What I Dislike About Facebook

Facebook

Facebook is Popular but they Fall Short on Customer Service

I recently wrote a post about the positive aspects of the new Facebook design in terms of visitor experience and usability.  One of my comments, it seems, may have been a bit premature.  While I do believe the overall layout of the new Facebook is an improvement in terms of visitor experience I do have some serious gripes regarding both the way they are displaying advertising on the site and also from an advertising standpoint the absolutely ridiculous new guidelines for posting ads on behalf of those businesses that are actually advertising on Facebook.

First off, let me explain what I find annoying about the new Facebook banner ad system.  Previously, I complimented Facebook for the photo gallery in particular.  When I was going through friends pictures originally, the photos would change but the banner ads would stay the exact same.  It made the page easier to look at. (rather than a new ad with every page view)  When I looked this week, however, every single time I clicked the ‘next’ button, it would display not one but TWO new ads each and every single time.

Not only is this distracting for the visitor but it also makes the entire advertising medium less effective for advertisers.  Think about it for a second — if you were advertising on Facebook and were being charged on your Click Through Rate or Impressions, how likely are you to receive any attention from visitors that are cycling through an engaging photo album?  Where do you think the human eye is going to look?  The picture album the user is cycling through or the constant banner ads right beside them?  Bad move Facebook!

Now let’s talk about big issue number two! 

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For any business or internet marketing management company that has been running Facebook advertising you will have likely noticed over the last 10 days that your ads have suddenly been disapproved?  The next thing you may have noticed is that Facebook is telling you that to run your ads you have to raise your minimum bid an absurd amount. (For example – from .10 cents to $1.50)

The worst part about Facebook’s new stance with advertising is that they don’t really seem to care at all about helping you to get the ads back online.

Let me give you an example of the processes we have been forced to jump through in the last week.

We have a “Laser Eye” clinic that we do management for.  We were informed last week that the ads had the following issue:

“Ad Issue(s):

*  The text of this ad contains improper or unnecessary punctuation, or lacks necessary punctuation. Per section 6 of Facebook's Advertising Guidelines, all ads should include logical, correct punctuation, including sentence-ending punctuation for all sentences. If you choose to submit this ad again, please make the necessary changes so that it adheres to all of Facebook's Advertising Guidelines.”

We have repeated the steps in every possible way.  Instead we just a get a message of disapproval over and over again.  (with a new excuse every time)

The worst thing?  When we send a message to the ‘support’ email.  You know – the people that are in charge of keeping their clients happy and also the people responsible for continuing to increase the revenue of their own company we are faced with lengthy times for responses on what we are doing wrong. (always more than 24 hours and sometimes more then 72 hours!)  The person that does respond is usually not helpful and often times even somewhat rude.Facebook is still a young company.  It does surprise me, however, that a company worth billions of dollars can overlook poor processes and customer service. 

  1. Here are my list of suggestions for Facebook to improve its own advertising systems and customer service approach.1. Customer Service -  how about instead of sending us canned emails and taking a long time to get back to us, you instead assign us an account manager and give us a call?  Changing ads for Facebook is a lot harder than it is for other Pay Per Click venues.  We don’t change text – we generally also have to involve a graphic artist to make changes to creatives.  It’s a tough task and one that would be much easier if you would just give us some guidance.
  2. Give us a Client Centre – help us manage our ad campaigns by giving us one single point we can enter to look at all of our client’s campaigns.  (much like the Google MCC)  Can you believe that a customer service person from Facebook actually threatened to close out all our campaigns because we are trying to find a way to centralize them ourselves.  That is right, seems that Facebook seems to be thinking that us internet companies are the enemy instead of the agency that will promote your service!
  3. Make it easier to edit campaigns – what happens right now if we choose a demographic and then want to change it?  We have to cancel the entire campaign and start a new one.  Its annoying and a big time waster.

I know its early for Facebook.  One thing you can never have an excuse for however, is poor customer service.  We are supposed to be your allies in business.  Instead we are fighting to get our clients ads online.  While we haven’t given up yet, I can tell you of many other agencies that have basically said “you know what Facebook? You aren’t Google and you aren’t worth this much time.”

Time to step it up and look after your market Facebook.

Written By DJ

DJ has been a high profile Internet Marketer since 2001. He is the CEO of TechWyse and as a passionate member of the internet marketing industry is a key contributor on the 'Rise To The Top' Blog.

