I ran a few more ads after the ones featured in Facebook Ads Part 1, and I certainly cannot say I’m happy with what’s going on with Facebook advertising right now.

I thought that I had found a good source for low cost photo canvases, and I wanted to see if there would be good demand for a business idea I had for them. After running a survey to professional photographers, I decided to also see if there would be demand for my idea from interior designers and rental home stagers, or at least users who have indicated they have an interest in it. I did this by running Facebook ads targeting those industries in San Francisco and New York City first. Facebook targeting isn’t perfect, but it definitely can be helpful. The ads were directed to go to a landing page I setup for this idea.

I decided to also link my ads to my Preeminent Productions business page in hopes of getting a few page “likes” along the way as well. The one positive that I discovered this time around is that you can use images from Shutterstock in your ads. You can search for images from right inside your ad designer area. Very handy! Each image you choose is a different ad. That way you can track which images help your ads perform better.

Facebook Canvas Ads

In the image above, you can see two of the images that I found with the Shutterstock image search tool. I had about 12 different ads running, all with different images. In less than 24 hours, I was getting ad clicks, and post “likes”, since I was running most of these ads as promoted newsfeed ads as well as the traditional right side, small ads.
Before long, I was getting a very good amount of post “likes” and I was pretty excited until I really started to look at it all a little more closely.

Most of the ads that were “liked”, did get some click-through to the landing page(according to Facebook analytics), but not one of them resulted in an email signup. As always, this doesn’t definitely mean something is wrong with Facebook. It could just be that my landing page sucks, or the idea just isn’t something people really care about.
Just for an example, one of the ads got 14 clicks, which supposedly included 3 website click-throughs:

Facebook Ad Click Bots

As you can see, this ad got 11 “likes”, and 3 website visits. According to analytics, I did get the visits, but not even long enough to record a time spent.
Then I started to actually click on the users who were “liking” the ads. They all had similar names, looked alike, and had no activity except for liking pages.
I’m not saying that all the activity I got from the ads were fake, but I do absolutely think that Facebook has a big problem on their hands with bot accounts.

I’m not alone. I commented on this issue in a Reddit post about Facebook ads here.

And another user replied:

“Same here, when my ex started her blog, we ran a few Facebook ads… She jumped from 45 to 1500 likes in a few weeks, but the traffic on her website didn’t even get a slight bump …… Shouldn’t there be public outcry about this?”

Another reply to the original post was:

“A click is not the same as a page view. I can click an ad and hit back button before the page even loads up.”

That would explain why I’m showing no time spent on the page when looking at my analytics account.

Here’s a post on Hacker News about how sophisticated the bots are becoming.

As I mentioned in the Reddit post, Limited Run talked about their own bad experiences with running ads on Facebook, which Techcrunch picked up.

More recently, another startup announced they were done with Facebook as well. Here’s the discussion on Hacker News.

Just last week Facebook announced that they estimate some 67 million fake accounts were used last month alone.

Just do a search for Facebook ad bots and you’ll see there’s a ton of articles on the issue. Nothing new. Here’s a good one from Hypebot.

They certainly have a HUGE problem on their hands if they want to keep us advertising with them.

UPDATE: Yet another big conversation going on right now at Hacker News. This video sparked it.