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A start-up company, Limited Run, has a website where musicians can set up a store and sell merchandise. It’s a decent idea, and just like every blogger secretly believes she or he will one day write for a living, this website allows kids in shitty garage bands to maintain the fiction that one day music will pay the bills.

As part of its marketing efforts, Limited Run placed ads on Facebook, but they ran into a problem. They had to pay every time someone clicked on one of their ads, but they could only verify that about one in five actually came through to their site.

Assuming it was a problem with their analytics software, they tried others, but they kept getting similar results.

The company then decided to build a page loader, and they determined that approximately 80% of the clicks they were paying for were made by bots. No one is sure who is actually controlling the bots, but if you advertise on Facebook, you have to be concerned you’re paying for fake views.

I own a small business and used to advertise on Facebook, but I noticed problems from the start. I would rack up large numbers of clicks but no clients. Google advertising, on the other hand, paid for itself ten times over.

Moral of the story, if you’re a fat chick looking to post pictures of your cat, or a slightly less fat chick looking to read stories about cats, Facebook is great. If you’re trying to use their ads to drive customers to your business, I wouldn’t waste my time.

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