy business, it may be a purchase.

So, what can your business do to increase growth through Facebook Ads? Simple. First, create a plan, what are your objectives from the campaigns. Next, create shareable content. Finally, design and schedule your ads. It’s a simple process but it involves consistent optimisation and work. While Facebook Ads are a great tool, succeeding requires a strategic, involved approach across all your business verticals.

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