Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Experience With Facebook Ads. And, Shocker, it Wasn't Good.

We all know by now that I am no fan of Facebook. Privacy "glitches," constant changes, total lack of regard for what users want, no accountability to anyone....those are just a few of the reasons I hate Facebook. Of course I realize I'm a total hypocrite because despite these fails, I continue to use the service, and even my daughter tells me "stop complaining about Facebook on Facebook." I get it. Yet I continue to complain, because I continue to have bad experience after bad experience, and I don't trust them for a hot minute. Have you heard the latest privacy fails? Private messages showing up on people's timelines (Facebook denies it, of course, yet I personally saw it on my own timeline and know many others who saw private messages on theirs too). Messages posted in secret groups being posted in Facebook widgets on public pages. Or Facebook doing their unique spin on analytics--if the numbers aren't favorable, change the metric--so if people aren't clicking on Facebook ads, let's redefine success from clicks to impressions. I'll digress.

At any rate, despite my personal distaste for Facebook, my professional use must continue, and what that is starting to mean more and more is pay-to-play. I'm fine with that, actually--if businesses want to be seen or advertise on Facebook, then they should pay. So I was trying to create a Facebook ad yesterday to do some testing. Created the ad, set up the campaign targeting and details, and clicked "place ad." Nothing. Back to the "create an ad" page I'd started on. Confused, I checked my ad manager--only old ads there, this one hadn't gone through. Tried it again. Same result. And again, and again, and again--probably about ten times in all between yesterday and today. Still--no ad.

I would think that a company that generates 100% of its revenue from ads would make it easy to place those ads. And that there would be some mechanism for "abandoned carts" or ads that were created but didn't go through. Or that there would be some easy-to-spot "contact us" feature. Or, hey, how about a phone number to contact someone for help right when you're setting up the ad?

The thing with Facebook is that unless you spend $10k a month on ads or work for an agency, you're SOL. Want to spend money but have problems trying to create an ad? Good luck getting help with that.  I went through the generic ads help steps, ending with sending Facebook a message describing the problem I'm having and received the autoresponder "we have received your email and will respond to your message soon." Guess we will have to wait and see what "soon" actually means...will update the post when I hear back from them.

Update: After two days, this was the response I received from Facebook:

"We're aware of the problem with the 'Place Order' option and hope to resolve it as soon as possible. I apologize for any inconvenience. However, you can still create the ad if you don't choose to 'Review Ad' first. Directly, after creating the ad, choose the 'Place Order' option, and your ad should be created."
No wonder their stock is down yet again--kind of a problem if a company whose ONLY way to make money is selling ads is experiencing problems with the "place order" function for ads.

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