InsideFacebook reports there has been a buzz around the interwebs about Facebook ads not being very effective. Veritasium released a video on February 10 claiming proof of fraud within Facebook’s paid advertising mechanism. Derek Muller, owner of Veritasium’s YouTube channel, experimented with Facebook’s ads on a random page about cats.
Derek argues that since there are a lot of fake accounts on Facebook, thanks to click farms around the world, when Facebook sends out ads to your chosen audience, most of these sponsored stories end up in the News Feed of fake accounts. As the number of spamming fans grows on your page, your engagement rate slows down, forcing you to buy another ad campaign from Facebook to increase interaction with users.
Facebook has attempted to remove fake accounts and continues to monitor the social network for spammers but Derek highlights that Facebook does not delete the fake likes even if the account gets deleted.
He goes on to explain why he thinks the likes he received on his cat page were fake:
“OK, here’s the thing. The global average “likes” per person is 40. For most countries it looks like 20 and below. Virtually everyone who liked my page liked in excess of 900 things (I say virtually because I could only spot-check random profiles and then the number of likes is not easy to ascertain – you have to scroll for miles through their likes and then count using a query of the code). These are clearly not typical accounts.”
So Derek argues that with paid advertising, you can’t be sure that you’re reaching out to genuine fans. And if you’re not, it can be a big problem since it weighs on your standing within the News Feed algorithm.