It had to be Facebook’s worse day ever, just a few weeks before their possible IPO. Despite being the company everyone can’t help talking about, the press went after Facebook on May 2nd, 2012 as if they were paid to hate the company. What started out as a conversation on the internet amongst tech journalists turned into a full hate-fest by several dozen publications proclaiming that Facebook’s ad business is nothing more than a joke.
Publications from FoxBusiness News, WallStreet Journal and even TechCrunch featured stories that questioned Facebook advertising model. From asking if there is any value to pointing out that Facebook advertising services has absolutely no customer service help, the media went after Facebook.
Gigaom pointed out that no matter how much money is spend by advertisers, they receive horrible customer service:
We know the reach is there. The problem is that Facebook isn’t willing to do anything different for the client that wants to spend $10,000 versus $10 million….Another agency spokesman says that the social network is “very focused on the consumer experience, and less focused on revenue and working with advertisers.” In other words, advertisers seem to feel that Facebook is spending too much time on user features and not enough time sucking up to major brands.
The WallStreet Journal pointed out that despite overall growth, their advertising business is actually shrinking:
Last week, Facebook showed its advertising growth doesn’t always go up. The company reported its first-quarter ad revenue rose 37% to $872 million from a year ago, but it was down 7.5% from the previous three months. Facebook blamed “seasonal trends” for the decline, as well as shifting user growth where the company generates less revenue per user.
SF Gate called Facebook Advertising “Lousy”:
The problem with Facebook ads is that unlike Google ads – which are perfectly matched with a user’s intent – Facebook ads are targeted the same way TV ads are: through guesswork.
CNET Pointed out that they just don’t seem to care about advertisers:
And that’s the double-edged sword hanging over Facebook these days, for the company has become a victim of its own success. It’s automating its process and using technology to increase efficiency. But that’s not the same as dealing with a human being; big advertisers are a needy bunch who want hand-holding. However, plenty say they can’t even find anyone at Facebook to take their calls — or their money.
Either way, whatever the problems are, it’s obvious that the media is starting to pay attention to the problem that are facing Facebook. As any marketer knows, Facebook basically ignores those who spend money on Facebook – and will often arbitrarily cancel accounts, without notice, with no reason given. Affiliates who have questions about the Facebook guidelines, never get responses – and even worse, billing questions are pretty much ignored. So frustrated are many marketers that there is an underground market of selling Facebook advertising accounts, because marketers and agencies have to worry that their accounts will be canceled for no reason, leaving their clients with no way to advertise.
Why do you hate Facebook’s ad platform?