Why Your Facebook Ads ‘Don’t Work’.

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The reason Facebook ads do not work is because they squander the money of advertisers, simple!

Last year, I sent a tweet showing  his this screenshot of my Facebook page that had 3 Mafia Wars adverts in one go. That is Facebook wasting 2/3rds of advertising money in one go if doing a CPM.

Another example: In the past 2 months, I have been seeing an ad from GroupSpaces.The first time I saw the ad, I clicked on it to see what it was all about and saw they were recruiting. I saw the ad again and I ‘liked’ it. When Facebook  kept showing me the ad, I disliked it and flagged it as repetitive, hoping it won’t be shown to me again so I could save the guys some money.  2 months and over a hundred impressions later the ad is still being shown to me. By repeatedly showing me an ad I have seen and clicked on, Facebook has wasted Groupspaces money more than a hundred times over with me. The advertising story of Groupspaces is the same with Startupers whose ads I have seen forever.

Ideally, Facebook advertising should be very efficient (unlike Google Adwords) since they know everybody who has seen and clicked an ad (you have to be logged in to see ads) but that is not the case because they deliberately squander the money of advertisers to increase their revenue. The faster you they spend your advertising credit, the better for them. This is plain wrong!

At least when next it seems your ad on Facebook does not seem to work, you know why.

Update: Co founder of GroupSpaces, David Langer, seems quite happy with their ad campaign on Facebook, he says they are fairly competitive with job boards. I still think FB ads can be more efficient if Facebook gives advertisers more options. e.g “Do not show an ad to someone that has clicked it previously”. “Do not show an as to a person more that 4 times”.

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41 thoughts on “Why Your Facebook Ads ‘Don’t Work’.

  1. Facebook is benefitting itself in the short run (showing more ads) by squandering its long term potential. Eventually companies are going to catch on that facebook ads are WORTHLESS and not cost effective in my opinion.

  2. Facebook is benefitting itself in the short run (showing more ads) by squandering its long term potential. Eventually companies are going to catch on that facebook ads are WORTHLESS and not cost effective in my opinion.

  3. Facebook is benefitting itself in the short run (showing more ads) by squandering its long term potential. Eventually companies are going to catch on that facebook ads are WORTHLESS and not cost effective in my opinion.

  4. Facebook is benefitting itself in the short run (showing more ads) by squandering its long term potential. Eventually companies are going to catch on that facebook ads are WORTHLESS and not cost effective in my opinion.

  5. My guess is that when people begin realising the waste, Facebook will change. They are under pressure to generate revenue unfortunately, they are passing it on to the advertizers.

  6. My guess is that when people begin realising the waste, Facebook will change. They are under pressure to generate revenue unfortunately, they are passing it on to the advertizers.

  7. My guess is that when people begin realising the waste, Facebook will change. They are under pressure to generate revenue unfortunately, they are passing it on to the advertizers.

  8. My guess is that when people begin realising the waste, Facebook will change. They are under pressure to generate revenue unfortunately, they are passing it on to the advertizers.

  9. Fantastic post. An ad supported business model will always seek to multiply the number of ads despite effectiveness. Time for new social media tools that deliver customers instead of delivering ads.

  10. Fantastic post. An ad supported business model will always seek to multiply the number of ads despite effectiveness. Time for new social media tools that deliver customers instead of delivering ads.

  11. Fantastic post. An ad supported business model will always seek to multiply the number of ads despite effectiveness. Time for new social media tools that deliver customers instead of delivering ads.

  12. Call me crazy… But aren't facebook ads CPC? Other irritating the viewers of the ads (an unfortunate side effect of getting a CPC environment off the ground), it seems like advertisers are just getting more impressions for their dollar. Whether that's a good thing for their brand in the long run is a separate issue, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a waste.

  13. Call me crazy… But aren't facebook ads CPC? Other than irritating the viewers of the ads (an unfortunate side effect of getting a CPC environment off the ground), it seems like advertisers are just getting more impressions for their dollar. Whether that's a good thing for their brand in the long run is a separate issue, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a waste.

  14. Call me crazy… But aren't facebook ads CPC? Other than irritating the viewers of the ads (an unfortunate side effect of getting a CPC environment off the ground), it seems like advertisers are just getting more impressions for their dollar. Whether that's a good thing for their brand in the long run is a separate issue, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a waste.

  15. Oo, I have to disagree with you on this.

    Firstly: “Facebook has wasted GroupSpaces money more than a hundred times over with me.”

