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Facebook Policies

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questccg
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"How good is Facebook in building a community around a game?"

Because this question has been asked on a couple of occasions, I'd figure I'd share my experience using Facebook.

1. I wanted to reach 10% of a Target audience of 65,000 people.
2. The price was $100.00 and spread over 1 month.
3. 65,000 x 10% = 6,500 people.

That's what they PROMISED... At the end of my marketing here's what I got:

1. 3,560 people (which is about 5%; not 10%).
2. Where did these people go to school.
3. Computers are supposed to be GOOD at Math.

That's right, the gave me HALF of what I PAID FOR! $100.00 for HALF the predicted REACH...

Really not happy with Facebook...

Update: What is WORST is that this is just MARKETING (showing your post to people)... They aren't losing a penny or dime by sending my post to more people. It's just so that you SPEND MORE on advertising even if FB does not deliver on their promises!

stevebarkeruk
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FaceBook presumably bases

FaceBook presumably bases their estimates on the average user having over 330 "friends". You are assuming that the tiny subset of people who liked your page all have around this number in order to reach 65,000 people. If the people who like your page have fewer than that, obviously your post will be promoted to fewer people. The smaller the size of the target group, the more statistically likely they are to vary from the estimate. 200 is extremely small compared to FaceBook's user base of one billion.

Looking at their Post Boosting FAQS, they say "Estimated People Reached is only an estimate. Estimated reach is intended to help you figure out how much you want to spend on ads and isn't intended to be a prediction of how many people will actually see your ad once it's running."

They do not "promise" anything; they give an estimate and they're obviously not going to calculate a figure based on the exact potential audience of every person who wants to promote a post. They take an average from their billion users and make it clear it's an estimate. Friend numbers wax and wane, and they cannot predict how many of those friends will be actively on FaceBook around the time of the promoted post.

Nobody sold you a bill of goods. You assumed the best possible outcome and didn't research the downside. The idea of suing FaceBook over this is absurd.

questccg
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stevebarkeruk wrote:They do

stevebarkeruk wrote:
They do not "promise" anything; they give an estimate and they're obviously not going to calculate a figure based on the exact potential audience of every person who wants to promote a post.

Yes they do, they state that your post will reach an "APPROXIMATE" amount of users. Now I know because I have been using Facebook... And this is NOT the first time they do this.

They did the same when targeting over 20,000 users. And the reach was barely over 10,000 users. These were anonymous users. I've boosted several different types of post, using different settings to see the BEHAVIOR of FB.

stevebarkeruk wrote:
Nobody sold you a bill of goods. You assumed the best possible outcome and didn't research the downside. The idea of suing FaceBook over this is absurd.

I disagree. First of all, after my 3,000+ boost was done, why do you think they ask: "Do you want to boost again for another $100.00?" Because they know there is still an audience for the post.

Second of all, WHY can't they go over rather than below the ESTIMATE? It would be best to give the poster greater satisfaction than less.

That is totally unscrupulous.

Yes it's an ESTIMATE. But ESTIMATE should NOT imply 1/2 the total reach and then ask: "More money please."

They don't want to fix it because with this policy they make MORE advertising money this way...

Again totally wrong.

Soulfinger
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This reminds me of when you

This reminds me of when you set up a MySpace account and didn't even get Tom Anderson as a friend.

For starters . . .

questccg wrote:
We should start a global petition together and file a class action suit. This is totally ridiculous that they rip off half your money...

Since I know for a fact that you are not a teenager, I am going to point out that typing like this makes you sound like that other glorious category of Internet ranter, crazy people.

You wrote this diatribe about you not being very good at social media somehow expecting the Internet to rise up and join you in decrying Facebook like we're all at some sort of Bernie Sanders rally. Pretty sure, you'll look back on this post someday and wonder, "What was I thinking?"

