Facebook – a new definition of insanity

Oh, my love/hate relationship with Facebook. I’ve been dumped by the wayside and just can’t get over it. Well, it’s not quite like that. But there was an article I found mentioned on G+ earlier todayHERE claiming:

The Moz Blog had a great post about the cost of doing business these days in various outlets. The cost to reach 1,000 people via newspaper is $32; for cable TV it’s $7, and on Facebook it’s $0.25. So for around a $1 a day on Facebook ads, a brand has the potential to get in front of 4,000 people. That’s $30 a month!

I commented on the original post on G+

a page with only 2,000 likes will pay at minimum about $10/day to promote a post to all of their fans. other than that, a decent article.

Here’s some screenshot evidence of that statement:

This was for my Seven Summits Body page – promoting a simple post, nothing complicated mind you. I went ahead with the $20 level that is highlighted there. For some strange reason it took about 4 hours to approve the ad. Based on previous bad experiences with FB ads, if it takes more than about an hour to approve I will not be happy at all.

Notice that I selected people who LIKED MY PAGE. These are people that have actually asked to get update notices from my page, and  in the past used to get them FOR FREE. So as in the cited “happy article” I should expect to pay a dollar a day to get my own fans to see my own posts that they asked to see. No more than $30 a month.

But the dropdown didn’t have a “4000 Fans for $1.00” option.

Sorry Moz Blog – whatever it is you’re selling isn’t founded on a visible obvious reality. If you can get my posts to 120,000 Fans per month for $30 hook me up! I kid you not. Because Facebook won’t do it.

This screenshot shows the reality after letting the ad run for a few hours after it was finally approved.

People who LIKED my page and requested notifications: $71.11 CPM
Their Friends – who get the Friends-of-Friends notifications: $12.74 CPM

I canceled the ad at this point. There was no point in letting it run. It was obvious that there was no way I could get in the middle of that 2600-6700 target audience for that $20. I would have blown through that by the time I got to 300 Fans who LIKED my page and asked for updates.

Facebook has hinted that they want to clean up the Newsfeed and stop serving ads that don’t pay above a certain level, so they want to make it a lot more expensive and not show posts from Pages that don’t meet some secret acid test of engagement. I see a lot of ads in my newsfeed that appear to be using the shotgun approach since I am clearly not in any demographic that would buy their product.

As an example I got a slew of ads for a dog obedience class and I have never ever claimed in any post to have or like or tolerate dogs in any way. I have no idea what category they put me in to get that ad.

What to do what to do.

Obviously, small mom and pop and other businesses with a tight margin will not be able to pay that kind of fee. Yes, $72 CPM is only 7.2 pennies per “view” and at a 6% click-through to your page, it’s only $1.20 per click. Not bad for filling your funnel. If 6% of those click out to your landing page then those cost $20 each. If 6% of those click your Buy Now link on the landing page then those cost $333. If you have a $1000 or higher product then that might not be a bad ROI at all.

I’m just playing with math and using some average numbers I skimmed from some “how to plan your campaign best and worst case scenarios”. I’m sure some marketing gurus can make all those numbers a LOT closer to 100%.

Frustrating

Just previous to all of these changes I ran a campaign very similar to this one from the same page for $30 that got 18,000 views and 600 clicks to the landing page. I would love to have seen that same result from this most recent $20 test. That’s $1.67 CPM by the way and if the Moz article was written during that same time from a few months ago, it was probably true then.

I’ve had to cancel all of my ads since the changes for the same reason as I cancelled this one. I can’t support that level of CPM with any of my products. I know I’m not alone on that. But I don’t think FB really cares about the small fry anymore.

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About the Author: Charles Miske

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