The Infuriating Facelessness of Facebook

Zuckerberg’s team has much to learn about personal contact!

With the number of daily active Facebook users rapidly approaching 1,5 billion, it’s no secret that Facebook bestrides the narrow world of social media like a Colossus. And as 32% of those users regularly engage with companies’ brand pages, it’s not surprising that, as of mid-2017, approximately 93% of all digital advertisers were using the platform to reach their audiences.

It’s no secret either that as the organic reach of company pages on Facebook has become less and less effective over the last five years, to the point at which it has been estimated that only 2% of a company’s followers will actually see an unboosted post in their timelines, Facebook’s ad-generated revenue stream has been taking off like a SpaceX Falcon Heavy from a Florida launch pad.

That’s all perfectly understandable. It’s the profit motive at work, a question of supply and demand. Mark Zuckerberg does have something valuable to offer his customers, and can basically set his own prices.

But why on earth – in the face of an ever-changing, ever-more complex administration and ad bidding system – does he make it so difficult to get any kind of personal support from Facebook sales teams?

Yes, there are masses of online support documents and FAQs, designed on the surface to make it simple for an amateur marketer to launch his own successful Facebook campaign in a couple of clicks. But have you ever tried actually reaching a human being to give you some straightforward advice on the best way to do something in the new Facebook Business Manager? Forget it. There is absolutely NO WAY to reach any kind of human being by email, online chat or phone. Forget it!

As if to address this problem, Facebook recently launched a campaign to their advertisers, by personalised email, inviting them to book a free 15 minute session with a team of Facebook marketing experts offering: “Personalised advice for your campaigns. Your Facebook Marketing Experts review your past and current campaigns to learn about your business objectives. Because they are rigorously trained, they are able to provide tailored recommendations to meet your business’s specific growth needs. Calls are scheduled according to your convenience. All consultations are free.”


Aha! you think. Just what we need!

Well, guess what happens when you click that inviting blue Call-to-Action button?

 

 

That’s right: a freaking error message!

I tried three times in December, over the course of several weeks, thinking each time like Einstein’s lunatic, that this  temporary glitch must by now have been sorted out.

Fat chance.

And you can’t even email or phone anyone to complain about it!

Once you fall down the rabbit hole of trying to contact a living person somewhere within the sprawling mass of Facebook’s network, it’s hard to resist the conclusion that this is deliberate policy. Let’s face it: a global, manned Facebook call centre would be darned expensive to run.

But, darn it, Google can do it! Within minutes of calling a toll-free number to a call centre in Dublin, I receive friendly, helpful and informed advice on the finer points of running an AdWords campaign. They’ll even phone you back if they can’t answer your query right away.

But with Facebook, not even posting on the help forum will get you a response. It’s an epic fail in customer service.

You can’t help but feel that Facebook must simply be doing too well to care. While they offer companies a way to “make meaningful connections with people to grow your business,” they don’t seem very interested in connecting with their own paying customers!

Nic Shepherd About the author
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