New Facebook Ad Policy Changes

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Social Media | Posted on 23-02-2010

You may or may not know about Facebook’s recent email regarding calling out user attributes in ads on the Facebook Ad system.  Last week they sent out this email:

Hi,

Ad quality and user feedback are extremely important to Facebook. We’ve received significant negative feedback about ads that call out users’ personally identifiable information, especially when the information is not directly relevant to the ad’s offer. We take this feedback very seriously and are taking an active role in removing ads that are detrimental to the user experience. Some of your ads have been disabled for this reason.

Please delete any ads using this tactic that may still be running and do not submit new ads that call our user attributes unnecessarily and that are not directly relevant to the offer (including, but not limited to, age, gender, location or interest). This practice is prohibited by Facebook’s Ad Guidelines (http://www.facebook.com/ad_guidelines.php). Advertisers who continually engage in advertising practices that generate strong negative feedback will find that their ads are less likely to be shown to users and may have their ads disabled or face account penalties up to and including the permanent loss of advertising privileges.

We appreciate your understanding,

The Facebook Ads Team

I already knew the email was coming because I saw a DM Confidential writeup about the new policy.  Here are my thoughts:

Although I can’t usually side with Facebook about ANYTHING, I think the move makes sense.  Calling out user attributes to try to make an untargeted ad seem very targeted can work for a while.  The problem is that users just become blind to it anyway.  You can only click an ad so many times because you think its some super special offer before you realize its nothing more than a generic ad using your profile information to target you.

Facebook Ads are incredibly powerful.  There are probably no other ad systems available with the amount of users and demographic information that Facebook has.  For Facebook to keep trust with it’s users they can’t let the users think their information is being sold off to the highest bidder.  Relevant ads based on interest are one thing, but blatantly using the Facebook users profile information to serve irrelevant ads that seem relevant are is just going to irk the user over time.

I know a lot of people are pissed about the new rule.  I think you should turn your frown upside down.  Think of it as a good thing.  Figure out how to use the system to target more relevantly.  You’ll end up with cheaper traffic and better conversions anyway.

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MAJOR Facebook Flaw

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Social Media | Posted on 16-02-2010

A lot of businesses start Facebook Pages in order to keep Facebook Users (Fans) connected to their brand.  What they don’t realize is that fans of your page aren’t getting your updates.

What?  Who?  Why?  Huh?

That’s right.  A large percentage of your fans probably are NOT getting your updates, making Facebook as a point of contact pretty useless for businesses using Facebook Pages.

How I Discovered This

I created a Facebook Page just to play around with it’s features.  I set the page up and joined it myself on my personal account.  I updated the page and went to my news feed to see if it was showing up like you would assume it would.  It didn’t!  This lead me on a bit of a wild goose chase trying to figure out why (and yes, i wasted way too much time on this).

Troubleshooting

I asked a few friends to become a fan of the page to see if they were getting the updates.  They weren’t.  I did some research to confirm that Facebook Page Updates show up in the news feed and indeed they do.

Next I used the Facebook App on my iPhone.  I took a look at the news feed and my Page Update was there.

Next I went into settings to make sure that I wasn’t blocking page updates or some nonsense like that.  I wasn’t.

The Issue

If you scroll to the bottom of your news feed you will see a link that says “Edit Options.”  If you click it you will see the people that you’ve manually hidden from your news feed as well as some other options.  One of the options is “Maximum number of friends shown in Live Feed.”  That option is defaulted to 250.  If you change that option to a number higher then the amount of friends you have, you now magically see the Page Updates.

This Makes No Sense

The reason businesses have Fan Pages is to connect with their fans.  The reason Facebook users become a Fan of a page is to get their updates.  Both parties are in mutual agreement about the relationship yet Facebook limits that relationship by default.  If someone wants to become a Fan of something they should be shown that Pages updates UNLESS they either Hide the updates or stop being a fan.  Why would you make someone jump through hoops just to achieve the relationship they desired in the first place?  Not everyone has more than 250 friends.  Those people will see the updates without a problem.  However, many people DO have more than 250 friends and those people probably won’t even know there is a setting limiting the amount of friends they are seeing in their feed.  As Facebook continues to grow this will become more and more of a problem.

I’m sure that there is some sort of algorithm at play here that assigns more of a weight to certain pages/friends based on levels of engagement.  Knowing this it still makes no sense.  People become fans to receive updates.  End of story.

The Facebook Deception

Facebook urges businesses to use Facebook Ads to grow their fan base.  They are encouraging businesses to spend money using THEIR ads to promote a page on THEIR platform yet when people become a fan of that page, they don’t necessarily get the updates.  Businesses are paying for the ability to engage with their fans yet can’t actually engage with them if the fan has more than 250 friends.  How does this make sense?

Have you found a way around this?
Have you run into this problem?
Do you have a fan page and didnt even know that users weren’t getting your updates?

Let’s discuss in the comments!

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Hate Your Job? Monetize Your Passions Online!

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Online Pep Rally | Posted on 15-02-2010

This is a Guest Post By Ad Hustler Contributor: Kim Ann Curtin, Life Coach

Crush It Being Y-O-U

The greatest crisis of our lives is neither economic, intellectual, nor even what we usually call religious. It is a crisis of imagination. We get stuck on our paths because we are unable to re-imagine our lives differently from what they are right now.” ~Marc Gafni

In Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It he talks about how many of us are slogging though our life in jobs that really don’t resonate with us. He feels that thanks to the internet we have a unique opportunity to monetize our passion. There are a number of ways he suggests this can be done and he lays it out succinctly in his informative and irreverent short book. The bottom line, he says, is that we now have the amazing ability to follow our bliss as well as make a living from it.

