Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Get captions working on Facebooks ads

Thursday, December 27th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

If you’ve tried uploading an SRT file to a video on Facebook, you may encounter an error like this:

The captions file you selected is in a format that we don’t support.

What’s wrong? You cry, not that you’re using the standard format for SRT files. It could be that Facebook is throwing an unnecessary hissy fit because you’re using zero-indexing in the blocks, but more likely to be something even simpler: the filename.

Facebook insists that the files are named filename.en_GB.srt, or whatever language combination you are using (for example, filename.en_US.srt. If you don’t include the “.en_GB” bit, Facebook will reject the file, even though it’s a valid SRT file.

As soon as you add that the filename, it works!

Happy advertising.

Facebook ad fails #6

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Recently, I tried to set my targetting on a Facebook ad and the update failed. I didn’t notice and my ad went out to a much wider audience than intended. Luckily, this ended really well. But you’re not always that lucky.

Here are two examples of ads that (I presume) have missed their targeting.

Here is a company selling tights. You would imagine that you would want to target these ads at women. Sure, you might want to sell to men as a gift for their partners. But you would write totally different ad copy for that.

Here is another example. My guess is that it is a scam because of the username and 70% discount. But, even so, it’s advertising an Australian bike shop even though I’m in the UK.

Do take the time to set your targetting and to check that it is correct.

Facebook ad fails #5

Thursday, August 30th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Here is someone selling a “Default Description” chain.

This one is an interesting one. You can see what they are getting out trying to pique your curiosity. But they don’t even hint at what it is. And it’s for both runners and people who go outdoors, so how specific or interesting can it be? I didn’t request their free download.

This company did include a description. But it’s mostly HTML tags.

This one isn’t an ad, but while we’re on the topic of including code, here is an Instant Article from The Independent.

This advert for Bar Soba looks fine. However, as soon as you click it you get a “page not found” error on their website.

My Facebook feed is now a lot more boring

Friday, August 17th, 2018 | Life

On 1 August, Facebook took away everyone’s permissions to post to people’s timelines. Before this, you could authorise an app to be able to automatically post to your timeline at a scheduled point. This is how my blog posts appear here. But, thanks to Cambridge Analytica screwing everything up, they’ve now blanket banned it.

This means that I can no longer syndicate my personal blog to Facebook. Sad face :(.

I can still manually share them from time to time. But as I write my blog posts in advance, I’m not usually around when they go live. And it’s not something I want to do because I already spend too much time on Facebook. So, most of them will not make it.

As a result, I’ve also decided to remove the Facebook Comments feature from my blog because there will be much less of a connection with Facebook.

What to do if you want to keep reading

You can always visit my blog, of course. But I can’t imagine that reading my adventures is that important to you that you will want to mark it in your calendar.

My posts are still syndicated to Twitter, so you can follow me @chrisworfolk.

I also send out a weekly newsletter via MailChimp with any posts I have published that week. You can find the sign-up for that at the bottom of the page. If you’re reading this on the homepage, you will need to click on the post title to get to the page with the form on.

Facebook ad fails #4

Saturday, May 26th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

This week’s lesson on crafting a good Facebook ad is to make sure that your image matches your sales copy. Take a look at this advert from Hunt Bike Wheels.

This ad is just confusing because it’s talking about disc wheels, but the wheels in the photo are clearly not disc wheels.

Compare it to this disc wheel from Planet X:

You’ll notice that this one looks like a disc.

Now, you could argue that I have misunderstood, and they’re actually talking about wheels with brake discs on them. Which, from the look of their website, which features a lot of wheels with brake discs on them, is probably the case.

But there aren’t even any brake discs on the image in the advert. All of this causes a lot of confusion for the user who struggles to work out what they are looking at. To avoid this, make sure your image makes sense with your sales copy.

Facebook ad fails #3

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

This week, I’m looking at a classic mistake people make when targetting their ads: not targetting it at the correct level of customer. To do it, I’m using this ad that popped up in my newsfeed.

Here’s what I don’t like about it: I have no idea what a “mumbler” is.

At first, I thought it was some kind of speech impediment group. I’ve got a lot of friends who have come through the McGuire Programme, which helps with stammers, so I assumed it was something similar at first glance.

But then it mentions babies, so I’m wondering whether it’s a mum’s group.

None of what they are doing makes any sense.

First, why am I seeing this? They could set the targeting to be people who have interacted with their page or visited their website, in which case it makes sense to go straight into your sales copy without explaining what your group is.

Or, if it’s a general ad, they need to explain what it is. Think of Eugene Schwartz’s levels of awareness. They need to tell me what their group is.

If it is a mums group, why am I seeing it? I’m a dad. They can set gender targetting on the ad to just include mums, or they could have a separate version of the ad, targetted at men, which makes it clear that dads are welcome too.

Conclusion

I’ve written before about how community groups should not use Facebook ads. Do it if you know what you’re doing. But you probably don’t know how to write copy or set the targeting, so you’re probably wasting your money. This ad is a good example of that.

If you do want to use Facebook ads, then make sure you know how to target your ads appropriately and come up with relevant ads for each audience segment.

Facebook ad fail of the week

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Live Strong is back with a new ad this week. They’re not suggesting I’m over 40 this week, but it still seems a strange use of your advertising budget to show me this.

More advertising fails

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Last month, I wrote about people wasting money on advertising. I said it happens a lot: and it does. Here are two more examples I found this month.

First, here is a Google AdWords advert by Treatwell. Except the page does not work.

And here is an advert from Live Strong. The link does work: it takes you to the article on tips for women over a 40. Bear in mind that you put the targeting parameters in when you create a Facebook ad. Facebook knows I a man under 40, so they could easily exclude me from seeing an ad I obviously have no interest it.

Facebook ad fails

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Facebook ads cost money. Therefore, if you’re running them, you want to make sure they are converting. Rule one of this process is to make sure the links worth. It sounds obvious, but these people seem to have missed it.

Here is an advert by RaceCheck that produces a 404:

A funny one-off, you might think. But you would be incorrect. I see this kind of thing all the time. Here is an advert by Live To Tri that does the same thing:

By the way, if you ever wanted proof that people will interact with a Facebook post without actually clicking on it, notice that 12 people have liked an ad that does not work.

Here is another advert fail. Facebook allows us to target age. So, they know that I was not born before 1985. Why would they target someone born after 1985 with this ad?

Maybe it is some kind of clever tactic that makes people click out of anger? I’m not sure. But I didn’t click.

If you’re spending money on Facebook advertising, it is worth checking whether the links work. Otherwise, you are literally throwing money away.

How to interpret Facebook event responses

Monday, October 30th, 2017 | Life

Ever wondered what people mean when they RSVP to your event? Here is a guide: