How Not to do Social Marketing

Have you ever wondered how to increase your audience and gain new customers via social marketing? I know I have. And recently, as a naive social page administrator/marketer for my new venture, Typographic Expressions, I took the plunge and tried my hand at a bit of social page promotion.

That ended up being a horrible decision.

And as you will see, I found out that Advertising your page on Facebook is a waste of money.

At a Glance

I spent a total of $60 to promote my page and boost two of my posts on Facebook. In the end, the only thing I achieved was whoring my page out for “likes”, making me feel cheap and cheated.

Here are the results:

  • Reach: 35,386
  • Engagement: 279 (238 of which were from new page “likes”)
  • Engagement Rate: 0.79%
  • Website Visits from Facebook: 28

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that these results are paltry at best. Sure, it’s an impressive looking “reach” of potential customers. But less than 1% of those reached actually had any sort of engagement.

Confirming My Suspicions

From what I have since learned, paying Facebook to promote your page is akin to punching yourself in the face and making your brand page less effective to users who actually matter.

Don’t believe me?

Right as my page promotion and post boosts were wrapping up — about the time I was growing very suspicious about the “results” — I came across the following video entitled “Facebook Fraud” (by Veritasium).

Do yourself a favor: Take 9 minutes and watch this video.

I’ll trust you watched at least part of the video, so I won’t bother reiterating everything it talked about. But the long and short of it is this:

Advertising your page on Facebook is a waste of money.

While they may not outsource to click farms in developing countries (which is apparently against their policies), the actual “likes” your page gets are bound to be suspicious and are rarely genuine. And they may end up hurting the future effectiveness of your posts.

The video references a BBC investigation about Facebook advertisements and likes. If you’re interested in reading about it, it’s well worth your time. Here’s the link: “Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘adverts’ value doubted”

In case you’re suspicious that this video (and BBC investigation) is just one guy’s rant about Facebook, take a look for yourself. Just do a search for “Facebook advertising fraud.” Peruse through the results of that search, and you’ll quickly see that this isn’t a new phenomenon. I only wish I had known about this before wasting my own money.

The Takeaway

Admittedly, the designs of Typographic Expressions are sort of a niche market. Not everyone is going to like the designs. And even if they do, they’re not all going to be lining up to buy the designs if they’re not completely in love with them. So I certainly wasn’t expecting Facebook ads to work a miracle, but the results were subpar no matter what.

So, will I ever pay Facebook to promote my page again? I sincerely doubt it. I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of getting genuine interaction from users who actually like my page, not (seemingly) automated and shallow interaction that results in nothing.

Moving forward, I’ll be sure to do plenty more research and investigation before committing to spend money on the auspices of getting some social “likes”, no matter what social site it may be on.

At the end of the day, I think it’s safe to say that I don’t trust Facebook for paid promotions. And you shouldn’t either. To reiterate the main point of the video and BBC investigation:

Advertising your page on Facebook is a waste of money.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go sift through the last 10 days worth of page “likes” and weed out the suspicious ones. You know, just undoing the damage done by paying Facebook to advertise.

 

Featured photo: “Fire” by Mike Poresky

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