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We have an ad campaign running on Facebook. Our goal is to get users to subscribe to our newsletter by visiting the site and subscribing.

We noticed a discrepancy between the number of clicks recorded in Google Analytics (600) and the number of clicks billed by Facebook (1000). It turns out that the 600 clicks that we see are what Facebook calles "website clicks". The other "clicks" are all activity on Facebook itself: likes, share, and comments.

When I started this campaign, I had no idea that Facebook would be charging me for comments, likes, and shares. Those activities can in no way contribute to my goal of getting users to subscribe and I would like to avoid being charged for them.

Which of these options are available?

  • Run a cost per action (CPA) campaign on Facebook
  • Configure my campaign to only bill for website clicks
  • Disable likes, share, and comments on my ads
  • Lower my bids by 40% to account for the clicks that are not website clicks

By this point, we experimented with lowing our bids. It doesn't seem to help much. Here is a summary of the bids we have tried:

  • 45¢ bid -- 60¢ per website click
  • 25¢ bid -- 62¢ per website click
  • 16¢ bid -- 58¢ per website click

It appears that as you decrease your bid, Facebook shows the ad to users that are more likely to like and share and less likely to click on your website.

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    I wouldn't disable likes, shares or comments, if I were you (not that I think it is possible). These actions will lead to more and more people viewing your advertisement. – Wexford Jun 24 '14 at 13:05
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I can't answer all of your questions but I'll take a stab at some of them:

  • As far as I know (and from what I've read), you can not disable likes, shares or comments on Facebook posts (or advertisements, for that matter).
  • Facebook charges for non-website-related clicks (likes, shares, etc) because they give your advert more exposure (leading to organic views).

Have you tried bidding for impressions instead? Depending on your target market and your level of targeting, it could solve your problem, especially if your Facebook thumbnail is effective.

  • How do likes on an ad lead to organic views? The likes on the ad don't transfer over to our Facebook page. I haven't seen any sort of drop in CPC when the ad gets lots of likes. – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 24 '14 at 14:32
  • When a user interacts with your advert or status, it can show up in two places. Sometimes, it will appear in their friend's feed. On other occasions, it will appear in the smaller feed in the top right corner. i.e. "John Doe liked a link." etc. – Wexford Jun 24 '14 at 14:41
  • Does Facebook then not charge you for clicks from that? – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 24 '14 at 14:48
  • I'm pretty sure that they don't charge your for organic reach. I only say this because usually, in their reports, they distinguish between the two, especially if you "boost" a post. If they're charging you for a targeted advert, it would be unfair of them to charge you for clicks carried out by people outside of your targeted market. – Wexford Jun 24 '14 at 16:23

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