Why I’m Using a Facebook Ad Campaign To Find Myself A Date

Guest blogger Matt Simpson demonstrates the nuances of Facebook advertising by promoting a brand that’s very near and dear — himself. Simpson is Director of Interactive Marketing & Client Services for Facebook promotions at application developer Bulbstorm. Follow his conversation on Twitter.

On April 2, I launched a Facebook ad campaign designed to find me a date.

I’m a single guy with specific taste. I’m only interested in women with the potential to become my intellectual and spiritual partner over the long term.

On any given night, these women may be in bars. Or coffee shops. Or yoga classes. Or laundromats. In the unlikely case that I’m in the same place at the same time, the only filter I’d manage to apply is physical. At first meeting, a woman is like a Facebook profile with her privacy settings too high.

But, interest-based pay-per-click ads remove the privacy shroud and deliver insight into her intellectual and spiritual nature at 75 cents per click. That’s about 10 clicks for the price of a cocktail that may or may not end up splashed in my face!

Facebook marketing for the eligible single

As a true marketing dork, I built 9 distinct ad versions for testing purposes — 3 creative variants and 3 interest-based targeting variants.

Demographically, ads targeted single women ages 28 to 34 within 25 miles of Tempe, AZ. Interest groupings were:

  • Yoga, Bikram Yoga, etc. (max reach: 940 users)
  • Buddhism, meditation, metaphysic, etc. (max reach: 580)
  • Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, etc. (max reach: 420)

For a landing experience, I created a Facebook fan page with free contact form and welcome tab apps. (Thanks to Mari Smith’s Big List of Apps!) Yes, it’s ghetto. My HTML skills are weak and Facebook’s iFrame bug is weaker.

Why not drive to a WordPress page or dating site profile? Well, Facebook grants a lower cost-per-click to advertisers keeping traffic on site.

Plus, users maintain a grip on their Facebook security blanket when: A) an ad doesn’t include a fishy third-party URL, and B) the landing page keeps the Facebook URL and header.

Why Facebook instead of Match?

I know what you’re thinking. Why not just use Match, eHarmony or some other dating site? Three reasons:

  • Match is too competitive. The economy of Match favors women. As a man on Match, I’m a buyer in a seller’s market. One female friend received 86 messages in 3 weeks on the site! Personally, I’d rather attract a woman before she hits Match’s meet market.
  • Match’s interest-based targeting sucks. On Match, I can filter by any number of physical fetishes from hair color to ethnicity. But filtering by spirituality or intellectualism is relegated to clunky keyword searches. (Sorry, but spiritual not religious is too vague to be meaningful.)
  • Match is too labor-intensive. To be effective, Match simply requires too much active attention. Facebook ads are set-and-forget. At this point, I have more money than time… especially at 75 cents per click.

OK, let’s see some ad data

In five days, my campaign drove 30 clicks and 5 leads via contact form for $19.39. By comparison, a Match membership costs $34.99 per month (with no guarantee of traffic or leads). The upfront labor costs are roughly the same.

Here’s a breakdown of my Facebook ads by interest:

Yes, I’m a tad disappointed that I cannot track leads by interest group. If only Salesforce had a free contact form plug-in.

But Facebook ads are just creepy…

What are the ethical ramifications of the campaign? Is it creepy to target women with PPC ads? Are there privacy implications of interest-based targeting? What about eyes romantically locking from across a crowded room?

I don’t know. Thanks to Match, eHarmony, and others, America has come to accept attraction-based singles marketing. It’s modern day serendipity when your match stumbles across your dating profile.

Promotion-based singles marketing is a whole new ballgame. On Match, there’s no amount of money one can invest in order to boost profile traffic. (For about $10, you can add a “guarantee”to a six-month commitment that adds a green highlight to your profile in search results.)

The times may be a-changing. Chas McFeely is offering a $10,000 bounty to whoever introduces him to his future wife. My cost structure is more modest, but I’m essentially paying Facebook to set me up.

So, is this campaign weird? Maybe. As one respondent to my ad said, “My opinion: creepy, invasive AND cool!”

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

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