Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / April 17th, 2008

Update on Facebook PPC: Impressions are Good, Customer Service Isn't

So I posted yesterday about my test run of the new Facebook Pay Per Click ad system.  You can read that here for some background.

Well after one day, I have some updates.  The number of targeted impressions you get is great.  The customer service, well, not so much.

When you create an ad you get the option of paying per click (PPC) or paying by the number of impressions (CPM).  I chose to go the PPC route, since that makes more sense when you can a call to action that is on the Web as opposed to simply trying to increase brand awareness. 

I created two different targeted ads: one that hits Microsoft employees in a certain age group and geographical location, and another that targets people working in metro Seattle, since we have an office there that serves both Microsoft and other businesses.

The results have been interesting.  Not good, but also not bad.  You see, I’m not getting any clicks but I’m getting a ton of impressions.  If I’d chose to pay on the CPM model, I would’ve spent a bunch more.  However on the PPC structure I’ve only spent about $3 for over 18,000 impressions.  That tells me the ads themselves aren’t worded well.  They’re being seen, but not clicked.  Check out the details below:

facebook stats

The chart at the bottom shows the actual clicks.  Terrible.  However the impressions are pretty high for one day.  Especially considering these ads are targeting specific people in a very specific region. 

So now to the bad news.  Facebook’s has embraced its status as a technology company by offering customer service with no human interaction.  As I wrote yesterday, I kept getting an error message when I tried to create an ad.  Here’s what it said:

The text of this ad contains spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or both. As per section 4 of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines, all ad text should be logical, grammatically correct, and in the form of complete sentences with correct spelling. This ad should not be run again in its current form. Please make the necessary changes to your ad before reposting it so that it adheres to the above guidelines.

After several attempts of trial and error, since they don’t tell me specifically what the problem is, I discovered the problem: I was using the word Silverlight in the ad body.  Even Microsoft Word, ironically, tells me that word is misspelled.  So I emailed their customer service to figure out how I can use a product name in the ad (I can’t wait to see what happens when I try ASP.NET in a future ad).  Here’s what I got back:

Hi Peter,  

The text of your ad contains spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or both. As per section 4 of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines, all ad text should be logical, grammatically correct, and in the form of complete sentences with correct spelling. Please review our Terms and Guidelines if you have further questions. This ad should not be run again on the site under any circumstances.  

In addition, your ad contains improper or unnecessary punctuation. All ads must end with a form of punctuation. As per section 5 of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines, all ads should include logical, correct punctuation.  

Please let me know if you have further questions or problems.   Thanks for contacting Facebook,  

Pam
Customer Operations
Facebook

Look familiar?  At least she took the time to sandwich the cut and paste text I’d already seen between a nice personal salutation and her name.  I didn’t respond with what I wanted to, but for therapeutic reasons, here it is:

Hi Pam,

Thank you for your prompt reply!  However, your response failed to meet my guidelines for effective customer service.  Please refer to the common sense guidelines for dealing with humans.  As per article 1 section 1, you shouldn’t regurgitate the same generic language to someone who is spending money with your company and actually reaching out to you to find out how to spend even more.

In addition, your response seems to have been created by a robot.  This is also a no no.

Please let me know if you’re actually alive, and if so, the answer to my question.

Peter
Human/Customer

In reality, I just restated my question to Pam.  We’ll see if they actually write back.  In the mean time, I’m going to write some more engaging ad copy to see if I can get those clicks up.  Hoping to break in to double digits by day’s end!