ADDING VALUE THROUGH FACEBOOK ADVERTISING

__ January 26, 2012 __ Dan ThutFacebook AdsConvincing brands to allow your agency to spend their money onFacebook ads is a tough sell.
It’s a ‘tough sell’ because they know, as well as you do, that It’s a ‘tough sell’ because they know, as well as you do, thatFacebook is an emerging channel where few of the rules are known, andin which the conditions are constantly changing.With this knowledge many brands say that they should manage their ownFacebook ad campaigns or avoid serving any ads at all. Some reportthat they have tested Facebook ads with other agencies and that itdidn’t work or that they have heard many stories of ad campaignsgoing wrong and that they don’t want to waste their budget.A disconnect often occurs where Paid Search Experts at agencies takethe opinion that Facebook ads will run the same as Google ones, whilebrand managers on the client side hold the view that Facebook ads aremore akin to Display advertising; totally different to Google.The upshot of this is that brands are not convinced by the credentialsof Agency-Land to deliver Facebook ads successfully. Yet.

THE ADVANTAGES OF ADVERTISING ON FACEBOOK



Facebook ads are unique in that they target actual people. Thecookie-based advertising of many other ad platforms means you’relimited to showing an ad in a specific browser on a particular device,but Facebook gives you the power to track and reach your audience nomatter where they might be. For many folks, Facebook has become a partof their daily routine, and they’re logged in on multipledevices—their phone, computer, even wearables. But no matter whereor how they access their Facebook account, all activity is tied totheir individual profile. This means they’ll see your ad acrossdifferent devices, so you can always deliver the right message atexactly the right time.Facebook also gives you the ability to expand beyond your coreaudience and reach other potential customers who share similarinterests. Through profile information (like demographic data andcontent that someone has liked or shared), activity on connected
websites or apps, and information shared with Facebook by other websites or apps, and information shared with Facebook by otheradvertisers and marketing partners, Facebook can identify people whoare likely to have an interest in your ad.This allows for more granular targeting and more effective, relevantads. And, when you combine Facebook ads with your emails in MailChimp,you’ll create one consistent, integrated marketing campaign that canlead to higher conversion rates.

WHY CREATE FACEBOOK ADS THROUGH MAILCHIMP?



Facebook ad campaigns in MailChimp are an easy way to promote yourbusiness, sell your products, and grow your audience. In just a fewclicks, you can create beautiful ads that target current customers orhelp you reach new ones, all through a simplified ad buying interfacethat removes the guesswork without sacrificing flexibility or power.After creating your ad, MailChimp will close the loop for you,providing easy-to-read reports that help you analyze the performanceof your ad, so you can view engagement and spending over time. And, ifyou’ve connected your store mailchimp.com ad’s revenue, products sold, and customers acquired, too. Since younever have to leave MailChimp to create an ad or track performance,it’s easy to develop integrated marketing campaigns and see how eachchannel is contributing to your success.Facebook ad campaigns are available to all MailChimp users without anyadditional markup or fees. So, no matter what type of MailChimp planyou have, you can start advertising your products or services with aslittle as $5 a day.

HELP FOR FACEBOOK ADVERTISERS



With our tool – Qwaya – every step of this process becomes a loteasier.Qwaya helps you to easily create several ads and test them againsteach other to see which ones have the highest performance, it allowsyou to save the material – images and text – to be tweaked andreused later on, and the stats features give you the opportunity toproperly analyze the results to see where you can improve the ads topreform even better.Furthermore, once you have created the Facebook ads through Qwaya youwill be able to use our scheduling and rules features.

The scheduling feature helps you decide what hour or what day ofthe week you want your Facebook ads to be seen. In many cases youmight want to schedule the ads not be shown during weekends, or in the
middle of the night. Example, if you are selling children toys online and hence targeting young parents, you might want to skip running theads in the middle of the night when the target audience most probablyis sleeping. 

The rules feature is made to help you control your daily costs as wellas to make sure you are not spending the money on the wrong Facebookads. You can easily set up rules that will help you pausing ads ifthey are generating low CTRs or high CPCs.

PREVENTING FACEBOOK AD REJECTIONS



MailChimp makes creating a Facebook ad a quick, painless process, butyou’ll still need to adhere to Facebook’s policies, requirements,and restrictions in order for your ad to be approved. If your ad isrejected by Facebook, MailChimp can’t override the decision, soit’s important to make sure your ad covers all the necessary basesbefore you submit.Before any ad is published, Facebook reviews it to make sure it meetstheir advertising standards. During the review process, they’llcheck your ad’s images, text, targeting, positioning, and even thecontent on the page you’ve linked to. In addition to Facebook’scontent-related restrictions facebook.com a number of requirements more closely connected to your ad’s design.MINIMIZE THE AMOUNT OF TEXT WITHIN YOUR IMAGES. Facebook will rejectyour ad if 20 percent or more of the pixels in your image arededicated to text. This includes logos, slogans, and images with textoverlay. To check your text-to-image ratio before uploading toMailChimp, use Facebook’s grid tool facebook.com KEEP YOUR AD RELEVANT. All components of your ad (text, images, andlinked landing pages) must be relevant to the product or service beingadvertised and the audience viewing the ad. Be sure to clearlyrepresent your brand and the thing you’re promoting.AVOID USING ALL CAPS AND A LOT OF EXCLAMATION POINTS. Facebook mayreject your ad if it contains all capital letters, too manyexclamation points, or any spammy language.For more information about the Facebook review process, visit our

