Every PPC marketer knows that click fraud has been a major problem since the industry’s inception. Fraudulent clicks cost advertisers and publishers upwards of billions per year in lost revenue. Most of these fraudulent activities take place on search engine PPC platforms, however, due to the rise of social media in the past decade, click fraudsters have also been focusing their efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and other popular platforms.
Advertising on Facebook has allowed thousands (and potentially millions) of small businesses to access targeted audiences at scale for significantly less than Google and similar platforms. While Facebook has certainly been an excellent alternative option to major players (like Google), it’s no secret that more and more brands are focusing most of their PPC strategies towards social channels.
What does this mean? This means that fraudsters are also getting in on the game. The thing about click fraudsters is that they go where the money goes. After all, that’s mostly what they’re after – money. While there are some other reasons why a fraudster might commit click fraud (e.g.to destroy a competitor’s PPC budget), the most common reason is to make money.
Whether you want to protect your Facebook ad campaigns from fraud, or you’re looking for ways to stop current fraud in its tracks, we have you covered. This blog was written specifically for the purpose of explaining how click fraud works, and how you can stop it. Below we cover exactly what you can do right now to mitigate click fraud activity on your social ad campaigns.
Facebook Click Fraud 101
Facebook ad fraud has been around since the platform began offering PPC services to advertisers. There are over one billion dollars (US) flowing through Facebook’s ad platform per quarter – that’s a lot of money for fraudsters to try and manipulate. Let’s make one thing clear though; Facebook doesn’t suffer from the same level of fraud as other platforms (e.g. Google).
Facebook has a much higher level of security, and actively monitors campaigns for fraudulent activities. With that being said, there’s still fraud on Facebook. Fraudsters are a tricky, craft bunch, and they’ll always find new ways to defraud advertisers out of their money. The main roadblock for fraudsters is that Facebook ads are very targeted.
How Facebook Ad Fraud Actually Occurs
While for many fraudsters this isn’t a major issue, it does stop a lot from even trying to deal with Facebook in the first place (especially when other platforms are ripe for the taking). For example, let’s say a protein powder company wants to run some Facebook ads for its new product.
The target audience will obviously be Americans who go to the gym/exercise and are interested in being healthy. With this information, fraudsters are able to develop thousands of fake accounts (or use accounts that they’ve bought from shady online sources – i.e. the dark web), and then defraud Facebook or the advertiser out of money.
So, the main takeaway from this section is this: while Facebook certainly has some better protections in place than other platforms, fraud still exists (and happens every single second). What can you do to protect your campaigns? We get into that next.
Preventing Facebook Ad Fraud: Tips and Strategies
The very first thing that you should do is carefully review the policies that Facebook has created for advertisers. While this might be a bit boring, it’s essential to know exactly what Facebook is already doing to prevent fraud.
After you’ve thoroughly read through Facebook’s policies, the next step would be to reach out to a PPC fraud protection company for some help on the matter. One of the major problems with Facebook is that they keep their API closed to outside developers, which means that anti-fraud apps for Facebook are either very rare or somewhat limited (compared to apps for Google and other platforms).
Reviewing the Facts: Facebook Fraud in 2020
According to some marketers, fraud doesn’t exist on Facebook, but these advertisers couldn’t be any more wrong. Fraud will always exist on popular platforms, that’s just the current way of this digital world that we’re living in.
The best thing that you can do is educate yourself on fraud detection methods, and actively monitor your campaigns for potential fraudulent clicks. You can also get in touch with an anti-fraud PPC protection company, who might be able to further assist you to develop mitigation strategies (to protect your campaigns from fraud).