Do you use Facebook for advertising? If you run an indie business, you have probably been tempted to at some point. Practically everyone and their dog has a Facebook account (…guilty) and their influence is literally unavoidable.
You might want to rethink your advertising strategy, though.
A study from Web Trends showed that only 1 out of 2,000 ads gets clicked. Perhaps more disturbingly, the Advertising Research Foundation conducted a study that showed that a blank ad performed 60 percent better than that.
Here’s what made me sit up and take notice, though.
A software development company reported that 80% of all of the clicks (that they had to pay for anyway) came from automated bots. Some people had suspected this prior, but no one came up with a way to actually track it. From the article:
In other words, if you pay for Facebook advertising, there is a good chance that 80% of what you pay for is coming from bots and not from actual, potential customers.
A large company might be able to blow a portion of their advertising budget on bum Facebook ads, but an indie company certainly can’t.
There are a number of reasons why these bots are being created- perhaps they’re from companies trying to blow through their competitors advertising budgets; the more sinister theory is that Facebook itself generates these in order to make more money on advertising (that can’t possibly be true, can it?) but the real question is why Facebook isn’t stopping it. Google has fairly sophisticated methods of determining which clicks are legit, and in fact, click fraud is even a felony in some places.
Considering the fact that Facebook makes 85% of its revenue through advertising – finely tuned based on all of the billions of pieces of your personal information – you would think that they could figure out the formula for successful advertising. Apparently this is not the case.
If you have experience with advertising on Facebook (or anywhere else, for that matter) please share in the comments! This is fascinating (albeit suspicious) stuff.