Are Facebook Ads a Scam? – Ep 011

We’ve all heard people say it. Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself. Some marketers will complain that Facebook ads are just a scam — just a way for Facebook generate more revenue. But is this true? Are Facebook ads truly a scam, or are people just not using them properly?

In Episode 11 of Marketing Podcast Weekly, your hosts Rob Booker and Jason Pyles discuss strategies for marketing, particularly for those marketing in the retail trading industry. And in this episode we discuss why Facebook ads are effective (and we offer some insights on why they don’t pay off for some people). We also discuss strategies for maximizing your usage of your old content! Join us to learn more!

Email your questions:


Jason’s Movie Podcast: – a comedy show where we review new movies in theaters

Podcast Transcript:

Rob: Mr. Pyles.
Jason Pyles: Hey Rob, what’s going on?
Rob: You know I’ve got to tell you a lot is going on.
Jason Pyles: All right good, let me hear it.
Rob: How are you first of all? How did your event go?
Jason Pyles: Oh it went very well. Thank you for asking me. It had a great turnout and it was just a total blast. It reminded me a lot of a wedding. You know how when there’s a wedding you’ve got family that come in town and you spend long hours of prep. It’s very stressful, lots of big social situations, but overall good memories, good times. That’s what it was.
Rob: Oh that’s really great and you even had some of the food catered I saw on the Twitter.
Jason Pyles: Oh yes, oh yes. Yeah a little bit of that. We had a director come in; Director Chris Peckover.
Rob: Nice.
Jason Pyles: We screen his film Better Watch Out which is a Christmas horror comedy, which is a weird blend, but it was actually quite good and that was a relief because you know it’s weird when you have the filmmaker there. It’s like, what if we hate this movie? That’s going to be awkward.
Rob: Yeah right.
Jason Pyles: It was good.
Rob: Did you see Blade Runner?
Jason Pyles: Oh yes, yes sir.
Rob: And thumbs up, thumbs down, stars?
Jason Pyles: Two thumbs way up as Roger Ebert used to say. Yeah, did you see it?
Rob: No, I’m going to go next week. I can’t wait.
Jason Pyles: Okay, yeah, I would just recommend make sure you revisit the original.
Rob: Okay.
Jason Pyles: So you’re fresh on that. Yeah, it’s really helpful, but it’s a fantastic experience.
Rob: All right, so as you know the movie Blade Runner was not for everyone correct?
Jason Pyles: That’s true.
Rob: There are a lot of people that didn’t like the way the cars looked like they were, it’s just cardboard put over children’s wheelbarrows, or the plot lines seemed confusing, or there are now arguments that the character Harrison Ford wasn’t really even a human the whole time.
Jason Pyles: Yes, yes.
Rob: All right so I haven’t seen the second one, but you know there’s a lot … When I tell people I’m excited to see it, I get mixed reactions. Some people go, “You know that’s not even a really good sci-fi picture.” Anyway, I realize that we each are allowed to have our own taste when it comes to art, right?
Jason Pyles: True.
Rob: You can’t teach someone to go into a movie and enjoy it. Maybe someone who is very open minded you can say, “Go see this movie with these other considerations in mind and you might enjoy the experience even though it’s not your cup of tea.”
Jason Pyles: Yes, yeah that’s true. The only thing I’d say side note. I would stop being friends with those people who don’t like Blade Runner. Just kidding everybody.
Rob: A good point, good point. Well I have a really good friend who said to me; well didn’t even say it to me, had mentioned sort of by the way in passing to someone else, they said, “Well Facebook ads are just a total scam anyway.” Then someone else chimed in on Twitter and was like, “Oh yeah total scam.” Then I thought to myself that’s a lot like when someone says, you know makes a blanket statement. That would be like someone saying, “The movie Blade Runner is terrible objectively to everyone and it has no purpose.” Now I’m sure that you have movies now and then that fit that description.
Jason Pyles: Probably yeah, right I could say that yes.
Rob: But as I thought about that statement that Facebook ads were a scam, they have no purpose, it seemed to me … It felt to me like if Hollywood said something along the lines of, “Well movie theaters, that’s a scam. They have no purpose whatsoever,” and it’s objectively not the case. Movie theaters are right in the middle of towns and cities all over the world where people reside and people are the customers of their product and although many people are watching movies on their iPads and streaming them onto their television sets and whatever else, the movie theater is still a really important place where you reach your customers and you get the word out and you can determine if a movie is popular enough or good enough to attract large groups of people and keep them coming back over the first weekend.
Jason Pyles: Yes.
Rob: Saying that Facebook advertising is a scam is akin to saying, “Well you know movie theaters don’t really matter,” or like Chick-fil-A saying, “Well customers don’t matter.” It just doesn’t make any sense to me. It just doesn’t make any sense and maybe you have a bad experience inside of one movie or movie executives are mad at the movie going public because something they released didn’t really take.
Okay, well fine, but you don’t blame the entire group and I just don’t understand that statement. Here are some reasons that it’s not a scam. Let’s say that for instance someone out there that is listening to this is trying to run Facebook ads. It could be Google Ad Words, or YouTube ads, or whatever. They’re running them and let’s say they’re trying to attract people to sign up for their email list. So they run the ad and nobody signs up for your email list. That’s not Facebook’s fault.
Jason Pyles: Right.
Rob: That’s your fault because you’re boring. I’m not defending Facebook. I’m saying on the opposite. I wish, that would be great if there was something else out there. That would be great, but I am saying that you have to take some personal responsibility for the fact that either you used Facebook for the wrong purpose or you’re boring and no one wants to see it.
If Hollywood gets mad at the movie going public because they released a garbage, stupid movie, instead of thinking about how could they improve their movies, and entire studios have done this where they don’t listen to the movie going public and so they just keep releasing garbage and then eventually that movie studio has a crisis, changes executives.
