Instagram and Facebook Advertising Campaigns| Is it worth it???

Hello everyone! Earlier this year when I first switched over to a business account on instagram, the world of facebook and instagram promotions was opened to me. I was definitely curious. I wouldn’t mind spending a few dollars on advertising to see what it was like. So I began experimenting. Well, my experiments have finished and I have come to a final decision that I would love to share with you. Ultimately my question was, is it worth it? So let’s get into that.

First, I am going to share with you two instagram posts that I promoted, and then two Facebook posts that I boosted. For both, it is very easy and user-friendly to set up.

Example 1. Instagram Promoted Post | Budget $2 over 1 day

For this first promoted post, I set a budget of $2 that would be spent over 1 day of advertising. I chose $2 because I was really just curious to see what would happen, and the estimated number of people that my post was supposed to reach at that budget was displayed as 1,000-2,700 people, which was just fine to me. This means that they estimated 1,000-2,700 people would see my post. I’m not sure why this is an estimate, and why they can’t just make it happen. You can also either let them automatically choose an audience for you based on your followers, or you can manually choose the audience based on location, interests, age and gender. For this post I just did automatic.

So in the images below, you can see the overview of the promotion I was setting up on the left, and the result on the right. Below that are images with different statistics they give you based on the results.

Example #1 Results:

  • I paid $2 for advertising that would last one day: they estimated my post would reach 1,000-2,700 people.
  • The result was that only 260 people saw my promoted post, and I only received 8 clicks leading to my website. Nine engagement means that people either liked the post or commented on the post, or visited my profile, I believe.
  • Most of the people who were shown my ad were between the ages of 18-24, lived in Ontario, Canada, and were female.

Overall, I think it was kind of ridiculous that they estimated my post would be shown to 1,000-2,700 people, and it was only shown to 260… That is a huge discrepancy, and you will see that that is a theme throughout my examples.

Example 2. Instagram Promoted Post | Budget $10 over 1 day

For this second promoted post, I set a budget of $10 that would be spent over 1 day of advertising. The estimated number of people that my post was supposed to reach at that budget was displayed as 5,800-11,000 people. They also estimated my post would garner 86-160 clicks to my website. Sounds great right? I again let them do an automatic audience.

In the images below, you can see the overview of the promotion I was setting up on the left, and the preview of what my promotion would look like to viewers on the right. You will notice that these screens look a bit different from the first example, so I guess they have changed things since I did my first one in February. Below that are images with the results of the promotion after 1 day, with the accompanying statistics.

Example #2 Results:

  • I paid $10 for advertising that would last one day: they estimated my post would reach 5,800-11,000 people, with 86-120 website clicks.
  • The result was that only 1,035 people saw my promoted post, and I only received 28 clicks leading to my website. I also got 34 engagement..
  • Most of the people who were shown my ad were between the ages of 25-34, lived in Ontario, Canada, and were female.

Again, what a terribly terribly inaccurate estimate! How can you finish that experience not feeling gipped?

Here is some more information below, where you can view how your post did without the promotion.

 

Results from the non-promoted post:

  • My regular version of the post reached 271 people, 7% of which were not my followers.
  • 29 people clicked on my post or my profile. 17 of those people just visited my profile; 12 actually clicked on my website.

So sure, overall the promoted post increased my views and website clicks compared to the version of that post that wasn’t promoted, but I still feel totally ripped off based on their initial estimates. Again, why are the estimates so wrong?!

Example 3. Facebook Boosted Post | Budget $2 over 1 day

Alright, on to the Facebook examples! For this first FB boosted post, I set a budget of $2 that would be spent over 1 day of advertising. The estimated number of people that my post was supposed to reach at that budget was displayed as 440-1,200 people. For this boosted post, I chose my own audience. I selected women that are between the ages of 18-50 who live in Canada, and I added 10 interests that pertain to beauty products.

In the images below, you can see the overview of the promotion I was setting up in the first two photos, and the results are in the last photo below those.

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 12.44.30 PM.png
Preview of the Promotion
Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 12.44.24 PM.png
Preview of the Promotion
Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 6.45.45 PM.png
Results of the Promotion

Example #3 Results:

  • I paid $2 for advertising that would last one day: they estimated my post would reach 440-1,200 people.
  • The result was that only 166 people saw my boosted post, and I only received 6 clicks leading to my website.

Again, what a terrible result based on the estimate.

