This past week, I came across a couple of articles that talked about how some Facebook advertisers think that ad clicks are coming from bots and not “real” people. The first article that was brought to my attention showcases Limited Run’s struggle with Facebook. They claim that 80 percent of their ad clicks came from bots. In a Forbes article, Erik Larson claims that 90 percent of his ad clicks came from bots.
When Erik thought something wasn’t right with his web traffic, he contacted Facebook to see if they could provide any insight to what was going on with his ads. Even with the amazing analytics that Facebook has, they were not willing to divulge any details on his campaign. The same happened to Limited Run. They received little support from Facebook, so little that they are no longer going to participate in the social network.
Both the Forbes and the CNET article chronicle the experience that these users had with Facebook, and both articles are worth a read. To me, the issue at hand isn’t really about bots or Facebook’s unwillingness to cooperate with these people. I’m more curious about the decision to market a website through Facebook. One thing that both articles failed to talk about was the decision to market a website through Facebook advertising. Both Limited Run and Erik used Facebook ads to target an external website and not their Facebook page.
That decision right there is an anomaly on its own. Why would you do that? Yes, I understand that Facebook has billions of users, and you can get really specific with your ad targeting, but why send a user off of Facebook to your website? Why wouldn’t you use your ads to get “likes” to your Facebook page? I think it’s pretty clear that having a Facebook fanbase is imperative for many businesses and brands. Build up your Facebook presence/engagement, and you can easily promote your website through Facebook.
If web traffic is truly what these folks wanted, SEO or an AdWords campaign would’ve been a much better marketing decision.
Are bots drumming up “likes” on your ad campaign?
Seeing if your “likes” are from real people or bots might be a challenge. What you can do is create an engagement ratio to monitor your users engagement with the page. Using Facebook insights, you should be able to come up with a little formula for your page. In looking at the history, lets say that for every 100 likes you get, you average 10 wall posts and 25 shares. If you run a campaign and you get 500 likes, you should see wall posts and shares go up proportionately. If your likes compared to shares/wall posts grows at a disproportionate rate, something might be up.
What do you think about all of this?
Photo from BirgerKing