Facebook Ads helped the social network generate record fourth quarter revenue, and according to an advertiser, his $ 640,000 was a complete waste.
Raaj Kapur Brar runs various online fashion magazines, and like many other publishers, wanted to get new fans and drive traffic to his sites.
However, according to Brar, Facebook delivered thousands of fake likes and clicks. This isn’t the first time that such claims have been made.
According to the social network’s recent report, 0.4 to 1.2 percent of worldwide monthly active users are spammers. This includes fake accounts, and means nearly 15 million accounts on the high end.
Brar saw promise with Facebook Ads back in 2012 when he ran a small beta test after being trained at Facebook’s Toronto office.
Soon, he’d launch a major campaign, which he says was closely monitored with Bitly and Google Analytics.
Here’s where things allegedly went wrong:
“Facebook’s analytics said the campaign sent him five times the number of clicks he was seeing arrive on his sites. There was a reasonable discrepancy between the Bitly and Google numbers, Brar says, but not the five-fold margin between Google’s and Facebook’s click counts.”
According to Brar, Facebook said it delivered 606,000 clicks to his websites, but he only actually saw 160,000 clicks.
Brar stuck with the campaign, setting a budget of up to $ 100,000 per day, and eventually called it quits:
“I don’t know what to say, right? This is a huge loss. This ran for four days, then we just stopped the campaign.”
Combined with other efforts, he claims he spent around $ 640,000 on Facebook Ads.
While it’s possible that Brar’s claims of Facebook delivering fake likes and clicks are true, the fact remains that the campaign ran for several days with a huge budget behind it.
Brar allowed the campaign to keep running, and the money to be put behind it.
Through it all, Business Insider makes an important distinction:
“Nonetheless, a badly targeted campaign can generate huge numbers of fake fans and bogus likes. This appears to be what happened to Brar.”
In a way, advertising is a more sophisticated version of gambling. You put money in, and expect a return.
Unfortunately, many never see a return on that money, and are left with nothing to show for their effort.
Brar’s case is a reminder for all businesses to start off small with the most effective strategies in place than to go all in on red.
Facebook can only promise exposure, and your results depend on a number of different factors, factors that you should have already thoroughly researched.