Let's put your problem in perspective. There's an obese kid on a swing. He can't swing very high, so his mom pays a burly guy $100 to give him a boost, but even with help, that fat kid just can't swing high. Yeah, the mom can gripe that the muscle man wasn't strong enough, but at the end of the day, her kid has a severe thyroid disorder. That you are leaping down Facebook's throat rather than being introspective about your own marketing decisions doesn't bode well for you.

questccg
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Principle

Soulfinger wrote:
...Pretty sure, you'll look back on this post someday and wonder, "What was I thinking?"

...That you are leaping down Facebook's throat rather than being introspective about your own marketing decisions doesn't bode well for you.

It's a matter of principle:

-If you say the estimate for "X" = "Y", well then at the end of the day you should near/close to "Y". Granted some measure of variance "Z" could be an offset. Variance in the real world could mean positive or negative suggesting that your reach could exceed the estimate.

They do it perfectly well for "billing". How come my $100.00 isn't $50.00 when my reach is 50%??? Ask yourself that question.

And let's be real honest: for Facebook it's NOTHING. It's just a matter of making "Y" people see the post. It's not like they have costs associated ... they don't need to print an ad and then mail it across the country. It's just some BAD computer ACCOUNTING.

Again it's all a matter of principle.

Note: And the real joke is this is Facebook for "Business". No business would expect to pay the full price for half the results. None.

How would you feel if you went to Subway and they said well it's up to 6 inches of bread. But today for you it's only 3 inches... Does that make any sense?! Would you accept it? No of course not, same goes for Facebook. Oh yeah and BTW that 3 inch sandwich cost the same price as a 6 inch one... Bet you not many consumers would like that...

Soulfinger
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questccg wrote:How would you

questccg wrote:
How would you feel if you went to Subway and they said well it's up to 6 inches of bread. But today for you it's only 3 inches... Does that make any sense?! Would you accept it? No of course not, same goes for Facebook. Oh yeah and BTW that 3 inch sandwich cost the same price as a 6 inch one... Bet you not many consumers would like that...

I'm confused. Are you talking about a business relationship or your experience as a consumer? As a businessman more of the liability rests on your shoulders for due diligence and understanding terms of service. I have a feeling that there is nothing actionable here, no misrepresentation on their part, just a misunderstanding on yours.

You managed this transaction with Facebook like a consumer transaction. Businesspeople don't get to throw hissy fits like this without damaging their brand and making themselves look unprofessional. It may win you the US presidency but it won't help build a customer base. In either case, it sounds like your product is harder to promote than Lavoris mouthwash, so they should charge you exponentially more according to your own logic, right?

If you really want to learn something from this then review your FB page and realize that there's nothing there to promote yet. It's anonymous and sterile, while pandering a survey and discussing low approval percentages from some third party makes it sound desperate. There are dentists with more engaging FB accounts. Why would you spend money to promote this? How could you expect results? It's your showmanship, not FB that's to blame, but at least you have your principals.

questccg
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Due diligence - after the fact

Soulfinger wrote:
As a businessman more of the liability rests on your shoulders for due diligence and understanding terms of service. I have a feeling that there is nothing actionable here, no misrepresentation on their part, just a misunderstanding on yours.

Well that's the thing about Facebook... They say they have a user base of 1.6 billion people. They do not go into details about the cost of having such a wide audience. They say to refine your audience once you have established that you have a fan base for your product.

As a business man - I chose the only available platform with a wide user base. Everyone uses Facebook. It seemed like the most natural choice.

Why is it that early on I was able to target millions of users and only end up with 50% of their projections? Something like 10,000 users instead of 20,000 promised users. Now when I try to target 6,500 users (which are more focuses and closer to my fan base), I also get 50% access or only 3,500 users?

Could be an "honest" mistake that their system has such pure code logic that it pumps out the wrong figures?! I strongly doubt that - because it does it systematically. I'm sure everyone who uses their marketing capabilities will be having similar if not exact results.

So the question is who do you blame? Do you blame the owner of the product page and say he is ill advised that the marketing targets are within a range of 50% variance such that he/she may only get half the intended reach or do you blame the company (Facebook) who seems to not care that their policies seem somewhat misconstrued.