He also says we have the ability to understand our customer’s needs better than ever before. Thanks to social media we ALL have access to what our clientele is hungry for. We can see what they think and feel before, during and after they work with us. Which in turn means we can sculpt our offerings so they walk away satisfied each and every time.

Authenticity

Re the world of Real Estate Gary has this to say: “Part of the real estate game is learning to put some serious spin on a loser property, right? You pitch is as a “charming fixer-upper” or a gem “just waiting for some TLC.” Even the appealing properties get the rose-colored treatment. But what if you sat down in front of a camera and posted a series of video blogs telling people what you really thought of the homes or commercial sites or lots you were selling? What if you said something like, “I have got one ugly house to sell. Seriously, folks, you’ve got to see this one if only to take in one of the last surviving examples of red shag carpeting matched with faux-deer-antler, woodland-creature chandeliers. The sellers are super nice and I would love to get them the $360k they originally wanted, but I’ve talked to them about it and they understand that they need to set their sights lower because this sucker needs some serious renovations. I’m thinking you should take a look at it if you’ve got about $275k to spend, plus some extra bucks for a contractor. And bring your imagination, lots of it!”

Gary acknowledges that executing this might be challenging for a number of reasons and he is being extreme in this scenario but he asks would this kind of transparency hurt your business? In the end you would become the most trusted real-estate agent in town because everyone would know you shoot straight from the hip and never pull punches.

Today transparency is the name of the game – this is why now more than ever you want to bring your authentic self to the table and do work you enjoy. People have an accurate BS detector (aka intuition) and when they sense that someone isn’t behind what they’re talking about, they disconnect quickly. So you see it might not be the product that isn’t real but you and your lack of interest in the product.

Not Working at Your Passion?

Don’t worry you don’t have to quit your job tomorrow. But you do want to at least begin the inquiry of what you are passionate about.  Begin to consider what you would do if you had unlimited money. Is there something you have always enjoyed immensely that you would do regardless of how tired you are? Maybe it’s been so long since you enjoyed anything that you find it difficult to connect to these answers.  If that’s the case, start with identifying your basic needs. Marshall Rosenberg the founder of NonViolent Communication teaches us that by identifying our needs we begin the journey to satisfaction. Email me if you want me to send you his list of “Universal Needs.” As a coach I find a lot of people are not connected to their basic needs. Once you become more familiar with your needs you stand closer to getting them met. And if you do work that meets your needs then that’s when a day at the office feels as good if not better than a day at the beach.

Where You Stand

Challenging times make it imperative that you stand out from the pack. And it’s so easy to do because there is no one out there just like you! You are utterly unique and you bring to the table a combination of experiences unlike anyone else. You will find that people always resonate with authenticity above everything else and usually will come back for more if what you sold to them delivered.

The reason “…we are unable to re-imagine our lives differently from what they are right now…” is not only because of a lack of imagination but a lack of courage.  Rarely does our culture and society endorse courage for oneself – for others yes – but we must begin with our self first. Finding out what our needs are and or what makes us truly happy is the first step. Investigating other ways to live ones life is best done with support. I invite you to find a friend, a coach or a group that does just this.

Ask if you can see yourself doing this for another 5 years? 5 months? 5 minutes? If the answer is, “Hell no!” then have the chutzpa to investigate what you might be willing to do instead -even if you have to do it alone. And for just a moment let go of the issue of finances. Let your imagination dream. Buy yourself one of those super large white tear sheet pads and start brainstorming. Dreaming doesn’t cost a dime. All you are doing is dreaming right now. And according to Gary Vaynerchuk, that dream just might lead you to more dimes than you could have every imagined.

Kim Ann Curtin – Website | Blog | Twitter | Youtube

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A Big Prosper202 Fix

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Tracking | Posted on 03-02-2010

Quite some time ago I wrote a post called How To Fix Prosper202 If Spy/Analyze Stops Working.  If you run a lot of traffic to your Prosper202 setup you probably find yourself having to dump the databases often.

Yesterday, the one and only Wes Mahler left a comment on that post stating:

Updated so you don’t have to manually do it each time, we just change the MYSQL TABLE type so it’s no longer a memory table, which removes having any limit at all.

the issue with the above post is it dose clears it, but it’ll fill up again if you have lots of traffic. this fix changes the table type so it won’t have a memory limit any more and will never happen again

The fix can be found at the Prosper202 forums but I’ll copy it here just to make your life easier:

To fix this problem, run this command in your phpmyadmin

ALTER TABLE `202_clicks_spy` ENGINE = MYISAM

ALTER TABLE `202_last_ips` ENGINE = MYISAM

The discussion thread can be found here.  Hopefully this saves you from having to dump your databases on a regular basis.

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A Little Prosper202 Hack

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Affiliate Marketing | Posted on 02-02-2010

One thing that bugs the heck out of me about Prosper202 is that it never got a really good offer rotator.  One thing that happens to me when I start new campaigns is I tend start a new “affiliate campaign” under an “affiliate network” with the intention of running that campaign with that affiliate network.  After some split testing I find that another affiliate network is getting much better epcs so I run the campaign at the new network.  The problem is that I forget about it for a while and then when something happens with the campaign and I need to make some link changes, I can’t find the campaign anymore in my prosper202 setup.

One way to solve this issue is to tweak the way you use Prosper202.  For instance rather then creating an “affiliate network” you can create a “campaign type instead” and then put campaigns underneath it to stay better organized and not tie campaigns to affiliate networks.  Here is an example:

Rather than having an affiliate network name as the top level of that campaign, you have a campaign type.

I just find this helps me stay better organized.

Do you do this or have any other hacks for Prosper202 that you use?  Let’s discuss in the comments.

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