Some time ago, under some weird circumstances (still don’t know how that happened) Facebook gave me a € 30.—voucher for advertisements (without me investing so much as a single cent). This has been a welcome chance for me to try out the facebook-advertisments and see how well they would work for me.
As facebook cuts back the native reach of all posts for years now (especially posts from “sites”) in order to make you pay for them to cut back the cutbacks, I’ve questioned myself a couple of time if it would work for me to really pay them.
Basically my goal was to “lure” the people who want to see my work to my website. Firstly I want to be independent from the social-media platforms and their algorithms, secondly I can present my work better and without restraints on my website.
On the long run I want to sell my services of course (even more so in the future) and this is better done via my website than via facebook or Instagram.
As I had €30.—to play with, I made a little plan to figure out how to get the most out of it and to be able to judge how to handle this in the future.
The first pic I advertised I made very restricted settings. My target group settings included Austrians between age 18 and 65. The result was sobering ... after 6 days only 3 people saw the pic through the ad, none of them clicked it and got on my page.
On the second pic I’ve set the target group settings wider and included Europe, USA and Canada, still from age 18-65 and the results improved quickly. After the same period of 6 days, 15608 persons saw the post and of those 4149 interacted with it (likes, comments and shares). The cost for this post was €10,00.
For the third pic I increased the settings once again and set it to “worldwide” along with the age setting from 18-65+ and the numbers increase again ... this time to 41744 views with 161363 interactions ... at the same cost.
I’ve included some screenshots so you can see how those advertisements look on facebook. Basically those stats don’t look that bad ... but the question is: are they worth the investment?
After a short time I noticed that the ad was run mostly via Instagram, despite the fact that I’ve made it on facebook ... and of course the lions share of interactions and views happened there as well. As those two platforms are basically one, this was no surprise for me ... just another way for them to use synergies. This leeds to interaction being created on Instagram on a facebook post ... and basically reaching nobody at all. The problem is, if you click on the pic in Instagram, you land on my facebook-page (if you have a facebook-account – and nobody wants to be on facebook, if they are going through insta-pics) and you have no possibility to reach my insta-page at all (despite both my pages are connected).
Another problem is (especially with the “worldwide”-setting), that my real target group isn’t really targeted at all ... if I look at my website-stats, my main targets are Europe, USA, Russia and Canada ... if you view my contracts and shooting-requests it’s almost exclusively Europe. The lion-share of the views and clicks on the advertisement however is created in South-east Asia and southern America ... and with that completely off ...
Of course I’ve watched my website-stats very closely during that time, to see any change that might happen because of the ads and the results were sobering as well. I just couldn’t see the slightest change in viewing numbers ...
I could say: “I’ve known it all along”, but I’m not that kind of guy ... I had the feeling it would be that way of course, but I don’t believe anything without trying it out myself. Now I know and won’t do it again except for one additional test I want to do: I will use ads on a future commercial post (me trying to “sell” something) and test if it works better with that kind of posts. If you’re interested in the outcome, I’ll keep you posted.