I was always quite disappointed by the results of Facebook advertising. When I first started my music project sooner rather than later I found out that if I wanted to go somewhere with my music I would have to spend some time learning how to promote my music online. Hideous task. I started reading about music marketing, SEO, content marketing etc.
Facebook advertising; is one of the first suggested methods that you find online once you start researching.
In the beginning I made a few beginner’s mistakes like using Reverb Nation campaigns (kids do not do this at home) and shortly after I started advertising on Facebook to get Facebook likes for E-Mute’s Facebook page. The “likes” started pouring in, and I was super happy. One strange thing; a percentage of the audience that liked my page were people that did not seem to be the right demographic. People that when you check out their Facebook profile photos makes you wonder if those guys are listening to alternative rock. It didn’t seem right… I forgot about it. With time I started noticing that eventhough I had tons of likes I was not getting a lot of engagement. Note that this was before Facebook decided to kill their Facebook pages reach in the name of their promoted posts (another big discussion here).
I started reading online articles of the type “How to create engaging posts”, how to get more Facebook page engagement”, whatever I was trying I was not able to fix the issue. With time, the number of my actual fans that were visiting the Facebook page and “liking” was increasing which really helped with the page’s engagement because people that actually wanted to see my Facebook posts were opting in.
If you’re into Facebook advertising then you must have seen this video about fake likes. If not watch it. Great insight….
Another Facebook feature with strange results was that of the “Promoted Posts“. After Facebook decided to kill their pages they started advertising their promoted posts, encouraging page owners to use the feature. Basically what they are saying is “pay to be seen“. Rotten? Yes. But fair enough, it’s their platform they can do whatever they want. I started noticing that often, when I was promoting a post I was receiving less engagement from my actual fans (people that usually like my posts and people that I chat to almost everyday on Twitter and my Facebook profile – Yes I love my fans!!!) and seeing more engagement from people that again did not seem to be alternative rock fans. I was also getting lots of spam comments under the promoted posts. I gave up.
A few weeks ago I decided to give Facebook advertising another go. This time I went for a ”Clicks to Website” campaign advertising my Soundcloud link for my song Praise Your Senses.
In the beginning it seemed like it was all going really well. The Facebook Ads analytics were showing good results with lots of people clicking on my link. Again, I got a few likes on the ads from profiles that did not seem to be alternative rockers or based in London (this ad was targeting alternative rockers in London). Anyways, suddenly I started getting lots of plays per day, like a thousand plays a day and I was very impressed. I knew that my Facebook ads budget was too small to cover this so I decided to subscribe to the pro version of Soundcloud that gives you full analytics on your tracks. To put it short? You can see where every single click is coming from. Country, city, devices, websites, apps. To my surprise I found that Praise Your Senses was featured by Soundcloud on their main homepage under the tag alternative rock. The plays were coming from Soundcloud not from Facebook.
Boom… Surprise… check a snapshot from my Facebook Analytics:
As you can see Facebook Analytics show 332 website clicks right? Let’s check the Analytics from Soundcloud:
So these are the plays that the song has received since when it was first uploaded to Soundcloud until a few days ago.
Let’s check Soundcloud’s analytics of where the plays are coming from:
As you can see on the third column only 42 plays came from Facebook. With Facebook’s new feature (feeding your ad to parner apps) the analytics show an extra 50-60 clicks. Because this screenshot is a few days old visits that actually came from Facebook are now 57. So 332-57= 275 plays that are apparently recorded on Facebook but never recorded on Soundcloud. How does that work?!
It seems insane to me that a brand as big as Facebook is would be serving fake engagement.
These are just my observations and I am definitely not going to be using Facebook ads ever again. I switched to Twitter advertising instead.
Thanks for reading!