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Monday, July 30, 2012

A "limited run" on Facebook

This rather intriguing Facebook posting from "Limited Run" raises some rather interesting marketing questions.  The company asserts that 80 per cent of its traffic/clicks from Facebook advertising are from bots, and that the social media service demanded $2,000 in advertising for the company to change its page name to match a new branding identity.

The story has gone viral -- I've found a variation of it with hundreds of comments on my Google+ stream.

Is it true?  Well, I don't doubt the story happened -- the question is whether Facebook would really allow virtually all of its click-throughs to be generated by auto-generators.  My skepticism here is that if one company has reported this sort of abuse, why are there not many more complaints?  Lots of people are getting on the bandwagon to 'dis' Facebook -- all of which is generating publicity for the business, which it probably welcomes.

Nevertheless, even if you don't entirely believe the assertions here, there are difficult and challenging branding and practical perceptions about the worthiness and effectiveness of paid social media advertising.  In theory, the ads should be truly effective, if they are properly targeted and relate closely to the relevant interests of the demographic group.  The real story is somewhat more mixed.  Some people in the construction marketing community certainly have achieved results with Facebook advertising; others say they don't think it is worth the money.

My thoughts:  I would tread carefully, and slowly, and with careful planning and analytics, and test the results.  These points are covered in my construction marketing social media book.

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