Friday, February 13, 2015

A Facebook adverts warning!

I started a Facebook page at the end of 2012, and over the next couple of years build up around 2,000 likes. My reach (how many people see each of your posts) was usually up to 40%, which was good for Facebook. Then I started getting the “Promote your Page” adverts, and after a few weeks I caved. I may as well pay for some advertising, theres a billion people on Facebook, hundreds of thousands of pages, a nudge couldn’t do any harm, its cheap enough anyway.

The likes came in pretty fast, and after a couple of weeks, I was at 5,000 Likes. I turned off the advertising and went back to posting. Pretty soon I noticed reach was now down to less than 1%, I put it down to Facebooks new policy of limiting reach to force pages to “Promote their Posts” and thought nothing of it.

2015 rolls around and I decide to look into this further, yes Facebook reach is being limited but it shouldn’t be as low as I was getting. So I started looking at my “Likes”, while there was many genuine ones, there was obvious fakes ones - strings of likes from the same countries. I took a sampling of the users from these strings and looked at their profiles, all of them had liked thousands of pages, most of them up near 10,000 page likes, very few friends and very few posts on their own page. 

Now even a user with 1,000 likes is not going to see much of what those pages post unless they spend hours scrolling! So I started deleting, I was feeling good, I can this back on track, I can get it down to my original 2,000 likes (and whatever I could guess were genuine) and I could get some sort of reach back. But pretty soon I couldn’t see any more likes in my list. 


So I started searching again, you are only allowed to see the last few hundred likes. Loads of pages in similar positions, years, and thousands of hours wasted because they opted to advertise, a very normal practise!! Many asked Facebook for help, and every response from Facebook? “Turn on country restrictions to stop any further fake likes”. So you are stuck with your fake likes and stop any new likes from WHOLE COUNTRIES (turning on country restrictions did seem to strip some likes, but who wants to leave that turned on!). 

Deflated I gave up and left it for a few days. Again I went back to searching, most people had opted to scrap their page and start from scratch, their business was suffering, Facebook weren’t offering a solution, it was the only option left.

So I have started from scratch! Unfortunately not many people on my old page saw the page moved post, so after a week only 69 likes, but a nice post reach. I won’t be paying for advertising again, even by targeting to a very limited demographic, its just not worth the risk.

After a few weeks:

9 months later only 112 page Likes :( (haven't had much time to get it out there), but post reach is usually well over 100 for most posts.

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