I love Facebook, but their CPC advertising model is 100% lame. Here’s why:
CPC models work great for Search Engines, not Social Networks
When is the last time you did a search on Facebook for anything other than a friend or person you were looking to connect with? Indeed, Facebook serves a ton of search queries, but people are not searching on Facebook with the same intent as they are searching on Google. This reason alone is enough to call their CPC model lame.
They use questionable tactics to increase click-through rate
I was inspired by this post after reading an article on the HubSpot blog “Facebook’s Assumed Consent for Social Ads – Smart or Suicidal?“. In this post, HubSpot shows how the face of one of their fans was used in a HubSpot ad. Obviously, Facebook does this to increase CTR for the ads since that is how they make money. Maybe you’re OK with your face being used to help Facebook increase their CTR and make more money from ads, but I’m not. I actually think this is pretty lame on Facebook’s part and is what inspired me to include “lame” in the title of this post. Something like this is yet another good example of a something that should have been opt-in vs. opt-out for Facebook users.
If their targeting is good, why not only charge on an impression (CPM) basis?
I think their targeting is OK (which is high when considering how difficult contextual targeting really is), but I don’t think Facebook should be going after a contextual/targeting play and then charging advertisers on a cost per click basis. If their targeting is that good, then they should be able to command decent CPM’s. In my experience, the click-through rate on Facebook ads are atrocious and I feel like I’m taking advantage of them by paying for clicks.
Is CPC their last resort?
Perhaps there is no way that advertisers will actually pay for ads with Facebook and CPC is their last resort while they work on figuring out a better way to make some money. Charging advertisers based on CPC for graphical or textual display ads just doesn’t make sense (in my opinion) for Facebook or the general BSA population.
I agree with TechCrunch and I do believe that Facebook has a future in search, but they’re just not there yet. Until then, CPC is not a great way for them to monetize the site.
What do you think? Do you think you could make the same amount each month if you charged advertisers based on CPC vs. BuySellAds.com’s fixed 30-day rate system?
Join the BuySellAds.com Facebook group and maybe you can have your face all over our Facebook ads ;)