To answer that question, I will only state this:

Why is it after my ad campaign has ended, do they prompt me to "boost" my ad again?

Is it not sufficient to say that my $100.00 reach the maximum of users for this amount of money? Well we can't say that - because in truth it seems as if there are probably another 3,000+ users my post can reach.

And furthermore, for a modest sum of $100.00 you are only offered 10% of 65,000 people. Meanwhile for millions of anonymous users, the offer is 20,000... It seems quite clear to me that the culprit is not the end users. We (they) are only guided by what the platform says.

Perhaps it should be clearer: instead of getting 10% you actually get more like 5%. At least this would seem more honest - even though somewhat steeper ad pricing.

And there lies the conundrum:

A> Do you effectively state that your projections are lower and therefore closer to the reality.
B> Or do you ignore reality altogether and state wild expectations which are never met.

I personally will be transitioning off Facebook in the next few months. Their policies, to me, lack clarity and are very misleading. As someone told me, if you don't like their policies - find another venue. And I will be doing this as soon as my product is available for sale!

No need to rant and rave. Facebook will simply lose a paying customer.

X3M
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You are right! Except....

They are not wrong!

They declared it was an estimate, thus it was a gamble on your part.

Learn from it and move on.
Thanks for sharing the experience though.

Don't spend money on micro transitions. Whoever is offering, they will only ask for more. Since results are never sufficiënt. Often fixed like you have noticed. It's a nasty one! But still, you can't do a thing about it. Simply STOP spending, NOW!

(Perhaps I should have started the discussion about the addictive games with micro transitions. Since it, sort of, falls into the same category)

ElKobold
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Why even bother with FB?

Here's a list of adds that work:

1. Board game geek
2. Kicktraq

But the most traffic (by far) is from KS 'Tabletop Games (Discover)' page itself.
In our case it was 33.90% of all pledges.

Take that 100 bucks and spend it on a really good, flashy box art.
That alone will give you much much better results.

Most people will decide to click or not to click on your campaign link, based on how the title image looks.

Also post here https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames. It's free.

adversitygames
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What you're doing here is

What you're doing here is like when someone decides they have bad dice just because they roll a ton of 1s in a single game.

I Will Never Gr...
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Figured I'd chime in with my boosted post experience..

Having just launched Into the Black I thought I would do a small 24 hour post boost on Facebook.

$25 budget, 24 hours, targeted audience.

I was quite clearly given an "estimated 1300-2600" views.

In the end the results show;

Paid Reach, 1489 (8 clicks, 1 page like, 24 post likes, 3 shares)

Total reach (including "organic"), 1723 people, 4 shares, 30 likes.

I'm happy with those results. Everything went exactly as expected. Within the estimated range and people engaged with it.

Soulfinger
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questccg wrote:So the

questccg wrote:
So the question is who do you blame?

You.

questccg wrote:
Why is it after my ad campaign has ended, do they prompt me to "boost" my ad again?

Because fleecing people like you with grandiose expectations is very profitable. I used to work for a company that did it.

questccg wrote:
Facebook will simply lose a paying customer.

Nope. Just checked. Your page is still on Facebook, so they haven't lost you as a customer. Interesting factoid, did you know that they own the rights to all content posted on their page? In all technicality, they could use the art that you have so far posted for whatever purpose they like. So, although you aren't directly paying them money out of pocket anymore, you are still generating content and value for them.

X3M
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@Soulfinger. I forgot about

@Soulfinger.

I forgot about that part. Best to not post anything at all.

Midnight_Carnival
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"joiners and followers"

Ok, I should start by saying that I have serious reservations about facebook in general and mentioning the "f" word usually results in a 4 hour or 32 page rant which either has people crying, calling the police or walking out.
I´m going to try not to do this here.
(that and harry potter, seriously, I´m fighting back a tsunami of bitter black hatred and contempt here).

