IIP bureau of U.S. State Department spent $630,000 on Facebook ‘likes’

By on July 3, 2013, 6:00 PM

The International Information Programs (IIP), a bureau of the U.S. State Department, spent $630,000 on Facebook advertising campaigns in 2011 and 2012, and according to a report from the Inspector General, they may not have gotten their money’s worth.

The campaigns were effective at gaining fans for four of the Bureau’s Facebook pages; they jumped from 100,000 to over two million during the two-year effort.

The Inspector General’s report reveals that some people aren’t pleased with the expenditure, citing complaints about ‘buying fans’ that potentially clicked ‘like’ once but were not engaged and then never returned.

Following a week of monitoring, the Inspector General’s office found that only 2 percent of the Bureau’s Facebook fans could be categorized as ‘engaged audience’ members, that is, people who are liking, sharing, and commenting.

According to RT, Facebook changed their policies in September 2012, dictating that content will only show up in friends of fans’ newsfeed when the user is an ‘engaged fan.’ This adjustment to the rules resulted in a significant decrease in the value of the Bureau’s purchases fan base.

“This change sharply reduced the value of having large numbers of marginally interested fans and means that IIP must continually spend money on sponsored story ads or else its ‘reach’ statistics will plummet,” the IG report said.

The report calls attention to the growing use artificially bolstered social media services. Instead of gaining fans or followers organically through useful, interesting, and engaging content, companies are able to buy there way to a massive audience.

Those selling the advertisements may be the only ones winning in these scenarios; users are served with content they aren’t interested in, and companies waste tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars on ineffective marketing.




User Comments: 9

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Guest said:

I am absolutely shocked by this outcome.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

So, the U.S. gov't spends a half mil for social media exposure and it doesn't work out as planned; in fact, falling far short. This seems to be par for the course, so I can think of only one appropriate way to express what this represents, and that's through song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LQftYK2n8o

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

But yet they can't seem to collect enough taxes!

1 person liked this | treetops treetops said:

Sounds like something China would do

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Mark Suckerberg is laughing all the way to the Ugly Bank.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I spent £15 on it, gained around 600 likes, 15k reach I believe and when I checked how many people actually signed up to my site it was less then 20 people. (In the application form for my server we have a field requiring you to state where you found us, only few people actually stated Facebook).

This is merely a epeen tool. Yes it may bring slight traffic, but in the long run, I would not spend more then 2% of my monthly wage on it.

Chazz said:

"The report calls attention to the growing use artificially bolstered social media services. Instead of gaining fans or followers organically through useful, interesting, and engaging content, companies are able to buy there way to a massive audience."

So basically they did what every company/website does on the internet. Advertise.

Facebook should be the one being criticized here for ******* over their advertisers.

cuerdc said:

Funny why do they spend money on this just make decent usefulll site and you will not need to advertise it will be people wanting to advertise on your site. Obviously there site is flawed if only 2% take any bit of notice.

cuerdc said:

As for people signing up to your server nobody likes registering its a tedious thing to do can't remember the last time I used any legitimate details only a junk email and false details only essential bill related things and possibly a retail outlet only if its something I use regular Amazon eBay etc even then still dislike all logins when o when will we have a secure universal login sign up process

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