Social media #ad explained

You may have noticed the Hexham Courant has featured #ad on some social media posts. Here’s what you need to know about what it means.

What does #ad mean?
When you see a post shared on social media with #ad it means the business featured has paid to be mentioned in that update. #Ad is to let Facebook fans and Twitter followers know it’s an advertisement.
If CN Group has received an incentive for posting an update we have a duty to tell you exactly that. #Ad is used to alert readers that there is a reason behind what we’re saying.
While #ad is the most commonly used notice of a paid relationship on social media, there are other indicators used online that are not so obvious.
Different publications throughout the UK may decide to use an alternative to signal paid content but CN Group has made the decision to use #ad because it is short and to-the-point - especially on Twitter where there is a character limitation.

Why has CN started posting #ad posts?
As our social media audience grows, more of our readers are choosing to get the latest local news through Facebook posts and Twitter updates.
With more of our audience spending time on these platforms, more of our advertisers want to have a presence on there too.

Who will feature on #ad posts?
CN Group has always supported local businesses, providing a platform online and in print, with the aim of reaching more potential customers. As we promise to continue providing the best service to those advertisers, social media is the natural next step in helping businesses reach further.
However, those that feature on our social media will also have adverts appear on our websites and in print too. While a Facebook post may generate a ‘like’, CN Group believes it is a combination of all of these mediums that will help a businesses promote their products and services.

And by local businesses, who do you mean exactly?
From long established shops without any social media presence, to exciting new ventures based in Cumbria and Northumberland, we’ll be featuring a variety of businesses that are not only an important part of our community but are vital in helping to sustain the local economy.
The businesses featured have developed long-lasting relationships with our advertising team at CN Group, so readers can rest assured that every post will only focus on our reputable clients.
If you’re a business that would like to talk to the advertising team get in touch with

Where will I see #ad posts?
At the moment we are sharing #ad posts on Facebook and Twitter.

When will I see #ad posts?
These paid for posts are the equivalent of print advertisements you see in your local newspaper, digital ads that appear on websites and commercials you’ll hear on some radio stations.
While we work on getting the balance between good content and sponsored posts right there’s no set times that we’ll be posting #ad updates - but as soon as this changes we’ll let you know.

And why do I need to know all of this?
We know our readers make informed purchasing decisions and the focus of CN Group is to ensure we don’t mislead our Twitter followers and Facebook fans by presenting ‘paid for’ or sponsored updates without clearly labelling it as such. We also want to make it clear how our readers can expect to see those updates labelled - in our case it will always be with #ad across our social media channels.

If you have any questions or comments please send an email to