Example 4. Facebook Boosted Post | Budget $8 over 7 days

Alright, on to the last Facebook example! I set a budget of $8 that would be spent over 7 days of advertising. The estimated number of people that my post was supposed to reach at that budget was displayed as 1,800-4,800 people PER DAY. I don’t understand why that estimate is so large when I am spending just over $1 a day, whereas in my last boosted post I spent $2 for one day and the estimate was much lower…. What is this black magic. For this boosted post, I chose an audience of women that are between the ages of 13-50 who live in California, and have 12 interests related to beauty.

In the images below, you can see the overview of the promotion I was setting up in the first two photos, and the results are in the two photos below those.

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 9.55.55 AM.png
Preview of the Promotion
screen-shot-2018-01-29-at-9-56-05-am-png-e1528696652950.jpg
Preview of the Promotion
screen-shot-2018-02-05-at-1-26-53-pm-png.jpg
Results of the Promotion

Example #4 Results:

  • I paid $8 for advertising that would last seven days: they estimated my post would reach 1,800-4,800 people PER DAY. That’s 12,600-33,600 people over the seven days.
  • The result was that only 621 people saw my boosted post, and I only received 35 clicks leading to my website.

Wow are these results the ultimate kicker! The total number of people that saw this post over seven days didn’t even meet the estimate range for one day!!!

Final Thoughts on Instagram and Facebook Advertising Campaigns

If it wasn’t already clear from all of the results that I just shared with you, these advertising campaigns are so incredibly disappointing!!! This being a waste of money is not something that I can say necessarily, because good advertising must cost a lot more than $2-$10. HOWEVER, because they give you such high advertising estimates, the results are monumentally disappointing, and make you feel like you did waste money. Believe me, I only clicked the final “promote your post” button, because the estimate looked so good! Well it’s all a lie!

I can’t even begin to understand how these promotions work. But why, oh why, can they not guarantee results? If you are going to tell me that my post is going to reach X number of people, show my post to THAT number of people! I’m sure this all uses an algorithm, and I have no insight into how that works. But I have never felt so much customer dissatisfaction in my life. They could at least make their estimates more accurate! Anyways, I have learned my lesson.

Overall, I cannot recommend using advertising through instagram and facebook. Yes, I got some website clicks, but the number was basically negligible.

Have you used advertising through instagram or faecbook? What was your experience? I’m happy to answer your questions or clarify anything that wasn’t clear.

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Posted by

Originator of SUPERNOVABEAUTY. In order to escape the 9-5 life of a graduate student slave, I have devoted myself deeply to beauty products. I am very passionate about trying the latest and the greatest and can definitely say that I am an addict. At all hours of the day you can find me watching beauty tutorials and reviews by some of youtube's most influential, such as Tati, Kathleenlights, Roxette Arisa, jeffreestar and JAMbeauty89.

18 thoughts on “Instagram and Facebook Advertising Campaigns| Is it worth it???

  1. Thanks for this post. It’s very informative. I’ve been tempted to use IG promotion but I know now that I won’t 😀
    Their estimates are so dishonest. Basically, what I understand is that they don’t care if you are unhappy with the service you paid for. What matters is that you paid for it in the first place. Very disappointing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, I am so glad that it came across clearly. It is a very tempting feature, especially since you aren’t required to shell out to use it! But you are exactly right. They essentially trick you into using it. I’m glad I never spent a larger chunk of money!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very interesting blog post – thank you for sharing your findings! I’ve often wondered if promoting your posts is worth the money. What a joke that their estimated reach is so far off from what you actually saw – I wonder why. Are they using a higher number to entice people to buy promotions, or are people scrolling past these promoted images on their feed, which doesn’t count as someone “viewing” it?

    On another note, this weekend your “Roasting” Instagram post appeared in my feed as a sponsored post, even though I already follow you #dumb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I am glad that you enjoyed it. A joke is exactly how I would describe it! Yeah it’s hard to know what the deal really is since things aren’t obviously defined. And thank you for that information! The whole point of promotions is to get views outside of your followers! What a fail lol.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’ve helped you out!! I haven’t looked into advertising on Pinterest at all. That is a platform that I really need to start using more. And honestly, I didn’t really realize you could buy ads through them. I would be curious to know more about it though. Might look into that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes!! It’s your money of course but I would love to see you doing it and your results. I never used Pinterest but I started to about 3 weeks ago. In June alone I’ve gotten 657 views from Pinterest, which I am amazed by. If you haven’t already defiantly sign up for the business account

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes I have used the instagram ads and before the privacy policy changes, it used to work amazingly for videos. Now you have to respect a bunch of rules and I don’t find it worth it. In terms of advertising images, it works if you already have a high number of likes on the picture, before advertising. Overall, it works if you want to get established when starting a blog or youtube channel, at least that’s how I see it.

    Liked by 1 person

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