It seems things at Facebook are getting a little bit scary, and Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook is now personally asking people to click advertising on Facebook to help their revenue. At a speech at Harvard, she is reported (according to Reuters) to have begged:
Sandberg, who visited her alma mater with her parents and two children, only once made reference to the IPO in her speech. After urging the graduates to use Facebook to stay in touch, she said: “We’re public now, so could you please click on an ad or two while you’re there.”
While we’re pretty sure that this is a joke on her part, is does seem more than slightly relevant. Facebook has been universally bashed this last week, after a less than stellar IPO and worse, continued questions about their advertising models.
More and more studies are showing that Facebook ads aren’t really that effective and that their horrible customer service is turning off brands left and right.
According to the LA Times:
A lot of the major brands have taken a step back this year in terms of reassessing their (Facebook) spending,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at online ad metrics firm EMarketer Inc. “They spent a lot last year and may be taking a second look at the value of it this year.” That reality may have spooked big investors, who stayed away from buying shares when Facebook began trading May 18. The fallout from its troubled start as a public company has drawn investor lawsuits, regulatory scrutiny and calls for congressional hearings.
Only about 1 in 1,000 Web readers clicks on the average display ad. On Facebook, that number is closer to 1 in 2,000, according to Webtrends. Even ads sent by unsolicited postal mail generate a response rate that is many times higher, according to published industry numbers.