Adverts

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Facebook Adverts - And Why They Don't Work

Facebook sent me an e-mail the other day, offering me £25.00 of free advertising because Free House Project reached the magical total of 50 likes.

Why me?  I don't own a business, and my pages are non-profit making.  I am hardly going to end up spending money I don't have on advertising.

However, I like to try new things out, and especially this year I am expanding my knowledge of geeky stuff so I thought I would use this free £25.00 of advertising to promote the next Free House Project.

It was reasonably easy to set up, and my advert is designed to show on the side of pages for people living in a 20km radius of Reading who like dance/electronic music.  I didn't have massively high hopes, but I thought maybe another 10 people might attend.

Now so far over 5 days, I have spent £6.35 of my credit - 9,294 people have seen my advert for an average of 3.6 times.

And the success rate?

Well a grand total of 0 people have clicked like, share or attending, etc.  A whole 10 people clicked on the advert (accidentally?!).

Perhaps it is my advert.  Perhaps Free House Project is unappealing.  However - why are Facebook giving me free advertising.  Why are companies not purchasing it?  The only advert I can otherwise see is for Flight Simulators.

Have you ever clicked on an advert on Facebook?  No, neither have I (to my recollection).

Google has a very successful advertising platform on it's search engine.  This is the key - people use Google to search for something (amongst many other uses nowadays but its key function is search).  Often, if I am using Google, I will have an ideal purchase in mind.  I will use Google to search for events, for shops selling t-shirts, for websites offering flats for rent, etc.  When I use Google, I am often going to end up looking for something that I may purchase.

Facebook is for socialising.  When I use Facebook, I do not use it with the intention of purchasing.  I either use it because I want to talk to friends, or because I want to chat shit about myself or say something controversial or attempt some humour, or just generally to pass the time.  It isn't impossible that I would decide to purchase something whilst on Facebook, but it is unlikely.

If Facebook insists on putting adverts in people's news feeds, this could well push people away.  Except me because I am clever enough to use Adblock (there are adverts on the internet?!).

The game isn't over yet for Facebook.  But it needs to remember what it is.  It should look to find innovative ways of monetising it's services.  Adverts do not work.

If it wants to copy Google's advertising model, then it should become a fully-fledged search engine.  There is no reason why Google should continue it's search engine monopoly forever (yes I know there is something called Bing but that doesn't count) and Facebook could and probably should try to compete.

Otherwise it needs to work on ways, such as games, but probably something a bit more inventive than my current tiredness can conjure up on the spot, to make money.  Something new, something social.

I have written to Facebook before with suggestions - not once have I had the courtesy of a response. It needs to stop being so arrogant and start listening to it's users.  How many times it can still get away with pissing so many of it's (change-phobic) users off I do not know.

Given the lack of success of my advert, I certainly will not be using it in the future.

The pressure is on now it is a public company and especially now the shares are worth less than half they floated at with many warning of worse to come.

Anyone remember Myspace?