There is way too much to learn about social media. It's not just participating in "the conversation" ... it's what's happening with it .... and the re-distribution of our thoughts, image, participation.
There's a picture of a Fan in a Facebook ad - who I know. And I wonder if SHE knows she's advertising for that company (in their ad), as a Fan on their Facebook Page. My guess is no, she doesn't know.
Clearly anyone who makes the personal decision to be a Fan on a Facebook Group or Page is actually advertising for them ... their picture is on the site as a Fan, it shows up in the News Feed, and listed on their own page.
But ... is it a bit disarming to imagine your picture as the only one in the company's ad because of the Fan thing? The image/Fan choice must be related to who among my friends may be connected to them. It's a Facebook ad feature called "Social Ad." And not new - here's a Wired article from Jan. '08.
When ordering a Facebook ad for my own association's campaign I noticed a default set to Social Ad. I unclicked it. I also stopped being a Fan of the group that's running the ad with a Social Ad feature. Not ready to be their unknowing spokesmodel. Are you?
So here's a litmus test: Before you accept being a Fan, or before you seek out being a Fan of any organization (or group, person, product), do you like them ENOUGH that it's okay for your image and fan status to show up in their ad?