Facebook has been in a bit of a stew lately b/c authors and other brands are starting to get really upset with the fact that they have to pay money to reach their full audience of folks who have liked their page. Yours truly is included in this pool of irritated business owners.

So I decided to run a little experiment with Facebook ads and see if what they told me happened to my links matched what bit.ly told me happened to my links. Here’s what I found:

Post #1

# seen: 22,000 ppl
# likes: 156
# clicks: 460
# actions: 332
# comments: 13

According to bit.ly: 213 have clicked on the link

Post #2:

Promoted link stats according to FB:
# Seen: 2800
# likes: 42
# Clicks: 87
# Actions: 35
# comments: 1

Same link stats according to bitly: 37 clicks

So there seems to be a little bit of a disconnect between what Facebook reports as clicks and what bit.ly reports as clicks and I’m not really certain as to which report is more reliable. I do think that Facebook has a vested interest in showing you high numbers of clicks and likes but if what they’re showing you isn’t panning out through actual clicks on promoted links, then we the consumers might be getting scammed.

The other thing I noticed is that there was no correlation between anything Facebook reported happened and the number reported by bit.ly. So I can’t say that the number of actions matches clicks, though that seems to be the closest corresponding number in some cases.

Your mileage may vary. I’m thinking though that any promo I do in the future on Facebook, I’ll be checking the stats!