Top 10 Improvments Needed in Facebook Ads

Facebook with its 50M+ user base is now uniquely positioned to give advertisers the ability to target potential customers based on a host of information that even the mighty Google Adwords does not provide (if you are wondering what all this fuss was about Open Social, this is it!) today.

Want to target an ad at users (male, female or both) living in Cupertino, CA in the age range 25 to 35 with college degrees and conservative political views? Facebook lets you do this, while Google Adwords doesn’t. While Google gangs up with other social networking wannabes, Facebook has the challenge of catching up with Google on a number of fronts while rapidly adding to it 50M+ users. The odds are heavily stacked against Facebook but even marginal improvements could quickly attract and possibly retain advertisers.

Listed below are a few upgrades/fixes that are desperately needed in Facebook’s ad capabilities.

1. Once you create an ad, you can’t edit it. You have to delete the ad and create a new one. This is the most painful aspect of Facebook ads.

2. The text box where you enter the ad description is most annoying. When some text is not acceptable like an email address or a word, the system just gives you a generic message without telling you what the problem word might be.

3. You can’t target ads to difference countries at the same time. For instance, I can’t target an ad to South Africa and the US at the same time.

4. You can’t have ad variations. That is, the same ad with identical parameters but worded differently.

5. The reporting facility at this point is very very minimal. Compared to Adwords it is virtually non-existent. Facebook tells you nothing about who clicked your ads! (you could track this on the ad lading page).

6. Whatever reports are currently available should at least be available for export as Excel.

7. Analytics (maybe its time to buy an analytics company like Google did). There is no analysis available on the ads that you create, goal conversions, metrics etc. Ability to target ads is very powerful and can generate lots of clicks in a very short period of time. But lots of clicks with no idea where these came from is of little use.

8. The Keywords option in Facebook is not properly explained. Since Facebook is not a conventional search engine it doesn’t directly apply, but since its available as an option in the ad creation interface it could be better explained.

9. There is no way to control when your ads appear. i.e., dates and times.

10. Last but not the least, Click fraud. How do you know if there has been any fraudulent clicks unless you have some data on the clicks? Right now it appears that Facebook gives you little data beyond the number of clicks.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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