ANALYZING SHORTENED GOOGLE URLS



The Google URL shortener works like any other shortening service likebit.ly. You pop in a big URL and it spits out a little URL. The coolthing with the Google URL shortener is that they provide analytics foryou so that you can see how a shortened URL was accessed and how manytimes.So how do you find these wondrous analytics?You simply add .INFO to the end of a shortened Google URL and youwill be taken to a page that has the data:Look at all that glorious data!So we can see that there were 26, 812 clicks through this shortenedURL and if you hover over the doughnut chart you’ll see that therewere a confirmed 11,246 of them from Facebook. That is a lot ofclicks. The “Unknown” clicks could be a case of browsers notpassing along the Referer HTTP header but I can’t confirm that. Whatwe can see from the activity graph is that the campaign only ran for arelatively short period of time before stopping. In Facebook’sdefence, this may have meant that they detected this fraud or someonereported the ads. It could also mean that the fraudster made enoughmoney and decided to bail on the campaign and tear down all of theirinfrastructure. Tough to confirm either way.We also see that the destination URL (which is now dead) is:

WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE?



At this point I am wondering how often fraudsters are using this baitand switch technique. Could this just be a one-off fraudster that wasable to trick Facebook and I was lucky enough to catch it? I turned toperform a full-text search across all of the captured pages you haveviewed while Hunchly was turned on. In looking at Facebook ads, thereis always the keyword “Sponsored” in the HTML so a quick searchlike this:Will do a fulltext search for all facebook.com URLs that contain thekeyword “sponsored” in it. This brought up a pile of hits (I haveabout 5k pages in my index), as you would expect since most Facebookpages contain sponsored ads. I started hunting around various archivedpages and found a page that I had viewed on an investigation onDecember 11, 2015, roughly 6 months ago.Hunchly page record that shows a Facebook URL from December 11, 2015.I viewed the page in Hunchly and saw an ad that looked suspicious justbased on the ad copy. The displayed domain is for _btmontreal.ca_,which is a legitimate news site. I started to smell smoke.Suspicious looking Facebook ad.Since Hunchly has a live copy of the entire page, _all of the linksare preserved_. I mouse over the ad to see where the click willactually land me and I see the URL displayed in the bottom of Chromedoes not correspond to _btmontreal.ca._ We have _another_ hit. Now Isee fire. Rather than click on the link, I right-click and copy itinto a text editor.It is a big messy blob, and if you see all of those little %’s thisis telling you that the URL is encoded. You can easily find an URLpaste it into and the first bit you will see is this:https://www.facebook.com/a.php?u=HTTP://GOO.GL/USSPDM&The first bit is the Facebook advertising handler, and the part inbold is the destination URL of where you land after you click. I havecut it off at the first “&” so that we just have the shortenedGoogle URL. This leads us to the next part of our investigation.

INTRODUCING CLIENTS TO YOUR TEAM:



People often move to new place, they need a dentist. You can introduceyour staff through their pictures, profiles and short biographiesabout them on Facebook. You can even upload videos of staff andfacilities to increase your practice awareness among clients.Supporting your team on forum is a great way to show your patientsthat you care.

HOW HARD CAN THIS BE?



Now it was time for me to put this all to a test. I will use localadvertising and target, well, only me. I used my postal code, age, andset it so that the ads would only run for people connected to both myAutomatingOSINT.com page and the Hunchly Facebook page.> For a minute I would like you to think about the capability to do> this targeting from a spear phishing perspective. Scary isn’t it?I set up my ad to run for the Hunchly page, and the destination URL tobe for HTTPS://WWW.HUNCH.LY but I set the display URL to WWW.CNN.COM.Like so:Clearly we are beginning to see the problem.Now of course this is really an insane thing from an advertisingnetwork perspective. If you tried this in Google AdWords, you would belaughed right out of your account. There are no other indicators inthe ad that tell the user they are destined for WWW.HUNCH.LY. Anynormal user will simply see WWW.CNN.COM and think that they areheading to a trusted domain. How many Facebook users are actuallychecking the bottom of their browser window every time they hover overa link? Not many.I digress.This is all fine and dandy, but of course I need to get the ad throughby Facebook’s approval process. Surely they must catch the fact thatthe destination URL is not even close to the displayed URL. Surelythey must see how bad this would be for the average consumer orFacebook user.Will our ad make the cut?With a big resounding thud, our ad is approved and we can even see thewonderful preview, complete with a display URL of CNN.COM:Advertising fail.Once the ad started running, I turned it off right away. I am sure ifsomeone from Facebook is reading this article and has made it thisfar, my advertising account will promptly be suspended.





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