The "Facebook for Business" page is littered with comments from frustrated advertisers

Facebook is the premier channel for social-media advertising, but complaints are mounting

Last week, Facebook reported that its Q3 2014 revenue was up 59 percent, reaching a staggering $3.2 billion, but many people who contributed to that figure are pretty frustrated.

Social media marketers, brand advertisers and small-business owners have taken to Facebook's "Facebook for Business" page to voice their increasingly angry complaints about the social network's advertising features. A quick browse through comments on the page shows just how upset people are with the ineffectiveness of Facebook ads, the lack of organic views their page posts get, and Facebook's staunch refusal to give customers human reps to deal with.

Here's a look at the general themes of frustration:

Facebook hides all their page posts

We now know that Facebook shows a brand's posts to barely 2 percent of the people following its Facebook page, making organic reach virtually non-existent. But that hasn't stopped people from protesting against Facebook's algorithm, especially when it doesn't show the posts to people who have actively decided to follow the brand.

A common defense, represented below by Facebook user Vicky Lewis, has been that people using Facebook for free shouldn't expect to use it as a marketing channel for free, either. However, small-business owner Matt Dongworth had a credible argument against that sort of thinking:

As the complaints against Facebook's algorithm got increasingly desperate, a Facebook rep responded with a Kafka-esque suggestion that page managers simply tell their followers to turn on the "get notifications from" tab in their news feed options. But how do you tell all your followers to do that if Facebook only shows your posts to 2 percent of them?

Facebook mismanages their payments

People who decided to pay for their Facebook marketing efforts weren't too pleased, either. In fact most were upset at how ineffective the ads were in getting people to follow their pages or like their posts. On top of that, a lot of users complained about payment problems where Facebook charged them for somebody else's ads.

Facebook customer service doesn't exist

Probably the biggest complaint from Facebook advertisers was that unlike Google or Bing, Facebook refuses to have real humans dealing with its advertisers. It was infuriating for people to see a Facebook rep respond to their complaint on the page with a link to a tech support or FAQ page, leading to increasingly desperate requests for human interaction.

Facebook has received a lot of attention lately as the premier channel for social-media advertising. That's mostly because for the longest time it was the only one that had the reach and sophisticated targeting tools that were so attractive to digital advertisers. But its hands-off approach and lack of empathy with the very people generating its mammoth revenues is surprising to see, and it could create a real opportunity for competitors such as Google and Twitter.

This article was first published on

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