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11 thoughts on “What I Dislike About Facebook
  1. Yasha

    Genuine reasons to dislike it. Having a client centre is a good idea; each one of the customers can directly engage their activities without taking unnecessary time consuming steps. Why Facebook is forgetting the very basic lesson in customer care-customer is the king? And online customers get easily distracted by the disapproval messages even if it is one time. Facebook must improvise on such audience retreating set ups.

    Yasha

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  2. Steve

    Now with Facebook stalkers can easily get access to their prey. I think the new Facebook set up is a bit invasive; it is displaying a lot of personal information about friends and acquaintances for others to see. No reason why? Is it to flood their homepage? Whatever the reason is this is really perturbing the users.

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  3. Timothy

    A social networking site needs to maintain its goodwill if it wants to survive and develop further. Maintaining the dominant position is more difficult than achieving dominance. If facebook is particularly intent on driving away its customers through poor customer service, then it’s killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

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  4. Sean

    Facebook’s new set up must be stopped; users are extremely confused with its new arrangement. Why are they displaying so much user information for others to see? Stalkers can take chances. Even strong facebook addicts have been raised their brows at this setup. Let them reconsider this change or else they will have to face a drastic loss in the number of their customers especially PPC advertisers.

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  5. Albert D'costa

    Each and every tertiary sector company should focus on providing exemplary customer service for its own very survival. This is a cardinal principle that every one should abide by. If Facebook is giving scant regard to such time tested principles, I fear Facebook is in danger of losing gradually its eminence. It’s digging its own grave

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  6. Agree DEEJ. As you know I am looking after many of our client’s PPC campaigns. Facebook have become the most time consuming campaigns to build.

    - No MCC (master client center)
    - Poor customer service
    - No provisions made for agencies
    - Unreasonable quality guidelines that exceed logic

    I just created and ad (6th attempt) for one of our clients that does hair transplants.

    HEADLINE: Company Name Hair Transpant
    TEXT: Company Name Hair Transpant
    IMAGE: A married couple smiling embracing each other

    Here’s what face book said:

    Ad Issue(s):
    * The text of this ad contains improper or unnecessary punctuation, or lacks necessary punctuation. Per section 6 of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines, all ads should include logical, correct punctuation, including sentence-ending punctuation for all sentences. If you choose to submit this ad again, please make the necessary changes so that it adheres to all of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines.

    All other PPC engines Yahoo!, Google and MSN have runs these ads for years.

    This is just one example of many. In all cases similar ads run on the other engines without a problem. What is up with Facebook?

    It’s time consuming and completely impersonal to advertisers. If you compare them with the likes of Google, there is no comparison. Google actually talks to you like a real person…go figure.

    If Facebook sees any value in advertisers they MUST change their arrogant, “up yours” attitude.

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  7. Megan

    It’s a shame that Facebook is setting the bar so low for customer service, layout and the other factors mentioned in this blog. Being such a ‘tour de force’ in internet social networking, Facebook should look to set an example for subsequent social networking sites. Borrowing from the name of this blog, Facebook should take it upon themseleves and ‘rise to the top’ in terms of procedures and standards and not make it a race to the bottom.

    With that being said, I sure hope it’s Facebook that must alter in order to conform to current internet marketing practices and not the other way around.

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  8. Dylan Tom

    The new set up of Facebook is taking us to user information that we are not normally interested in, and I feel is a bit delving into user’s personal details. Distracting Ad set up (for publishers) is creating a big problem for users, every time asking to resubmit the ads with different suggestion!! Really they’re testing the endurance level of PPC advertising users. It seems that they’ve taken the customer service as a low-key priority.

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  9. Beck

    Who will tolerate this number of resubmissions with facebook? Advertisers have ample choices with other social media sites. It seems Facebook is digging its grave, or else needs to troubleshoot the issue.

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  10. Frank

    Facebook, it seems, only wants clients who are prepared to toe their line and associate on FaceBook’s own terms and conditions. But with competitors posing stiff a challenge, it remains to be seen how long FaceBook is able to hold on to their ridiculous posture. FaceBook may soon be faced with a Hobson’s choice; either stick to their present repulsive policy or face a continuous erosion in their popularity amongst advertisers. I think they will come around. The numbers will dictate it.

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