    We're currently paying £0.05 CPM on the ad you saw so those hundred impressions cost us half a penny and we got a free blog post mention out of it. I'm not complaining. 🙂

    However, I think the real proof that Facebook Ads are working well comes from seeing companies like Zynga spending $50-100M/yr profitably acquiring users and Facebook scaling to >$1bn in ad revenue this year.

  16. Oo, I have to disagree with you on this.

    Firstly: “Facebook has wasted GroupSpaces money more than a hundred times over with me.”

    We're currently paying £0.05 CPM on the ad you saw so those hundred impressions cost us half a penny and we got a free blog post mention out of it. I'm not complaining. 🙂

    However, I think the real proof that Facebook Ads are working well comes from seeing companies like Zynga spending $50-100M/yr profitably acquiring users and Facebook scaling to >$1bn in ad revenue this year.

  17. Oo, I have to disagree with you on this.

    Firstly: “Facebook has wasted GroupSpaces money more than a hundred times over with me.”

    We're currently paying £0.05 CPM on the ad you saw so those hundred impressions cost us half a penny and we got a free blog post mention out of it. I'm not complaining. 🙂

    However, I think the real proof that Facebook Ads are working well comes from seeing companies like Zynga spending $50-100M/yr profitably acquiring users and Facebook scaling to >$1bn in ad revenue this year.

  18. Do you want to use facebook or not? simple as that. if you don't want it then get on the side of the advertisers. What you are saying is tantamount to you running a company and you want to cut the price of your products for the benefits of your customers, leaving you with no profit. Ridiculous

  19. Do you want to use facebook or not? simple as that. if you don't want it then get on the side of the advertisers. What you are saying is tantamount to you running a company and you want to cut the price of your products for the benefits of your customers, leaving you with no profit. Ridiculous

  20. Do you want to use facebook or not? simple as that. if you don't want it then get on the side of the advertisers. What you are saying is tantamount to you running a company and you want to cut the price of your products for the benefits of your customers, leaving you with no profit. Ridiculous

  21. It is good to know that you have no issues with the ad, I have updated my post accordingly. Maybe it is not a big issue with very low priced CPM's as in your case. However, I do think advertisers should have the option of not displaying an ad to someone that has either seen or clicked an ad before.

    FB forever kept showing me an ad for the FanPage 'London startups' even after joining. After about 3 months of their campaign, they have a grand total of 131 fans. I cannot help but think Facebook kept showing me an ad they should have shown someone else.

  22. It is good to know that you have no issues with the ad, I have updated my post accordingly. Maybe it is not a big issue with very low priced CPM's as in your case. However, I do think advertisers should have the option of not displaying an ad to someone that has either seen or clicked an ad before.

    FB forever kept showing me an ad for the FanPage 'London startups' even after joining. After about 3 months of their campaign, they have a grand total of 131 fans. I cannot help but think Facebook kept showing me an ad they should have shown someone else.

  23. No, don't be discouraged. Test it with a little sum say 5 quid before making a decision. Like David above said, it was useful for him. I would suggest a very low CPM bid say, 0.05 to start with.

  24. No, don't be discouraged. Test it with a little sum say 5 quid before making a decision. Like David above said, it was useful for him. I would suggest a very low CPM bid say, 0.05 to start with.

  25. I've used facebook ads, a while back. And it was quite effective; for a time. I think the thing with facebook ads is that after a while it gets shown to everyone in the desired 'network'. Once that happens it's time to cash in and move on to another network, if your business allows it, or stop the campaign all together. And yes, most people I know go for the CPC option.
    Also, I say it's quite effective in the sense that it brought a large number of people to the website with a low bounce rate. I think Facebook Ads is all about how you market it and knowing when it's time to move on… 🙂

  26. I've used facebook ads, a while back. And it was quite effective; for a time. I think the thing with facebook ads is that after a while it gets shown to everyone in the desired 'network'. Once that happens it's time to cash in and move on to another network, if your business allows it, or stop the campaign all together. And yes, most people I know go for the CPC option.
    Also, I say it's quite effective in the sense that it brought a large number of people to the website with a low bounce rate. I think Facebook Ads is all about how you market it and knowing when it's time to move on… 🙂

  27. “I think the thing with facebook ads is that after a while it gets shown to everyone in the desired 'network'. Once that happens it's time to cash in and move on to another network, “

    This girl, you too know book. What I will do next time is to see the total number of people in a network and see the number of times it has been show. CPM of Facebook is far cheaper then CPC though.

  28. “I think the thing with facebook ads is that after a while it gets shown to everyone in the desired 'network'. Once that happens it's time to cash in and move on to another network, “

    This girl, you too know book. What I will do next time is to see the total number of people in a network and see the number of times it has been show. CPM on Facebook is far cheaper then CPC though.

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