The Glass Harmonica Blog

May 5, 2010

Are Facebook pay-per-click ads any good?

Filed under: Social networks — richardmilton @ 10:04 pm

I intended to blog every day about the experience of uploading a novel to and then setting up social networks to support it. That was before I was hit by the Tsunami of urgent tasks that engulfed me as soon as I had uploaded the text.

In the last week, I have started a pay-per-click ad campaign on Facebook – and been inexplicably rejected and deleted by them for my trouble(!) re-optimised my website and waited ages to get re-indexed by Google, finally got to the bottom of how to import Word text into this pesky Blog – and somehow managed to get The Glass Harmonica to the Number 1 spot in the weekly list. More on all of these issues anon.

I put up a pay per click ad on Facebook directing people to my website for a free look at the novel. There are three chapters shown there and if you want to read more, there is a link to the complete book – again free of charge.

Setting up your Facebook ad campaign is completely different from Google PPC Ads, which are driven by keyword searches. Facebook is seen by everyone – unless that is you limit the reach of the ad by selecting various demographics. Here I encountered my first problem. There is an age demographic selector which is set by default at 18. I altered this to 13 and above because I reasoned that teenagers might well want to read a free thriller. What I didn’t realise was that this automatically triggered a process where my ad had to be scrutinised by the Facebook police in case it was porn or whatever. This entailed a three day wait. However, after three days, it was passed and the ad was published.

It immediately attracted a lot of clicks (at about 40 p each) and I quickly went through my £10 daily test budget, so I paused it. I realised that the wide demographics I had chosen (reaching 160 million people in the UK and US) was far too indiscriminate. So I went back in and changed the demographics to people who had specified that they liked reading and books. This dropped the reach to about 6 millions.

However, because I continued to leave the age set at 13 upwards, the ad automatically went back into the approval process. Another wait. This time, I never found out how long my budget would last because the Facebook police disapproved the ad! Nothing had changed except the amount of revenue they were going to earn ( 🙂 ) but now the ad had suddenly become unacceptable!

What’s going on? Who knows. Life is too short to waste time on idiots who don’t know what they are doing and only want your cash.


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