Advertising on Facebook: bad ads are bad for everyone

I’ve just spent the past hour and a half going through Facebook, looking at the various ads targeted to Irish people and getting more and more annoyed with them. The standard of copy, design and actions after clicking an ad makes me want to bang my head against a wall. If badly designed ads are most common on Facebook it means people will pay less attention to them. This is bad for Facebook from a revenue perspective and bad for advertisers who work hard for good copy as people will self-train themselves to ignore all ads due to bad experiences. Here are some tips on what to do and what not do with examples from this evening.

Here are some tips:

Include an image:
This ad is boring plain text. An image would have gotten our attention more.
Useless facebook ad

Target your ads:
This ad asks are you from Ulster. 3/4 of the population that are outside of Ulster also see this ad. Not smart.
Useless facebook ad

Target your copy:
The ad here knows my age so mentions it in the ad itself. You can target deeper than that though. How about my gender, my employment, my martial status?

Useless facebook ad

Have a landing page if going offsite:
These ads sent us to the front page of the websites. Why? Have a targeted ad send us to a targeted page. Make sure the page is designed to ask an action of the person that’s landed.
Useless facebook ad Useless facebook ad

This ad sends us to a specific product page but it isn’t streamlined or have the same copy as the ad that sent you there:
Useless facebook ad

If sending to a page, make sure there’s activity.
This ad sends you to a page that looks pretty dead:
Useless facebook ad

If sending to a page for booze or other goods, make it legal
14 year olds can become fans of this booze. Not good.

Useless facebook ad

Facebook doubles in size in Ireland in 12 months – 400k in January 09

Using Facebook’s ad system we can now see that Facebook in Ireland has doubled in size in 12 months, going from just under 200,000 users in January 2008 to 400,980 Irish users in January 2009.

The growth pattern in numbers for Facebook users in Ireland:
January 2007 7,000 users in Ireland
October 2007 131,000 users in Ireland
January 2008 Under 200,000 users in Ireland
April 2008 – 224,820 users in Ireland
January 2009 400,980 users in Ireland

More stats:
400,980 users in Ireland

387,580 registered their gender
Male 169,280
Female 218,240

Relationship status: 223,520 registered their status
Single 80,060
In a relationship 75,960
Engaged 14,560
Married 52,820

Age 21 to 35 – 301,140 75.1%
Age 25 and up – 275,660 68.9%
Age 30 and up – 148,320 36.9%
Age 18 and under 17,540 4.4%

O2’s Irish Facebook and Bebo Apps that make consumers some cash

Yesterday I got an invite to install the O2 Ireland “Pass it on” Facebook Application (which also works in Bebo).

O2 App on Facebook

The idea is that if you send invites to your friends you’ll get money. 50 cents of credit that is. On Facebook it says you can send 4 invites a week but in the Terms and Conditions on their site it says 2 invites per week. If one of these friends applies for a free SIM card then you get €1. If a friend gets 20 quid in credit then you get a fiver in credit but the murky T&Cs say they must use the app themselves?

c) Level 3: €5.00 will be rewarded to you the first time that a friend that you invited who ordered a SIM through the member get member service purchases credit worth €20 or more. This friend MUST enter their new O2 mobile number into the application for this reward to be applied.

So either you can earn 2 X (€0.5 + €1 +€5) = €13 a week or else 4 X (€0.5 + €1 +€5) = €26 a week. The maximum you can earn is €300 in 6 months. Which is 46 friends.

Without evening checking I would think that takeup on Bebo is going to be a lot better than on Facebook. Looking at the age demographic and employment demographic for Facebook, they are going to have more people on contract than on credit phones and they won’t be able to move people as easily to a credit phone either. Bebo of course is different. And the numbers for Facebook and this app: Users:122 monthly active users

o2 Ireland Bebo App

When you look at the same application on Bebo: 1832 users. You can see who they are too. Reading the comments there does seem to be a few issues with the Bebo App platform though. The O2 Application has been on Bebo since March but the numbers are still very impressive. If each install resulted in 4 invites and say 2 sims being sent out per App install then that’s 3,664 potential new customers, €3,664 in credit (not real money) being given back for invites and €3,664 in credit when the SIMs were delivered. Given the average spend for those with credit phones, it doesn’t sound like a bad investment, once the cost of building the app wasn’t too much. Judging by the interaction on the Bebo Profile of the app you’d have to pay for a part-time resource too. 83 comments on the profile, many from O2 themselves.

A nice move though by O2 but I’d have considered it wiser for a different type of campaign on Facebook compared to Bebo.

Would you do anything differently with this? How would you target those you want to sign up for contracts? Offer them premium services?

Facebook Ad campaigns now generate more data to help you

Facebook yesterday announced that they are now providing more data to advertisers
Over on I’ve covered creating Facebook Ad campaigns before and in some detail. Facebook allows you to target people based on their profile data and you can get very granular with the data. Facebook sent out a notice yesterday letting advertisers know that they’ve added more metrics to their ad campaigns:

Photo owned by mudpig (cc)

“Responder Demographics” report: Facebook users spend a lot of time
connecting with friends and family on Facebook – uploading photos,
writing on each others’ Walls, posting notes. Now you can find out
who is interacting with your ads. This report provides the aggregate
age, gender and geographic location of the users who have clicked
on your ad.

This is good. It gives you more feedback on how your add is performing which will allow you to write even better copy for the ads that you have.

“Responder Profiles” report: In addition to age, gender and
geographic location of the users who have clicked on your ad,
we’re happy to provide psychographic information of these same
users. This data is aggregated from user profiles and shows common
interests, favorite TV shows, movies, books and music.

This is probably a bit scary but you will now know more about the group of people clicking on your ads and will know that an ad that mentions X is liked by people who like Pearl Jam and The Wire etc. Like the above, the more data you have on these people, the better you can make your ads which gives value to you and those clicking on them.