Want a bunch of cheap Facebook fans? Don’t make this mistake

Screenshot 2014-01-08 at 9.53.49 AM

6 cent cost per click. 1,476 fans for only $210. That’s only 14 cents a fan. But look at the targeting.

They’re buying traffic from India, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, and all sorts of places. Traffic there is a fraction of the cost of the United States, UK, or Canada. Unless you’re able to monetize fans outside of your target country, don’t make this irreversible mistake.

Provided you have your campaigns properly split up into audience (fan growth), engagement, and conversion, the junk fans feed into the engagement stage campaign, clogging things up. That means your News Feed campaigns have to work harder, since they are having to also reach your junk fans.

That’s wasting money. You can’t remove these fans or exclude them in your targeting, unless you have country-level targeting.

We’d rather see your “always on” campaigns (page post ads targeting fans) feeding real fans, even though there is a marginal benefit in appearing to have a large fan base. This tactic is nearly as bad as buying fake fans.

What does a bad conversion look like?

Notice that the above ad had a 6 cent cost per click and 14 cent cost per fan. That means nearly half of the clicks turned into fans. Sounds good, right?

Not terrible, since averages are 50-70%.

But look carefully at the combination of ad copy and targeting.

Screenshot 2014-01-08 at 10.11.05 AM

This ad targets fans of Demi Lovato and then asks if they like Demi Lovato. 4 years ago, this technique could produced fans for fractions of a penny.

But remember that when users click “like” on that ad, they think they’re clicking like on a post or saying they like that celebrity — not that they like your page.

Becoming a fan from the ad itself is called an in-line like. While it does drive the most effective cost per like, especially using this technique, if you want quality fans, we recommend using a page like story (a sponsored story) or generating fans from page post ads.

You want folks who became fans because they love your content and are influenced by activity from their friends.

Facebook’s amazing assist

The good news in all this is that when you tell Facebook what your objective is, via the new objective-based ads flow, their system will automatically optimize.

The ad above got 1,476 fans on 1,711 actions, which means that 86% of actions were fans.

Optimized CPM is the default bidding mechanism when you create ads by objective. We strongly recommend you keep it there, unless you are sophisticated enough to override it with CPC bids by audience and placement.

There is no free lunch

Unless you’re growing your fan base to please an executive or client, you should always have your engagement and conversion campaigns tied into your fan acquisition campaigns. Never do just fan acquisition.

One-off tactics can boost you at one point in the funnel, but it won’t drive revenue unless you tie it all together.

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