Why Facebook Is Set for An IPO Flop

I just read an article on Forbes called Truth, Lies & Facebook Advertising by Elise Ackerman.  My recent interactions with 3 Facebook employees have left me questioning the company’s worth.

Two weeks ago I got a call from Lucy in sales at Facebook, asking me to commit to $1,500 in advertising in exchange for Facebook expertise in setting up and managing the ads.  I imagine this is Facebook’s attempt at bulking up revenue in advance of its much-anticipated IPO.

I spoke to Shmuel, and he said “Let’s give this a shot.”  I scheduled a time to talk with Lucy again.  At our scheduled time, she didn’t call.  I emailed her asking what was up.  She said, “Sorry, I got stuck on a call.”

When we did speak again, Lucy scheduled a meeting for me with Tom, the person who helps people get started.  I was in a hurry because I needed this advertised for Mother’s Day, and this for Lag Ba’Omer.  She said it would take a few days for Tom to get in touch with me, even if she expedited it.

So I set up my own ad just to get things running, because it was a week away from Mother’s Day. When the time finally arrived for us to have our phone call, Tom didn’t call.  I emailed him asking what was up, and he emailed back saying, “Sorry, I got stuck on a phone call.”  Is that the company line?  I was starting to feel like I didn’t matter to them.

But we set up another time to talk.  When we did, I had to install some plugin in order to see his screen that he was sharing with me.  Once we got that sorted out, I had to take control of his screen and log into my Facebook account through his screen.  Kind of fishy.  I got his verbal confirmation that he would log out as soon as we were done, but it was only verbal.

What did we do while in my Facebook account on his screen?  He walked me through setting up an ad, something I already knew how to do, and had done already a few days before.

Then he had to set up another appointment for me with another guy, let’s call him Scott, to check out the ads a few days after we set them up, in order to determine which ones to continue with.  That confused me a bit since Facebook does that automatically depending on the success rate of your ads.

So I had an appointment with Scott for what I thought was noon, but of course he didn’t call then.  I emailed him asking what was up, and he said that Tom said it was for 12:30, a half an hour later.  At which point I was already busy with a prior engagement.

So I asked him to send me some times for us to meet.  He sent me two, one for 1PM and one for 4PM, neither indicating a time zone.  I assume he meant for us to meet today at 1PM Pacific (his time) and 4PM Eastern (my time), but I had already told all three of the people I’d interacted with at Facebook that I leave the office around 2PM EST.

Then I read this article, which states that a recent study by HubSpot of about 5,000 businesses revealed that LinkedIn advertising was 277% more effective for lead generation than advertising on Facebook & Twitter.

This is what I’ve been evangelizing all along, and what I’ve seen in my own work, in terms of free (not paid) use of LinkedIn. Particularly since we are a B2B business, and not a B2C business.  I’ve written about it here:

The #1 Thing I Do to Get Clients, Jobs & Web Traffic on LinkedIn.

My LinkedIn Tips on AmEx Forum.

I wonder what would happen if I went turbo with what actually works and started advertising on LinkedIn?  I think I’ll take that $1,500 to LinkedIn instead.

You might also like:

How to Invite Your LinkedIn Connections to Join Your LinkedIn Group

Rapportive Acquired by LinkedIn

Margelit’s 7 Mantras for Marketing Success

How to Send a Direct Message to Your Facebook Fans

5 Ways to Use Your Facebook Photo Album to Engage Your Fans

New Facebook Feature: How to Edit Comments

Promoted Posts for Facebook & Why It’s a Ripoff

How to Post a PDF to Your Facebook Page

How to Link Your Youtube Channel to Your Facebook Page

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10 Responses to "Why Facebook Is Set for An IPO Flop"

  1. You might have seen that General Motors announced that it was stopping $10M advertising on Facebook.

    While we agree with General Motors complaints that Facebook does “not provide advertisers with the amount of data and analytics that they want from the site,” we also agree with GM’s rival Ford when they say that they find “Facebook ads to be very effective when strategically combined with engagement, great content and innovative ways of storytelling, rather than treating them as a straight media buy.”

    The real takeaway is that Facebook advertising is best when combined with a social media strategy to take advantage of the platform. We have found the combination of paid ads and social media to be very powerful, especially when targeting a specific demographic.

    Obviously LinkedIN is a great place for B2B, but remember to target people who are decision-makers in your target audience and reinforce this with being present in LI discussions, groups and Q&A. People will contact you, but it is better to be present and have engagement with them, then have them see an ad and continue to take your online engagement offline to conduct business.

    • Indeed Charlie – I couldn’t agree more. I’m still doing advertising on Facebook, and getting what they say is a good CTR (0.49%) but I’m definitely not committing to a $1500 spend. That’s a good point about LinkedIn advertising – for sure the decision makers are the ones to target.

  2. Daniel says:

    I can’t believe you got the run around so many times. I would have expected much more from Facebook, but I’d say you’re one up seeing as you now know that you can put that money to better use.

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