Here is why I would not consider building a community around a game - especially not building one around getting a game started - on facebook.

Facesbook has transformed our society, that is something no-one can argue with, it has gone from myspace with a few fancy features added to something people use to find a mate, to earn money with which to feed themselves, to stay in touch with friends and family and to find out what is going on in the world around them. I think my feelings on the matter should be evident, so I´ll leave them out, but I want to say that despite how much this social media network has changed and changed many of us, for many (most?) the basic apporach and dynamic of using it has remained as it was in the begining:
"Hey everybody, look at how interesting I am!" - this leads to "I´ll like the you post so you will like stuff I post" and of course "I´ll join this weird group so I look more itereting".
We should not lose sight of the fact that facebook is above all a social media netwrok, as such social elements trump just aobut all else.
If I personally wanted to make a game, I would find people who are creative and who love making games and I´d charm, annoy, threaten or blackmail them into joining my project. On facebook you will find stuff on their profile which reflects what they want people to think about them and you will find a lot of people who want to join you just so they can feel like they are a part of something without contributing anything.
This is true off facebook as well, but I think that it is more likely/frequent on facebook.

If I were to ever use facebook around or with a game, I would use it to create a mythos, a fanbase and a subculture around the game, in short to shamelessly whore my game to the great pimp daddy of the babylon search engine, but only after I had already completely finished developing it and had several people who played and enjoyed it, these players would post comments on my - I don´t know what they call it, page, wall, board?, and make it about actually playing the game not just being assocaited with it, that way it is less likely to go out when somebody finds something else ineresting to wear on their profile.

I haven´t read all the posts and don´t know if I´m duplicating here.
My advice in a nutshell.
For development, hell no.
For advertising, ok, I suppose, if you´re careful.
Best I think not to start the facebook game group yourself but to "discover it" and say "Oh my, I had no idea my little game was so popular".
that´s what I think

questccg
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Midnight_Carnival wrote:Best

Midnight_Carnival wrote:
Best I think not to start the Facebook game group yourself but to "discover it" and say "Oh my, I had no idea my little game was so popular".

While I agree it would be great if it was initiated and maintained by a fan of the game - this is simply irrealistic considering how "Indie" games as known by nobody. So the idea of the FB page is to "advertise" the game to people who actually LIKE board/card games.

At first, at the beginning, when there were no LIKES about the game, it was essential to BOOST threads about the "Game Box Cover" to attract some people to the game. Obviously the number of viewers were in the 10's of thousand people. What this did is get people who like "Games", "Card Games", "Strategy", "Gamers", etc. to see IF they would like the first impression of the game.

Next my goal was to convert as many of these LIKES to Friends as possible. Why? Because you can target content to Friends and their Friends narrowing the search of people who would like your game.

Also posting content about WHAT the game is all about. What are the mechanics, sample artwork, card previews, etc. to help foster a better sense of what the game is - without having played the game.

And then we have some other posts to BOOST because our average reach is maybe 10-20 people only. So things like a SURVEY concerning interest in the game was sent to over 3,000 people... To encourage people to take a step towards "owning" their own copies of the game. Again not a definite sale, just a "heads up" "Would you buy this game?" sort of inquiry.

See the problem we all face is that our games are "flying under the radar". Nobody is expecting to say: "Wow that looks like a good game, I want to play it." And therefore "Maybe I want to BUY this game."

We suffer from anonymity, and so do our designs.

How can you expect a game to become a little popular if you don't advertise it to the World? The only problem I see - is that most people don't really care. Facebook seems to be all about girls in tight clothing and males who want to "F-" them all...

Perhaps that is human nature, heaven forbid someone play a game and actually enjoy it... Sheesh.

HPS74
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Interesting video on this subject
questccg
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A follow-up to that video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9ZqXlHl65g

Update: An interesting "methodology" used by Facebook:

  1. You post your content and Facebook will send it out to a few people.
  2. If they LIKE it, then the content will be shared with more people.
  3. And so forth...

