With Facebook stock trading around half the price at which it went public just 3 months ago and the company losing large advertisers like GM over concerns about the effectiveness of its advertising platforms, this week Facebook has been hit with allegations and major media news reports that as many as 80%-90% of the click throughs on Facebook ads may be fraudulent.
“They’re scumbags,” said musician and Facebook advertiser Limited Run when discussing its decaying relationship with Facebook.
They discovered that only 20% of the clicks they were being charged for were from real live people. The remaining 80% had been false clicks generated by bots designed to give the appearance that customers were clicking through to the Limited Run page.
My experience runs pretty close to that of Erik Larson in this Forbes article. We’ve used Facebook ads for Instant Events and for car dealer clients and as long as the parameters are kept narrow, the cost AND the results are both almost negligible.
But when we’ve tried scaling ads and especially when we’ve ran LIKE US campaigns, we spend a lot of money and get a lot of likes from demographically, geographically and interactively inferior Facebook accounts – the kind where there’s no there, there.
Anywhere people are paying for people to click on their ads, there is going to be click fraud. Google has had its own battles. But 3 months into its life as a public company, this latest media flareup shows that Facebook is struggling and will continue to struggle with the challenges of converting the enormous amount of data it gathers into marketable, actionable intelligence for advertisers and a revenue stream for itself.
Photo by Charles Tsevis