The Facebook “Boost Post” Ad Scam

I’ve written a number of books for Take Control Books, and we recently ran a sale for a week. I wrote an article on this site about the sale, using my affiliate link to link to some of my books, as well as those of my colleagues. All my articles get automatically posted on Twitter and Facebook.

For a while now, I had seen Facebook’s Boost Post offer: for a small fee, you can get thousands of people to see your posts. Apparently, they just toss these boosted posts into the timelines of people who are interested in certain topics. So I decided to experiment and see if it would have any effect on getting people to see my article about the sale. Because if it did drive traffic to my site, and lead to people buying my books or others, my income might outweigh my expense.

It didn’t.

To start with, you click the Boost Post button, and you choose some demographics. I chose two countries, the US and the UK, and selected keywords: iPhone, Apple, iPad and Mac computers. Facebook then presented me with an estimate. For £4, I could boost this post, getting it in front of 11,000 – 33,000 people.

Facebook estimate

I decided to allocate £14 – about $20 – and my estimate was somewhat higher (I don’t recall exactly how many; I only took the one screenshot above).

I watched as the post’s reach increased. But it didn’t increase much. In fact, here are the results:

Facebook results2

Facebook results

It cost £14 to get the post in 2,908 timelines, with a total of 24 engagements, all but 2 of them being “likes.” Actually, looking now, the stats have been revised: there have been 3,006 paid reach, 26 actions, including a grand total of 2 clicks on the link to view my article.

Facebook results3

So here’s the scam. They tell you you’ll reach a certain number of people, but you only actually reach a fraction of them. But they don’t tell you that you pay “per post engagement.” So I paid for 22 people to like the post. And, in the end, each of the 2 clicks I got cost £7.

If you’re thinking of promoting posts on Facebook, think again. It’s a dishonest system, and I’ll certainly never spend money on something like this.

6 thoughts on “The Facebook “Boost Post” Ad Scam

  1. There’s a problem with your theory. Facebook “estimates” that you’ll reach 11,000 to 32,000 people based on their data feeds. That doesn’t mean you’ll actually reach that many users.

  2. There’s a problem with your theory. Facebook “estimates” that you’ll reach 11,000 to 32,000 people based on their data feeds. That doesn’t mean you’ll actually reach that many users.

  3. Oh my gosh… it’s a complete scam!!! They have the system set up to bait you. It is a nightmare. They have several confusing buttons and if you press one you are agreeing to let them take more money out for your campaign (that is not working and that you’ve gained no sales from). If you try to get help and press something else, more money comes out and pops into their ad boost SCAM GAME. And there isn’t a thing anyone can do about it. The only recourse is to just accept you’ve been scammed and stop bushing anymore buttons. There is no customer service number to call and no way to stop the train and get the hell off! I tried just writing in the ‘search for help’ “cancel promotion” or “delete ad” or “stop my ad” or “help me with my ad” or “customer service” or “stop the boost”… I tried everything and the only thing that happen was ANYTIME I PRESSED ANYTHING I WAS AGREEING TO LET THEM TAKE MORE MONEY FROM ME…. I create software applications that crunch numbers for my company and when I tell you it’s a scam with no way out, please believe me. Today facebook sent me a popup and it had words like “customize your budget” and crap like that and it’s the same thing. If you really study the button and anything around it then it becomes clear that they already did the customizing scam ahead of you and if you press that button you’ll be agreeing to the fine print that says you are agreeing to another $17.00 dollars and a super boost. God help you! EXCEPT THAT YOU’VE BEEN SCAMMED AND MONEY IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO BLEED OUT OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AND THERE ISN’T A THING THAT YOU OR ANYONE ELSE CAN DO ABOUT IT AND WHATEVER YOU DO…. JUST WAIT…. WAIT UNTIL THEY TAKE ALL THE MONEY OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNT THAT YOU [supposedly] AGREED TO BY PUSHING THOSE BUTTONS AND WHATEVER YOU DO… WAIT THE THING OUT AND DO NOT PRESS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE SCAM BUTTONS EVER AGAIN!!! THE MORE YOU TRY TO DIG YOUR WAY OUT THE MORE YOUR AGREEING TO GIVE THEM…. STAY THE HECK AWAY!!!!

  4. Oh my gosh… it’s a complete scam!!! They have the system set up to bait you. It is a nightmare. They have several confusing buttons and if you press one you are agreeing to let them take more money out for your campaign (that is not working and that you’ve gained no sales from). If you try to get help and press something else, more money comes out and pops into their ad boost SCAM GAME. And there isn’t a thing anyone can do about it. The only recourse is to just accept you’ve been scammed and stop bushing anymore buttons. There is no customer service number to call and no way to stop the train and get the hell off! I tried just writing in the ‘search for help’ “cancel promotion” or “delete ad” or “stop my ad” or “help me with my ad” or “customer service” or “stop the boost”… I tried everything and the only thing that happen was ANYTIME I PRESSED ANYTHING I WAS AGREEING TO LET THEM TAKE MORE MONEY FROM ME…. I create software applications that crunch numbers for my company and when I tell you it’s a scam with no way out, please believe me. Today facebook sent me a popup and it had words like “customize your budget” and crap like that and it’s the same thing. If you really study the button and anything around it then it becomes clear that they already did the customizing scam ahead of you and if you press that button you’ll be agreeing to the fine print that says you are agreeing to another $17.00 dollars and a super boost. God help you! EXCEPT THAT YOU’VE BEEN SCAMMED AND MONEY IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO BLEED OUT OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AND THERE ISN’T A THING THAT YOU OR ANYONE ELSE CAN DO ABOUT IT AND WHATEVER YOU DO…. JUST WAIT…. WAIT UNTIL THEY TAKE ALL THE MONEY OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNT THAT YOU [supposedly] AGREED TO BY PUSHING THOSE BUTTONS AND WHATEVER YOU DO… WAIT THE THING OUT AND DO NOT PRESS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE SCAM BUTTONS EVER AGAIN!!! THE MORE YOU TRY TO DIG YOUR WAY OUT THE MORE YOUR AGREEING TO GIVE THEM…. STAY THE HECK AWAY!!!!

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