New creative people come into play and so forth. That’s what happens with television networks. You don’t blame the people. You don’t go, “Well let’s go out on the road and retrain all of America on how to watch this movie so they appreciate us.” That’s really narcissistic and weird.
Jason Pyles: Yeah, I mean that’s exactly what’s been happening. They blame Rotten Tomatoes of late for the lack of success in the box office, yes?
Rob: Right because it spreads the word more quickly, but you can’t get away with a trailer that is deceptively good. If you release a movie, the public will find out that it is garbage and then people will plan on telling their friends that it’s garbage.
Jason Pyles: Yes, yes.
Rob: I’m shocked. I mean I don’t know why Hollywood doesn’t appreciate how many people gang up and declare that a terrible movie is great on Rotten Tomatoes. That happens all the time.
Jason Pyles: Yeah.
Rob: All right so let’s say that Facebook ads aren’t working. Let’s instead of criticizing our dear listeners, let’s just talk about a couple of things.
Jason Pyles: Okay.
Rob: A lot of times when someone says Facebook advertising doesn’t work, what they’re saying is they tried it once for one purpose and it didn’t pay off. Here are some ways that people use Facebook advertising in particular that maybe they haven’t thought about before. Number one, to re-release older content to their existing customer base to re-engage them. So for instance you’ve got a video in your archives. You throw it up on Facebook and you promote that post.
You boost that post or you create an ad outright and you put it back in front of your own people by running an ad that is to a custom audience of your own people. That’s more branding than it is response advertising. That’s not meant to have people sign up for your email list and you know congratulations. If you want to put a link to a product they can buy, then go for it.
Speaking of products they can buy, Facebook does offer ads. I had a lot of success with offer ads where I ran an offer that lasted for 24 hours and you run an ad and it comes with a button that says, “Save this offer,” and if they click that button or they save that offer, and then Facebook reminds them to go back and take advantage of your offer. I mean that’s an ad that most people never take the time to try.
You could do a messaging ad where in order to encourage and increase the number of people that are messaging you or contacting your business, you run an ad that invites people to ask a question or contact your business, and the button on the ad goes to the Messenger app and then they start writing a message to your business. You can use a product like Mini Chat to put all of those people onto a list. I haven’t even looked at my mini-chat lately, but I think I’m now up to 500 subscribers to a Mini Chat Facebook list.
Anytime I want to broadcast a message out to those people I can broadcast a podcast episode, or an offer, or release something to the general public and once again anybody that tells me that “that doesn’t work” is somehow fixated on how much money they made immediately from doing something. They didn’t get enough immediate gratification. They felt like they didn’t have to build something valuable or interesting; that Facebook would just take care of that for them, which is absolutely totally insane.
Jason Pyles: Right.
Rob: There’s other ways to use Facebook advertising. One of the primary ways that people can use Facebook advertising is to promote a live event and use live video and schedule an event and then connect the video camera and the microphone on their computer and then broadcast a live event. Facebook loves live video. They adore live video. They want you to do live video and you can create an event, schedule the event, and then promote that event. Boost that post to an audience of people that look like your customers and get people watching you, and connect with them, and talk to them, and interact with them.
Some people expect that they’re just going to be able to put up an offer for I don’t know, an electronic copy of their book and they’re just going to be able to release that. Then suddenly Facebook is just going to send them an endless stream of brand new email addresses of people who are just urgently interested in buying everything that you have to offer, but you’ve got to do the work. A lot of that stuff has been tried so much on Facebook that a lot of that traditional stuff doesn’t really work anymore.
If you’re not willing to put the time in to learn about it, you’re not going to get the benefit of it and might I mention in closing that Facebook is now the place where a billion people hang out.
Jason Pyles: Wow.
Rob: All of your potential customers, all of them, 90%, but all of them, all of them are on Facebook, every single one of them. They’re all there and so if you want to reach them there’s a way to do it more easily than ever before. There is a way to reach all of the people who potentially will be your customer and their friends.
Jason Pyles: That’s amazing.
Rob: So just think about it. It’s worth thinking about going back in and spending some money and doing some testing, and trying some stuff out. That’s all I’ve got Jason. I mean it’s a little bit of a shorter episode, but that’s what I’ve got.
Jason Pyles: I like the run.
Rob: Where can someone get in touch with us and ask us questions about it because I’m thinking about doing a two day boot camp at my office where we write Facebook ads?
Jason Pyles: Ooh, I like this. Well okay they can email us at and that’s a perfect way to get ahold of us.
Rob: All right and where would someone get information about the latest movies that are coming out and if they’re good or if they’re garbage?
Jason Pyles: That would be
Rob: What are reviewing this week?
Jason Pyles: Yeah, this upcoming weekend is The Snowman, which sounds like a delightful Christmas movie, but it’s actually like a dark serial killer movie. So don’t take your kids to see The Snowman.
Rob: Have you watched Mind Hunter on Netflix?
Jason Pyles: No, no. What do you think of it?
Rob: Well maybe if any of our friends want to jump on over tomorrow morning to The Traders Podcast, I have some thoughts on that that sort of tangentially apply to trading.
Jason Pyles: Okay.
Rob: All right, so Movie Podcast Weekly, go there, listen to all of it. Just download them, even if you don’t listen to them just download them. Just go there and subscribe to it, download all those episodes. That’s a good idea, and we’ll see you over on The Traders Podcast also. Don’t forget to email us, I think I man Jason going to do a two day boot camp on Facebook. I think I’m going to do it.
Jason Pyles: That would be fantastic Rob.
Rob: All right we’ll see you all later everybody. Bye for now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *