Facebook - A Waste Of Money?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by quikshop, May 21, 2012.

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  1. quikshop

    quikshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    I found this article interesting about General Motors decision to end advertising on Facebook because of a lack of response.

    I trialled Facebook PPC marketing about 18 months ago and got some traffic and no return on the investment. Compared to Adwords and targetted banner advertising it was a huge flop.

    Since then Facebook might have improved its targetting algorythms but I cannot see how advertising on free to use generic social media could possibly result in an increase in sales.

    By far a more productive approach is to build a network of 'friends' for your brand to keep them informed of product releases, offers etc. And guess what, that costs you nothing except time :rolleyes:
     
    Posted: May 21, 2012 By: quikshop Member since: Oct 11, 2006
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  2. TheBlogshop

    TheBlogshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    122 26
    I personally think the problem is the fact Facebook is a personal, social resource and people use it almost exclusively for this purpose - they don't go there to be sold to.

    When you're searching for something in Google, there's every possibility that you're looking to buy something, want more information on something or you want a quick answer to your question, which is why Adwords works so well.

    As you suggested, focus on using Facebook to build up your social presence, but think twice if you're looking to it to fulfil your PPC needs.
     
    Posted: May 21, 2012 By: TheBlogshop Member since: May 26, 2011
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  3. LoyaltyCardNetwork

    LoyaltyCardNetwork UKBF Contributor Free Member

    51 7
    Facebook is good for social proof.

    Facebook is like branding, you may only see the benefits in the long term but you can't measure them. You can spend a lot of money getting fans but you won't make any money back in the short term. If you keep updating your facebook with interesting things so that your name shows up on people's feeds and they start remembering your name, then they will remember you and it will pop up in their head and they may come and buy something from you.

    So in the short term, yes it's a complete waste of money, in the long term (assuming you have a good facebook campaign) it can give you benefits.
     
    Posted: May 21, 2012 By: LoyaltyCardNetwork Member since: May 20, 2012
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  4. Daniel.ChannelGrabber

    Daniel.ChannelGrabber UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    52 9
    I am not really that in to Facebook stores but I do think a Facebook presence is a good thing, if a little bit time wasting.

    I have had experience with PPC on Facebook and it isn't very good for most things. It can be good however for certain things though because you can target your ads and as long as what you are selling is highly target-able and has a broad appeal then it would be worth it.

    You could market your internet dating site for Manchester professionals to men aged between 40 and 50, who live close to Manchester, who are single, who have a specific job and other things that help you identify who would see your ad and be interested.

    It is hard to do this with products but the ones that would do well are gadgets that are new or a bit different as they have a broad appeal.

    Using Facebook just to keep a presence going can work, one that I have seen in the past and quite liked: http://www.facebook.com/CraftsbyCharlie?ref=ts

    Charlie has done well. He puts his new products up there, he interacts with his customers and has a really great product that he makes himself. He is 18 and has a great story about starting his business at a very young age and it is appealing to read and thus works well on Facebook.

    PPC is different to Facebook stores. The stores are a complete waste of time. They are a gimmick and a way for eCommerce companies to con you in to thinking it is the next big thing to earn money from it. Just take a look at all the big stores who discontinue their Facebook stores and speak to anyone with one and they will tell you how poor they perform.

    If you bother spending time doing Facebook then make sure you have a bit of an idea of what you hope to achieve. Then you need to ask yourself honestly if you think it will make you back the amount of money you put in to it. I would hazard a guess that for most people it would never make back the money but would be fun and interaction with customers is always good but personally I think there are better ways.
     
    Posted: May 21, 2012 By: Daniel.ChannelGrabber Member since: May 19, 2012
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  5. mikey101

    mikey101 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    Does anyone have a view on the reliability of facebook's ppc tracking? It has been very inconsistent with the google analytic stats. That's my polite way of saying that, based on my experience so far, it feels like I have been completely ripped off.
     
    Posted: May 21, 2012 By: mikey101 Member since: May 21, 2012
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  6. Websitehandyman

    Websitehandyman UKBF Ace Full Member

    2,158 535
    Posted: May 21, 2012 By: Websitehandyman Member since: Nov 25, 2011
    #6
  7. SourChocolate

    SourChocolate UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    225 28
    Hi there,

    we've had a fan page on FB for a while and it's been rather a brand building exercise rather than a good and converting traffic driver. A few weeks ago, we've assigned a small budget and run a PPC campaign. Pretty generic, the purpose was to drive traffic to the page and get new fans. Targeting, age, location - all great & brilliant.

    It's driven new visitors and new "likes" (apparently, people can "like page" from within the ad without even visiting the page which I reckon is rather pointless but ok). Anyway, the curve on FB analytics sky rocketed. Great. After a few days and about £100 spent (~£0.50/click), I started looking closer at those new "fans".

    19 in 20 are fake accounts. Opened very recently, having exactly the same history and activity - apparently, they love to "answer questions" and "change their cover picture" regularly. Nothing else. I'd believe they might be genuine but if you see that 100 accounts who liked our page look exactly the same, no friends, pretty random images etc. - it's a no-brainer something is not quite right.

    I'm really puzzled because I can't understand who would be interested in generating money for FB, except FB themselves? On the other hand, I can't believe FB do that to earn their billions? Who then and what for??

    Anyway, this is our second approach to the FB ad platform and second (very) disappointing experience and a simple conclusion money can be spent more efficiently elsewhere.

    S.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: SourChocolate Member since: Jul 31, 2008
    #7
  8. LoyaltyCardNetwork

    LoyaltyCardNetwork UKBF Contributor Free Member

    51 7
    Did you use a system such as addmefast.com? If you did then you are likely to end up with lots of fake fans. Try searching on youtube for 'addmefast' to see why.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: LoyaltyCardNetwork Member since: May 20, 2012
    #8
  9. simonswords

    simonswords UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,162 38
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: simonswords Member since: Jan 7, 2007
    #9
  10. profscooter

    profscooter UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    84 13
    Agree with the above. All Facebook ads have ever got me is more "likes", not aware of any direct sales although awareness of my business may increase over time. Likes are very very slow to increase if I don't advertise, which suggests to me that the basic Facebook premise that people pick up an interest in products from their friends is largely incorrect.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: profscooter Member since: Jan 23, 2012
    #10
  11. quikshop

    quikshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,705 720
    So the consensus appears to be that Facebook is a useful free marketing tool to enhance brand awareness and build a brand community, but their PPC paid for advertising is not much better than pointless.

    Tell me again why its worth $100 billion on annual revenue (not profit) of $4 billion?
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: quikshop Member since: Oct 11, 2006
    #11
  12. Aqueous

    Aqueous UKBF Contributor Free Member

    43 8
    Dave, clearly it's not. The markets have reacted against it and those of us who cried 'lastminutedotcom' before hand have been vindicated.

    Ads on Facebook are simply an interruption of the reason I went there in the first place. It is the marketers ideal 'mass customisation' model but for that reason it just won't work. When it gets to the point that you can target to within a gnats whisker you need to be sure that you are catching people at the time they want to buy, and frankly FB is not that time.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: Aqueous Member since: May 18, 2012
    #12
  13. SourChocolate

    SourChocolate UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    225 28
    No, we didn't - what's the point? Also, I think these "systems" "like" your page from within the page, not ads... ?!?


    Well, quite a few people believe it is if they were prepared to back it up with their own(?) money.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: SourChocolate Member since: Jul 31, 2008
    #13
  14. Websitehandyman

    Websitehandyman UKBF Ace Full Member

    2,158 535
    I don't think your ever going to get genuine people to befriend your company from an advert and I suspect that's why Facebook advertising is a waste of time for that. It's a bit like advertising your customer services department.

    Social networking is about PR mostly and creating a sense of trust, giving people a human face etc etc. If you company is not outward thinking or just want to take money for goods then the last thing you want to do is advertise of Facebook. Because the last thing most people want on their is adverts. You need something to really pop to get those clicks.

    If however you want to build your Facebook page up to a more creditable looking place with higher count of fans / likes then the are systems that can do that for you. They won't all be people really interested in your business but if you use the right system you can define the features of those people like where they live, age, how long they have had a facebook account and how many fans they have. This is what most celeb or "wanna be" pop star agencies use to reach silly levels to maintain credibility with their target audiences.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: Websitehandyman Member since: Nov 25, 2011
    #14
  15. ecenica

    ecenica UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    648 104
    Hype. :)

    With the share closing a little above $34 I wonder if FB's underwriters are still propping it up?

    Rich
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: ecenica Member since: May 26, 2010
    #15
  16. EddyP

    EddyP UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 1
    I wouldn't call it a waste exactly, there are certain brands that do better on Facebook than others.

    Smaller products, soda's and drinks are particularly good, do well through FB ads.

    Most people don't buy cars on Facebook, so it may not be the most effective form of advertising in the first place.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: EddyP Member since: May 14, 2012
    #16
  17. James Greg

    James Greg UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    307 27
    I don't think so that facebook is the waste of time. Facebook is very reasonable source of social media.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: James Greg Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #17
  18. sightvisit

    sightvisit UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    I think if you have product that needs explaining, FB can help you engage with your customers and bring you to the front of customers minds. If you are a specialist and you don't just move boxes from A-to-B and take a cut, you can use it to answer questions in a constructive and positive way. It is time consuming though and for that reason I don't rate it as the highest priority when going pursuing sales online.
     
    Posted: May 22, 2012 By: sightvisit Member since: May 22, 2012
    #18
  19. LeeSon

    LeeSon UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    it depend on how you use
     
    Posted: May 23, 2012 By: LeeSon Member since: May 23, 2012
    #19
  20. Thinehost

    Thinehost UKBF Regular Full Member

    137 38
    Here's a link to a post on another forum about facebook ads:

    http://www.sowpub.com/forum/showthread.php?p=30923

    The gist of the post is that you should use facebook ads in two ways; firstly, if you're already well known, get these people to like your facebook page and interact with them on facebook (eg new products, etc) or target your competition's customers, especially if they have already built up a good following. :)

    The full thread is quite an interesting read and I'd be interested to know how you react to it? I did try facebook ads but that was long before Ankesh wrote this post. Like others, my advertising bombed - but I like the idea of targeting the competition, so may save this in the marketing idea bank for later this year.

    Margaret
     
    Posted: May 23, 2012 By: Thinehost Member since: Oct 25, 2011
    #20
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