So if nobody likes your post, nobody is going to actually read it!

What pure BS of a system...

Squinshee
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I imagine the system is set

I imagine the system is set up like that to discourage poor/aggressive advertising. Facebook has an image to maintain, so liked posts is a good metric to discern which ads are liked by audiences. Facebook doesn't want to flood its interface with ads that suck because it negatively affects peoples perception of Facebook. This system makes it the marketers responsibility to craft a message that resonates with people. If it resonates, users will like it, and it will spread.

let-off studios
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Re: FB Feedback Utility

questccg wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9ZqXlHl65g

Update: An interesting "methodology" used by Facebook:
[...]
So if nobody likes your post, nobody is going to actually read it!

What pure BS of a system...

I hate that this is going to make it sound as if I support FB advert policies...But did you do this kind of research before you paid them money? If you did, why would you even consider paying? If you hadn't, why not just take it as a learning experience and move on, choosing to NEVER pay FB again?

The reason for my perspective is as follows: if we select the process you suggest above, FB would be even worse than it is now. Can you imagine the number of inane, moronic posts - and even worse advertisements - that would make the rounds throughout FB if they ignored user feedback and unilaterally promoted any post under the sun?

If I gave a damn about social media, my skin would be crawling with the horror of it all... But seriously, I don't see the reason why FB would want to abandon user feedback, but I am open to suggestions.

questccg
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Don't be offended

let-off studios wrote:
...If I gave a damn about social media, my skin would be crawling with the horror of it all... But seriously, I don't see the reason why FB would want to abandon user feedback, but I am open to suggestions.

No offense - but IF I have 65+ people that are FANs (Friends) of the game, don't you think it's STUPID that not even 65 people will get to see my post?

That's what I am talking about. I'm not talking about how they filter the ads when you BOOST a post, I'm talking about REACHING your DIRECT Audience. Even with boosting you still don't reach all your fans. Which to me (IMHO) is what is messed up about "validation through LIKES".

I'm not here to analyze all of FBs metrics and their method of operation.

I'm just saying: "I'm not the only one disappointed with FB". Others share my pain too... And yeah I'm not paying a nickel more to FB... I've probably spent about $500.00 in total and that's already too much (IMHO).

adversitygames
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questccg

questccg wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9ZqXlHl65g

Update: An interesting "methodology" used by Facebook:

  1. You post your content and Facebook will send it out to a few people.
  2. If they LIKE it, then the content will be shared with more people.
  3. And so forth...

So if nobody likes your post, nobody is going to actually read it!

What pure BS of a system...

So... they should spread the word about stuff that people dislike?
That is exactly the alternative to the system you're decrying. You think that facebook should spread the word about things that are not liked.

questccg
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No not exactly

What I think is that a message or post (topic) on your wall should reach all your Fans/Friends. Then there would be less of a need to PAY for boosting of individual threads. Of course Facebook would not do this... This is how their monetization of the social media platform is all about.

See in the regular sense, if I talk about general stuff like "I brushed my teeth with new tooth paste" and want all my connection to see it, it's probably not that important.

But if my post is about "the release information about my game", well then you want that post to go to ALL of my connections. You can't base it on LIKES or dislikes. It's simply information that all your connections should know.

As of today, I am thinking that a Development Blog is better than using FB.

You may not get too many followers or readers - but at least those that you do get will be interested in the content you release. Marketing a game is a tough gig... and the avenues for it are very limited.

Update: Just as an example, I have posted a thread regarding BUYING the game. People have been asking questions about the game since the "Father Geek" review - wanting to know where they can buy the game, when it will be made available for purchase and the price per game set.

The response post should go to ALL Fans/Friends. I have made the post sticky (on top) and still only reached 2 people... You've got to be kidding?! A post about where to purchase the game and when is reached by only 2 people?!?! That doesn't make sense. It should be broadcasted to ALL my Fans/Friends.

2 people, how shameful is that?!

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