If it weren’t so tragic, I’d be laughing. I am making my third or fourth attempt to run an ad on FaceBook for one of my books, Dead Letter to be specific. I tried this last year and failed, but for different reasons. But I was enticed by some new opportunities and I bit the bait and went back into the FaceBook advertising arena.
What is most attractive about advertising on FaceBook is that you can get pretty specific when it comes to targeting your ad. They will have you fill out the particulars—not too many—and by the time you are done you should pretty much expose your ad only to people you think may have an interest in your product. And the price is right. You can pick how much want to spend and the dates you wish your ad to run. I went for $5 a day for four days. After my ads have generated a total of $20 in charges over that period, they stop running. Fair enough. It’s a good way for po’folk like me to keep a lid on my spending.
Sooo, I went through the process about a week ago and my ad started appearing on the FaceBook pages of the demographics I selected. Oh, I forgot to tell you, the ad consisted of the video trailer that I made for Dead Letter. That’s it over on the right, and down a bit. There’s a sentence above the graphic that instructs you to click on the picture to watch the video, similar to how I posted it on FB. Well, I got an e-mail back from FB within the hour that said congratulations your ad was approved. I began checking the statistics that FB keeps updated as your ad is running. These show how many times the ad appeared and how many times someone clicked on it and supposedly watched the video. I was very impressed because I was running at about a 40% rate with clicks. That’s an outstanding response. Then comes another e-mail a few hours later. Now it says my ad had NOT been approved. What??? But your said it was approved and it’s been running for several hours. The explanation FB gave me: the graphic I show violates FB policy that’s says—get this—no ad can contain more than 20% text over its entire area. They even give you a grid that shows how much 20% represents. My ad, the same one I use on my blog, contains the title of the book and the word “trailer” underneath it. Pretty basic stuff. Well, for FB it’s too much stuff.
I messed around with it for a bit and I just wasn’t happy so I said the hell with it. Now, I can’t even remember what suckered me back into making another try, but yesterday I found myself putting a small banner over the butt of the lady on my book’s cover and using far less than 20% in advertising text (that’s it shown here).
Just like before, I got an e-mail from FB within the hour of posting the ad and they congratulated me on having the ad approved. And, just as before the ad started getting good response. It ran most of today and it had been presented 659 times and out of that exposure, 262 people clicked on the ad. Now, that does not mean they watched it all the way through and I do not know if anyone who watched it was motivated enough to buy the book (I won’t know that for a few days). But 262 is still pretty good and those click cost me only $2.33. Then guess what happened?
You got it. Tonight I got an e-mail from FB saying my ad was NOT approved. You would think the dummies would hold off on running your ad altogether until they have had time to review it. This time, here is the explanation they offered:
“Your ad wasn’t approved because it violates Facebook’s Ad Guidelines by featuring an image containing excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content. Facebook does not allow images that depict people in explicit or suggestive positions, or images that show nudity or cleavage–even if portrayed for artistic or educational reasons.”
I may jinx myself here, and I assume the folks at FB cannot monitor everyone’s presentation on FB, but Dead Letter was published in 2013 and the cover of the book has been on FB ever since. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve see a lot far more offensive things on FB than the middle-aged lady that stands at the end of the dock on my book’s cover. Just for grins, I stopped writing this post at this point and went on FB and after about two minutes I was exposed to the picture below. In fact, this picture was posted by a friend of mine and I certainly took it in the spirit it was offered. Humorous? Yes. Gross? Yeah, sorta. More “assertive” than the cover of my book? I would say so.
I don’t want to extend any spoilers, but the cover of Dead Letter is based on a very dramatic, poignant scene from the book, that once you read the book you will understand that the cover choice I made was probably spot on.
I am not sure what I am going to do at this point because even if I put up an ad as simple as a black square that says “click here” (in less than 20% of the space) they may still object because the book’s cover appears within the video. I assume they will still object, but I am not changing my video for FB. That’s four sure.
Now, without furhter ado, and dressed in proper atire, I extend a thank you to some folks who have recently stopped by marc’s blog…I appreciate your support, regardless of how you are dressed…or not. The list: Lemanshots (very interesting photog/digital artist; check her out at https://lemanshots.wordpress.com), Ron Carmean, Almost Iowa, Glitchy Markovich, Mae Mcdonnell, Leonor Torres, Mike Fuller, SheryL, Kathleen Neiman, Tom J. Stewart, Daniel Thomas Pryor, Veronica Deleo, Antoinette Prato Shreffler, Natalia Blackie, Jay Howard Gershberg, Edward Nowak, and Teri Griffin.