Mobile App Promotion : Creating Facebook Adverts. Be careful!

Indie developers will pretty much try or do anything to promote their apps and I’m no exception. However one thing I haven’t tried, until now, was creating a facebook advert.

Reach the exact audience !?

Reach the exact audience !?

In theory you have a perfect way to target your audience, all that lovely data facebook users offer up is there ready for the taking, or is that for targeting?

You can target on precise interest which lets you define your ideal audience, this maybe from their listed interests, activities, education, job titles and pages they like or groups to which they belong. Topics can be targeted to; these are indicated by a hash, using these you will pick up potential customers who have expressed an interest relating to that term. Along with defining the age, sex, location it all sounds perfect for a niche app like Mickey’s Boxing Trainer. You know what they say, if it sounds too good to be true …

See how I get on after the break.

Creating a facebook advert is easy, you will find a button to get started just above the adverts on your home page.

How to create a facebook advert

Get started just here, right where I've put my circle!

Enter your app details into the first section, this is all very civilised nothing any of us hasn’t done before. My issue with Facebook comes later.

Enter your advert details

My beef with Facebook is at this point, I’m sure for most people the targeting system does the job fairly well, but for my niche app it just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Country, gender, relationship are all no brainers and you couldn’t do things much differently, it’s the interest targeting that is just not advanced enough. Facebook say that you can target your exact audience, but it’s clearly not the case.

Targeting adverts on Facebook

Mickey’s Boxing Trainer really covers three target areas, kickboxing or boxing and people who own or would like a windows phone. Easy I figured, just type boxing and windows phone into the targeted interest area and bingo, you get people who like boxing and have some sort of interest in windows phone 7… Not quite. I noticed, unfortunately a couple of days after my advert went live, that after I entered boxing it reported an audience of 1413530 people, then I entered windows phone 7 and it went up to 1419320 people. I didn’t want to target boxing or windows phone, I needed an AND option, this does not exist in Facebook ads, certainly as far as I could see! (Please let me know if this is not the case!)

I think that there are some tactics being played by Facebook, to squeeze out a few more pennies from advertisers. Taking the numbers into account, my target audience should be less than 5,760 which is just the number of people that indicate an interest in windows phone 7, never mind if they do boxing or not. Unfortunately I want to target that group but cannot, so I waste a little more money targeting the all windows phone users in the form of false clicks. Entering boxing or kickboxing into the interests make this scenario a whole lot worse.

My quick test advert on facebook..oops! bad targeting!

This very short advert had no effect on my sales, which remained at a pretty constant rate. I suspect it was clicked by users that liked boxing and didn’t have a windows phone. Fortunately due to the budget settings you get in facebook ads, it also had very little impact on my wallet. I’m going to target ‘windows phone’ users in my next advert (600k users) and leave out boxing to see if this has an effect. I would prefer to target who I want but Facebook do not seem to like this and neither does my wallet.

Be aware of this issue before you post your advert, your targeting could be way off the mark and so could your bank account.

Let me know if you have any great tips, especially if you know how to implement an AND clause in your targeting.




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