This is how it works.
Notice the cluster of ads running down the side of your Facebook page? Who really clicks on those? I suspect they contain malicious malware and other creepy things that can infect my computer, eat all my files and steal my identity. So I don’t click through. If I ever find something of interest, I go the slow route, open a new browser page and type in the address. This is very rare.
My Facebook ads this morning were:
Gluten free food
Upstate New York
Rachel Ray lost 47 pounds
Feedback on Your Writing
Creative Writing Degrees
In some corporate office many streets removed from Madison Avenue some intern convinced some ad exec that money spent on these ads was an investment well made. Have bots ferret out key words and target the word user with ads. Brilliant. Facebook could not agree more racking a cool Billion in profit last year of which advertising comprised a full 85 percent of revenues. Look out when they drop these ads on your smart phone.
What these particular ads all have in common when posted on my homepage is that they will not generate one dime of revenue for the merchant, cause, organization or after thought that decided to pitch to me. Not even a curious “click through” will generate revenue.
They ought to give me the dollars and save themselves half the trouble. In this day and age of what I call corporate stalking, social media content is used as criteria for the ads placed in your face. It is also very easy to steer. Mention booger and sooner than you can sneeze a Kleenx ad appears. And we all can imagine what happens when you mention a few choice words you would never utter in church. Some day, like two years after the Facebook IPO, someone is going to wake up and realize they have spent a lot of money and got very little in return. Facebook stock will tank and the rest will be Enron history. Hey, I have an MBA.
Meanwhile let’s examine the fiscal flaws of this revenue stream on a micro scale.
I have eaten no gluten free food since the day I ate a gluten free cookie to quell desperate hungry pains. Stranded in Kealakekua and waiting on the public transportation I needed something to eat. I had gone to a writers group meeting at an independent bookstore located next to a health food store. Nothing else was nearby so I moseyed in for some organic goat yogurt and a gluten free cookie. Imagine, small town Hawaii hippie-type village. Imagine me running around in long flowing sarong from Bali wearing a knit cap and flapping hairy arm pits. (Advertisements for shaving cream and razor blades are beginning to appear along with travel adventures companies going to the South Pacific.) You see how corporate stalking works? But this is not me. It is all so wrong. Totally throwing good money when the poor so desperately needs it.
That gluten cookie was the most God-awful thing I ever tasted since Kaopectate. (Diarrhea and church ads forthcoming.)
It’s my neck of the woods and a great place to live in the summer time. I commented on a photo the Wishing Well, a fine local restaurant in Saratoga Springs had posted. They were participating in the annual Chowder Fest being held in downtown. Trust me, if I were in Upstate New York, I would totally be down with sampling chowder unless it was gluten free. The error in this ad is that I am not in Upstate NY and no ad about Upstate NY in February is going to lure me back to New York. Ever.
When a friend posted this photo I wondered why someone had not created a similar one with a cat. I guess this sparked MomThink to target me as a potential…mom? I later investigated their site. I learned "strategic nuclear weapons are long range missiles that can reach a target between 3,500 to 9,000 miles away. Tactical nuclear weapons (a.k.a. nonstrategic nuclear weapons) are short range missiles with a range of 350 to 400 miles." Oh yeah, another advertising home run.
Why Rachel Ray's diet secrets targeted my Facebook page puzzles me. I have not mentioned diet, weight loss, fat… Wait, wait a minute. I did mention in a tweet that a certain cat in Chicago had a fat booty. Now let’s think. Rachel is from Upstate New York. And she lost weight. And I might be eating chowdah. So? Maybe the ad execs thought I was gaining a few extra pounds. I swear I need one of these jobs!
Okay. Now a writing advertisement I can see. Not that I have ever clicked on one. But I do have a blog. Actually I have two. I mention writing. The blogs are part of the Google Empire, but still. A mining bot is a mining bot. On Facebook I have friends who are a writers. A few more who are English majors. And from time to time writing gets mentioned. Last night one posted:
"My favorite Grammar Peeve: Lay and Lie
This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g., Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie" (e.g., I lay on the bed)."
My reply: "Whew. That made me tired. I need lie down. Then I'm going to look up transitive if I can remember where I laid the dictionary." Thus the creative writing classes.
Corporate stalking on social media is an expensive proposition. It is like reconstructing a crime scene and hoping the jury will buy it. I predict the case will be lost.
Just what have you posted in the last thirty six hours?