Approach Facebook Advertising with Caution…

Here at Modern Web Studios are always tuned into different marketing ideas and strategies that can help our customers perform better; and us too of course. We’ve all heard about the successes that many have raved about for Facebook marketing, even watching commercials with testimonials and we have to admit they looked pretty good. So Modern Web Studios decided to try out a boosted post campaign to see what kind of response we could get.

The Test Campaign

We launched a $5 a day campaign to promote a unique video renting system that John came across that allows you to censor out foul language and inappropriate scenes for just $1 a video. We just wanted to promote something that allowed you to be able to watch certain movies without the risks of seeing something we didn’t want to see or our kids see and try out the facebook campaign tools in the process. The response was very encouraging as we had several likes and shares so we decided to take it to the next step and actually promote one of our own services that we offer.

The Next Step

With the same $5 a day budget we ran a boosted post. The offer was for a $49 SEO analysis of their website (a service we offer free to our current customers). In just two days we had reached over 1000 people and had 42 likes to the post and then an additional attempted run reached 747 people with 22 likes, wow! With that type of response on $5 a day we were very encouraged that we should see a good return on investment for our boosted post… But not so.

After a few days of no actual response by phone or email referring to the offer we boosted; we began to look at every single person that “liked” the post, our results: something fishy going on. Quite a few of the people that “liked” the post had nothing to do with business ownership or even had a website; so they really didn’t have a reason to click “like” at all? Then another large majority of “likes” did not even appear to speak English seeing that all the posts on their walls were in Spanish.

So if we got all of these “likes” on our paid boosted post why would they like something they had no interest in redeeming? In some cases in a totally different language.  Our suspicion… They never clicked “like” at all!

Here’s what we’ve discovered might be happening

For those of you that don’t know if you have a Facebook mobile app the permissions that are given to Facebook to control aspects of your Facebook account and device are extensive. These permissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Acting as the account authenticater: Being able to post, like, delete people, add people and more just like it was you on the device.

  • Record audio and video without your permission: This allows Facebook to turn on your microphone and listen in on your phone conversations and remotely activate your video camera to record things as they choose. (might not want to point that phone cradle toward the bed)

  • Remotely activate GPS: Allows Facebook to remotely turn on your GPS locator even if you choose not to so that they can determine your exact whereabouts at any time.

  • Access to all personal data including SD card and Sim card: Which means they can access your full device account, including make phone calls, sending out texts and more… all without your knowing.

Please don’t take our word for it. Go to the settings on your device, click the application manager and look at the list of permissions that each app has. (they all have some level of permissions.. it’s not just Facebook) Newer android devices have the ability to turn off several of these permissions but the one feature you cannot turn off is the account authenticator; which we believe is how Facebook was able to show “likes” and charge us money without anybody ever knowing that they clicked on it. To further reinforce this we personally emailed 10 people asking them to verify that they clicked on this post and received no response whatsoever and it’s been over 2 weeks now since the request for more information about their “like”.

So it is buyer beware if you decide to use a Facebook campaign; while I have heard of great successes, ours clearly leaves much skepticism as to the integrity of Facebook’s business practices.

Disclaimer: The people pictured on this article are stunt doubles.. no animals were harmed in the making of this post and we use bio degradable cups for our coffee.