Lies, damn lies and Facebook

I was thinking of advertising somewhere. Sorry, I meant leveraging my cross-platform modalities. And where better than Facebook. Well as it turns out, practically anywhere. I think my ad would have done better in the newsagent’s window in Aldeburgh, frankly. It would certainly have been more cost-effective.

I had an ad there for a month. On Facebook, obviously. The results were memorable. Two click-throughs. Two. In a month. I certainly remember that.  Then Facebook phoned: “Would I like to buy an ad?”

Well no, Facebook, I bought one and nothing happened so I won’t be buying another. “We’ll look into it,” said Facebook. And by an AMAZING coincidence there were 50 click-throughs in the next 24 hours. I must be born lucky that way.

Over the next week my little old Facebook ad, the one that garnered no clicks at all for a month, managed 150 click-throughs to the Amazon page I’d specified. The results, or ‘insights’ as Facebook’s newspeak has it, were impressive, or they would be if my stats-inclusive BSc put most of its emphasis on BS.

Facebook Insights

In the new amazing world of business school MBA Advanced Know Nothingness, ‘insights’ just means ‘some numbers.’ You can tell the quality of them by the way they record website hits (a search engine crawled across it) instead of visits (someone actually went to the site). This is the upside down-world of insights, Search Engine Optimisation and ‘creative’ content. In the modern Alice Through the LCD the medium isn’t just the message, it’s actually more important.

So here are some insights anyone on The Apprentice would be proud to trot out.

150 clicks. £60. 9 new Facebook likes. Net sales – er one.

The ad was straightforward. Buy Not Your Heart Away, now, in paperback and Kindle. Click here.

Not_Your_Heart_Away_Cover_for_Kindle

That was it. There could only be one reason to click on it, to go straight to the Amazon page. It’s not exactly ambiguous. I never saw the ad. No-one I know has ever seen the ad, but then, considering a friend’s house-to-rent is on there most days and she’s never even considered using Facebook let alone paid for it maybe that’s not too surprising.

That house is advertised on another website, one that’s nothing to do with Facebook. Nice-looking house.

Nice of someone to run an ad for it without the owner knowing.

There’s one difference between those two ads, of course. Mine was paid for, my friend’s wasn’t. But they both have at least one thing in common. They don’t produce any results.

Whatever you do, don’t buy a Facebook ad. It’s a total waste of time and money. But it’s the transparency of the con-trick that’s the most insulting part of all.

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