My Experience with Facebook Flyers (Hint: They Work)

One of my favorite things to do is to actually experiment with non-Google advertising channels. Given that we are in the search and ads business, I like to spend some of my own time and money making sure I really understand how other company’s advertising products work, how they are priced, and have at least some anecdotal experience as to how well they work. I decided I would do another test of Facebook flyers, using my side project as a good advertising test case. I chose a handful of schools and had a budget of about $100.

So what happened? Well, I noticed two things:

-The flyers provided instant efficacy. Within a few hours of starting the campaign I started to see traffic coming to my site from some of the facebook domains of the schools where I had posted my flyers.

-I was willing to spend $100 (as opposed to my normal $50) because I was able to target the schools and people I wanted to view my add pretty closely.

So what happened? Well, after I got a decent number of leads they kicked my ads off the system, citing competitive concerns. They were kind enough to let me know the reason why and to make it clear how much I would be charged. I read their Flyer Terms of Service and I couldn’t see anything that explicitly barred advertising competitive services. Here is what I found:

We filter flyers for explicit language, and we also reserve the right to remove any flyer if it is, in our judgment, threatening, offensive, obscene, or inappropriate for any other reason. Any photo you upload to your Flyer is subject to this criteria as well. Complaints from the Facebook community will be taken very seriously and violations may cause us to revoke your Facebook privileges.

Well, now I know that I can’t advertise on Facebook. But I do think that they do have a compelling model for those who want to get a message to a targeted school or set of schools. If they would allow me to advertise on their network, I would gladly pay them for the privilege. Despite other rants I have seen on the web, I think that their flyers are an interesting distribution channel and worth at least a small amount of budget experiment.