Facebook. Facebook ADs. Facebook AD.
A you a fan of Facebook? Have you ever purchased Facebook ADs in order to obtain “Likes” on your business page? If you are one of the many who has done so, or intends to do so, you will want to read this post FIRST.
When BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones was informed by Social Media Consultant Michael Tinmouth of his concerns, regarding the low returns on Facebook ADs, Cellan-Jones was determined to delve into it. As any good investigative reporter, he did his homework. What he found was astonishing and disturbing.
Cellan-Jones decided that he wanted to investigate the worth of a “Like” using Facebook ADs. And in 2012 he created the Facebook page VirtualBagel for this experiment. VirtualBagel’s about page says “We send you bagels via the internet – just download and enjoy,” and its initial post noted “If you have clicked “Like” can you explain why?” This was written specifically to have followers comment on the page’s legibility.
The first Facebook AD was created to obtain “Likes” from people who reside in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, India, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Within 24 hours VirtualBagel had 1,600 new Likes for a $10 paid ad campaign. Not bad, right? Wrong!
Delving into the profiles of the new VirtualBagel followers, Cellan-Jones discovered that the page was very popular with people living in Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines. However, almost no one from the United States or the United Kingdom had clicked the “Like” button. In addition, many of the overseas “Likes” looked suspicious while others were likes from business pages, and no one seemed to make any comments regarding the bagels being a virtual download.
After generating a few Facebook AD campaigns, Cellan-Jones created a final ad solely targeting the US and UK. Disappointingly the new Facebook Likes with this Facebook AD campaign were marginal.
In his article titled ‘Who ‘likes’ my Virtual Bagels?‘ Cellan-Jones said, “Who are these people in some countries who are clicking in an apparently random way on thousands of Facebook ADs and earning the network a small fee each time? The question you may ask is why does any of this matter? Well, Facebook has just arrived on the stock market with a valuation of $100bn, which was entirely based on the promise that advertising revenue will continue to grow from last year’s $4bn.”
Facebook Like. Fraud Exposed.
And Derek Muller of Veritasium recently created a video on YouTube regarding this very topic. In the video, Facebook Fraud Exposed, Muller says that paid followers even if they’re based out of the US or UK drives reach and engagement numbers down. This action basically renders the business page useless because a lack of post engagement lowers the number of followers who’ll see the posts on their Facebook feeds.
The Cellan-Jones and Muller investigations on Facebook advertising do raise many questions regarding the real value of obtaining a new “Like” on a page.
Is it really worth it? Isn’t it better to bring value and engage with those who are truly interested in your brand rather than simply paying for more likes only to obtain people who are disengaged with your business page?