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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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