Don’t get Facebook ad scammed: beware of false promises from cold callers

I’m sure we’ve all had those marketing calls:

We see that you’re not number one in Google for [random non-income-generating term] – we guarantee to get you to the top of Google!

It’s a familiar scam that preys on many people’s lack of knowledge about paid search listings, and we like to help educate people so that they don’t get caught by these guys.

Google’s so 2009 –
now its Facebook!

Now that Facebook has asserted itself as a viable and potentially successful advertising platform, I suppose it’s of no surprise to see the chancers jumping across to this new land of scamming opportunity. We’ve already seen a few ‘offerings’ that our clients have passed onto us, and we’ve got to say they’re…interesting.

‘Basic’ package: Targets a 10 mile radius with a guaranteed 1000 impressions each month for just £69 plus £10 setup! That’s only £93 CPM!

CPM is ‘cost per thousand impressions’, a standard industry measurement. The company then offers more expensive packages that target greater geographic ranges. The CPM rate and emphasis is my own (and tongue-in-cheek!)

What’s wrong with this offering?

  • Point 1: For SMEs it’s almost never the best option to be targeting impressions. Beware anyone who sells according to impressions as it means very little; concentrate on clicks and enquiries/sales derived from those clicks.Poor Facebook advertising
  • Point 2: Facebook allows you to concentrate on these clicks by running cost-per-click campaigns – you only pay for the clicks. So the company above could be charging £93 to run a cost-per-click campaign that wasn’t well targeted and only resulted in a few clicks, which at Facebook’s current rates is likely to cost you only a few pounds. £93 – £5 = a lot of your budget going into someone’s pocket.
  • Point 3: With Facebook cost-per-click campaigns you’ll still get the impression benefits even if people don’t click your ads, and you won’t have to pay specifically for it. We almost always see effective CPM (cost per thousand impression) rates of less than £1 on Facebook – compare that to the £93 being charged here.
  • Point 4: Facebook location targeting should be used to improve the relevance of traffic – it’s not a ‘step up’ so that it’s more expensive to target larger areas. Yes you’ll get potentially more traffic, but if you use the demographic options well it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll spend huge amounts more.

OK, an admission

Admittedly my criticism is slightly disingenuous as Facebook campaigns are tricky to set up and we would certainly charge a fee for this work, but any company charging you for Facebook advertising should be clear and transparent about this instead of hiding fees behind impressions figures. £10 is certainly not a realistic setup fee for a well designed campaign, and therein lies the rub: I doubt there is much good campaign design going on at these companies!

Have you had any experience with these companies? What are your thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “Don’t get Facebook ad scammed: beware of false promises from cold callers”

  1. Fergus Macdonald says:

    Co-incidence…a couple of days ago I got my first sales call for guaranteed ‘top spot’ Facebook advertising for a fixed fee per month. The wider my target area, the higher the fee would be.nnPushy sales people that continually rely on buzzwords to sell their product, and can’t actually tell you how it works are always suspicious. A URL that lead no where sealed the deal.

  2. I just received a phone call from someone offering me unlimited clicks for a set fee. Funny because I run my own Facebook campaign as I have a lot of adwords experience and certificate yet these people still try and sell my items that cannot be bought. He also tried to sell my unlimited clicks on Google for a fee of £100 when the average CPC in my industry is around £6 and based on what I knew this just wasn’t possible.

    I challenged the guy and asked his company name, “calling on behalf of Facebook.com” was his response, so I asked again whats your company name, he said I’ve just told you. So i told him he was either a scammer or working on behalf of and he called me a liar.

    I told him what he was selling was bullish*t because it doesn’t exist. He then got argumentative with me in an attempt to win me over and I mean borderline aggressive. So I had some fun, toyed with him and told him why it was crap and that he has no technical knowledge of how it works, he was just told to sell it like this.

    Shame he rang from a withheld number, because I would love fun with these companies all the time. The moral of the story, ask for his company name, and let him know, NO ONE OFFERS UNLIMITED CLICKS TO BE ANYWHERE!!!! And definitely not for a small fee!

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