I'll cut to the chase. I think Facebook advertising is over priced. I also think their reporting of ad. statistics is, to put it mildly, highly flawed.
We actually did our own Birthday Targeting ad. in response to an earlier post on this forum who claimed a 2700% ROI. What a great idea, we thought. We sell animal themed jewelry, a perfect match for upcoming birthday customers. We tried offering a free gift with no purchase, no obligation, no registration required we literally were offering free jewellery with no catches to anyone with an upcoming birthday as targeted by the Facebook audience we had selected. On another ad. we also tried offering big discounts with no minimum purchase as an incentive for customers registering with our store.
All that we have experienced so far is a lot of traffic. Mind you, the traffic we have in no way adds up to what Facebook considers to be its "Website Conversions." According to Facebook we've had 900 or so "Website Conversions" from a total of over 27,000 that had the ad. displayed to them over the last 2 days. But my Shopify only reports about 200 visitors over those 2 days and a few of those would have been me making edits to and testing the website and of course quite a few of those would have been previous visitors. Only TWO customers took us up on our offer of free jewellery even though no purchase was needed, no registration was required and of course free shipping was included, just as it always is on our site. I repeat, just TWO people out of an alledged 900 interactions accepted our free jewelry gift. We did also get one new customer registration but that customer has yet to make a purchase. We never bombard our registered customers with unwanted email, we figure that most people who take the time to register will know when they're ready to purchase. The only email we sent out to that customer was one notifying them of their 25% Off Discount Code.
It just added further reinforcement to my own experience that Facebook advertising is badly, BADLY overpriced. It must be if Mr. Zuckerberg is worth 40 Billion Dollars, an obscene amount of wealth given the shallow nature of his product. Furthermore, I don't think Facebook advertising accurately targets the people you want it to and as I implied earlier in this post I'm fairly sure their reporting of statistics is false and is there just to make you warm and cuddly inside. To have over 900 people, according to Facebook, alledgedly interact with the ad. and click through and get a total of ONE non-buying new registered customer and just TWO free gift acceptors tells me I'm being ripped off.
The only winner in this little game was Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg got enough cash from me for a few more grey tee shirts plus of course he gets to post randomly on my newsfeed telling the world what a great guy he is. I wouldn't mind but I got nothing in return.
I'd be interested in others experiences of Facebook advertising. I'm also open to any suggestions for social media advertising that actually works without breaking the bank?
I don't see the added value of this post. Every way of Social Media advertising will be a shot in de dark.
Facebook can't guarantee success. Period. It also depends on how much you invest. There is a big difference between $5 per day or $50 dollar per day ;)
This forum section is all about ecommerce marketing. I'd say my OP adds value to the subject. If I place an ad. in the local paper I know for sure how many people will get that paper just by researching the circulation numbers. I won't know how many will look at my ad. but at least I know the ad. has been delivered.
In Facebook's case they CLAIM to deliver the ad. but the numbers don't add up. Almost 30,000 views, 900 plus website conversions, about 200 "visitors" to our store but only 3 people took any sort of action to claim what were fabulous offers. I think Facebook reporting is fake and I think their prices are outrageous.
Just so you know: Target audience USA, UK and Canada ONLY. Women. 25 - 45 years old. Upcoming birthday. Under 4 cents per "Website Conversion" which I think demonstrates my ad. was pretty good, if only Facebook were telling the truth. I spent $15 per day for 2 days. 30,000 views with 900 plus website conversions is a rather large "polling" sample with a small MOE...if I tripled the budget I'd be right around 90,000 views and 3000 web conversions, 6 people would have claimed their free, no obligation, no registration, free shipping jewelry gift, and 3 people would have registered with our site and not purchased. And I'd be out $90 instead of $30.
Like I said, this forum section is all about ecommerce marketing. I'm pretty sure my post was about the same subject. I think there is value in this and the original post.
Jared here from the Guru team. Hope you're well!
I just wanted to chime in and see if you've tried to do Google adverts? You might find better success with Google as opposed to strictly social media since it can cover a much broader user-base. With social media, while widely popular, still does not get the traffic and the coverage you might get with a Google Ad.
If you go into the Discounts section of your admin and scroll to the bottom of the page, underneath you will see a link to claim your adwords coupon for £75.00 in advertising with Google.
Just an idea, hope it helps. :)
Jared | @Shopify
I, for one, appreciate your posting your experience here. I've been tossing around the idea of using Facebook's "boost" for targetted ads, but haven't bothered yet. Your attempt to target birthday people is interesting and based on FB's business intent, not misguided. However, speaking now only as one of the eyeball pairs on FB, I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like FB wants it to. My birthday on FB is stated as something like born in 1902. I picked a random/funny year of birth because it's none of FB's business what my birthday is. I also know many people who have entered fake birthdays for kids and pets. It's against the FB terms of service to do that, but I know SO many people who do it anyway.
Facebook is certainly difficult. But like anything, you get better at it with practice. Its one of those platforms you need to learn. I guess this is one benfit of going with an expert to help as they already know the platform.
There are very few traffic platforms out there where you'll be profitbale out of the gate. It takes time and some testing budgets. People spend significant amounts of time getting accustomed to Google adwords or Facebook or the like.
Jared is probably right in saying look to Google first. Especially when there are so many discounts and free coupons for traffic.
I have similar thoughts. When I've played around with $5 - $25 a day it's pointless. Yesterday I decided to experiment and increased budget to $200 per day and within a few hours got one sale at $123.50, still going to need a few more from the ad to get any sort of ROI. When I was doing some research into this yesterday I came across this interesting YouTube video discussing Facebook ads
I can actually resonate with this video. As he mentions some of the profiles have liked literally 1000s of pages. I looked at a few profiles from 'likers' on my ads - similar result they have 1000s of likes and no normal photos or profile info. Also I have a couple shares on my ad - I looked at their profiles and literally every single minute they have shared an ad or page... And this ad is just targeting New Zealand and a part of Australia. I used to wonder when I would see these likes on my page and now after watching that video it seems a bit clearer. Who knows if it is true or not but certainly does seem odd.
What a great post and that's an amazing video you linked to. The more experience I have had with Facebook the more I believe it has morphed into an unaccountable rip-off behemoth. It would be interesting to see "Big Government" in the USA conduct some enquiries as to how Facebook justifies its advertising costs and how they come up with their advertising reporting figures. Of course Mr. Zuckerberg is, almost on a daily basis, more and more aligning himself to the Democratic party side of things...the Democrats are the party of Bigger Government and he is probably keeping them sweet so they don't come after his little cash cow.
One thing the excellent Video Presenter might have missed out....Click Farms are probably using VPN's to mask their true location. So "Likes" that look as though they're from Western countries can still originate in Click Farm countries. And, of course, Facebook absolutely doesn't mind because it's still getting paid.
I think the principal of Social Media advertising is a legitimate one, but Facebook needs to (a) report LEGITIMATE numbers to their advertising clients (Really? 27,000 views, 900 web conversions, less than 200 "visitors" to my website and only THREE actual meaningful actions? I don't buy it) and (b) They need to DRASTICALLY reduce the cost of their advertising.
Until BOTH of those things happen I won't be spending another dime with them.