7 Things Agencies Hate About Facebook Social Ads

Raise your hands if you’re playing with Facebook ads, trying to figure out how this can complement your search marketing efforts.

OK, don’t really raise your hands, I can’t see you from here. But I know that about 92 percent of you had your hand up.

How do I know this? Well, my company recently did an internal survey of all our clients, mostly SEM agencies, and asked them if they “do” social ads. There were just under 200 respondents, and 92 percent said “I do.”

We then asked them how much they invest in social ads for their clients. This is where we laughed. While the average agency spends about $75,000 to $100,000 per month on paid search (with wild variations), they spend more like $1,000 or $2,000 per month on Facebook (again, wild variations, but clearly a minuscule fraction of the paid search budget).

Besides the obvious fact that most of us search marketers have yet to truly figure out how to make our clients more money with this thing, and that we all suspect that there is a way to succeed here, Facebook does a number of things wrong, and that prevents SEM agencies from experimenting further and becoming bigger spenders.

These issues are especially irritating to search marketers because search engines addressed them a long time ago. You would think that the challenger would come ready to take their piece of the pie, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Here are the seven most annoying things about Facebook social ads, especially if you’re an agency trying to bring Facebook ads into your current offering.

1. Billing

Why would any business want to get a new invoice for every account, every single day of the month? Please, one summary invoice per month per account.

2. Lack of a Hierarchical Structure

Because there is no hierarchy in social ads, it’s practically impossible to build and efficiently manage highly targeted ads for tens of thousands of segments, like you would for keywords.

3. No MCC?

Agencies have to manage multiple client campaigns. Can we have one über login to see everything?

4. Stats for Demographics and Psychographics

The stats in Facebook are disappointing. Why can’t we see which segment generates the best ROI?

5. Daily Spend Limits?

This has got to be one of the most annoying things in any ad network. Ever! What’s with the elf that decides how much money you’re allowed to spend on any given day? Are you joking? I want to give you $20,000 today, not $50.

6. Conversion Tracking – Impressions?

The newly released Facebook conversion tracking code is a huge relief. It also takes liberties that will go right over many people’s heads, giving ad impressions credit for conversions. There is no attribution model in place to give them some credit. If there is a conversion, and an ad was displayed on some page, then that ad impression takes credit for the conversion. Hmmmm…

7. Conversion Tracking – Inside Facebook

Last but not least, it looks like marketing on Facebook social ads is all about getting fans (or likes? not sure what they call these anymore). If that’s true, then why is it that Facebook social ads will not report on Facebook actions, such as new fans, or RSVPs?

Why isn’t Facebook better equipped to help agencies address all these issues? Maybe they have focused on brand advertisers and brand agencies, and not so much on direct marketers (search nerds) like us. Or perhaps they tried to be a little too different?

Who knows. One thing is for sure: they need to show search marketers the money, because right now most of us can’t find it. But we’re not giving up just yet.

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