Facebook API Tools

I think many of the bigger Facebook players out there are using API tools to upload and manage their Facebook campaigns instead of php ad uploading tools with p202 or cpvlab.

I have been using various API tools for close to 9 months and can’t imagine doing it any other way.

Of course the main downside is cost. Social Ads Tool (SAT) is probably the most popular amongst affiliate marketers and usually charges 5% spend.

I know this may seem a lot to some users but the time it saves me in creating/tracking ads makes it worth it to me.

I have been using SAT for while and an not so happy with it. I am hoping some other people might have better suggestions.

There is a huge list of Facebook API vendors here:
(look at vendors listed under tools not managed services)…47298891950753

Here are my experiences with some of the tools
77agency – (My current tool)
affiliate friendly
can track via pixel or s2s
can also edit/duplicate ads via excel
price is around 5% spend

a little slow and awkward to navigate through different campaigns
annoying .net implementation that does not support opening multiple tabs
bulk ad upload tool is limited to 5 images (you can upload via excel to get around this)

AdParlor Pulse
I signed up for a beta account but have not really used it. They seem to hide most of the power of the tool. I think they do a lot automatic optimization but I still have not tested it. They also told me that once it is out of beta they would probably want at least 8%-10% of spend!

Have not been impressed so far. Not nearly as many features as some of the others

Alchemy Social
One of the best tools I tried but they have a $20,000 min spend a month. Might worth revisiting to see I could get out of the min spend requirement.

Keybroker Social
Cheap solution for uploading ads but does not support real conversion tracking

SAM (Social Ad Manager)
Solid feature set but only support pixel tracking when I tested it in the Spring.

Anyone have any experience with these?


User Comment:
I haven’t used any of these, but have been developing FB apps since the day the platform launched; naturally I have a Nth option

Why not hire someone to make you your own ads API backend?

This way you can have EVERY single feature you desire, exactly as you want it. As an added bonus, you could also sell copies of it/licenses if you so desired.

Not sure how much you’re currently spending on your software, but something like this could definitely be done for a few $k, or less.

User Comment:
Facebook is very strict with who they give access to the Facebook Ads API. That is why many of the API tools are rather unfriendly to affiliates as they are worried they will lose their API key.

User Comment:
Is no one else using API tools to manage their Facebook accounts?

For me the only reason not to would be if I am cloaking

User Comment:
I don’t think they’re as strict as you think – try getting a $5k account from them first (if you haven’t) and spend some money, then apply for API access. I’ve heard some people talk about making up lies like "We are taking on a few larger clients (at our advertising/marketing firm) and want to create an in-house system to manage all of our campaigns in one place" or whatever… Not sure if it helps with acceptance or anything.

Bottom line is this, if you are doing volume with them and are seriously interested in your own software, talk with your rep and you shouldn’t have any problem getting API access.

User Comment:

Originally Posted by mdreier

For me the only reason not to would be if I am cloaking

You could still use the Ads API and cloak your URLs.

Do it the same way as normal, except setup your ads in your tool/app instead of on FB itself… Unless maybe you mean cause you would not want to lose API access if you got busted?

I can’t say I know how they handle that… If I were planning to do something like that, I would probably use dummy accounts to setup the cloaked ads, versus the app account with API access.. maybe they would only ban the dummy then

User Comment:
I’m using SAM and I love it. When starting out I had already learned a lot about testing lots of images, split testing ad body/headers etc and really wanted a platform to make it easier to do this. My two choices were SAM and SocialAdsTool. Contacted both of them, SocialAdsTool has a $500 a month minimum which corresponds to about $10,000 a month ad spend or so – but you could always negotiate paying $500 a month even if your spend is too low, they may oblige?

So yeah, that tool was out, couldn’t afford $500 a month going blind into the game. SAM charges the same % commission on ad spend but with no monthly minimum or usage threshold. So you pay as you go. That sealed the deal for me. I love the tool as well, works great for me. I asked for a demo and then had one a few days later via Skype and some tool like go2meeting, presentation style so I could see their screen. Got access about a day later.

Tracking wise they currently have image pixels and javascript beacons, seem to work fine for me but I haven’t done a huge amount of tracking yet. Pretty easy to combine with Tracking202 and any other services I think. Can be a hassle to send clicks through an elaborate redirect setup to get everything to fire but there may be an easier way if you maybe triggered a click to fire off a pixel before going to a cloaked redirect, e.g. prosper202.

Bulk upload wise the most I have done is about 800 adverts made at once, something like 40 different images. Easy as pie to do, don’t think there is any obvious image limit and you could just redo the creative building process in 30s if there was. They have a click redirector system so you can have your ad URL cloaked/redirected by their system on the way to your landing page, not sure if this can help with banned URLs or not. I know some people have issues with tracking202 links getting disapproved.

I’m pretty fond of the tool, think it works well (and I am critical of anything software/app related). I have requested a few updates/changes, especially bulk optimising by image CTR, and I know an big update with many features, including this, is coming late August.

I recommend giving it a go if you want to play with an API tool. You get charged based on ad spend on campaigns you made through it so you can always make campaigns directly through Facebook if you want to avoid commission on certain campaigns.

User Comment:
I still can’t see myself losing 5% of my spending by using one of their tool, even if this would save me some time, am I too short sighted?

User Comment:
does the SAM tool has a built in auto optimization for ctr/cvr etc?

User Comment:

Originally Posted by numerouno

I still can’t see myself losing 5% of my spending by using one of their tool, even if this would save me some time, am I too short sighted?

Well, the % drops in tiers with increasing ad spend and you can take a 12-month contract to drop it even more. It depends on how much you’re making I guess, and what type of advertiser you are. It’s far more aimed toward large advertising agencies as they all will be. It’s important to remember though that the ability to segment campaigns across different ages, interests, countries without much time invested on your behalf could earn you more money in the long run. Maybe. Spend more time driving traffic and working on other things than laboriously making lots of ads. That’s my opinion though, doesn’t mean the tool will be helpful to you.

As for optimisation, they have very comprehensive analysis/optimisation sections where you can look at all your stats versus image, ad copy, headline, etc. There is no auto-optimisation feature that I am aware of – at least at the moment. If you use their tracking you can set 8 levels of conversion and for any advert look at the CTR, at/to any level, the cost to get to each level and so forth so it’s pretty easy to optimise, in fact a lot easier than without it.

Just thought i’d also mention that you can use tokens in ads – and I’m not sure if you can through the regular interface or not. Can someone confirm that? E.g. "Find cheap dentists in {city}" and it replaces it with whatever the ad viewers city is.

User Comment:
how do these social ad managers work? What’s to stop me from using their tool to create 100+ campaigns/creatives and set it to $1/day spend. Then go in directly through facebook’s interface and change it / or cancel the service? How does it work? Someone enlighten me

User Comment:
They are integrated with your Facebook account itself. And you sign a contract. So I don’t think you can exploit it very easily. Sure you could make lots of campaigns then cancel but I would say that you are bound by contract to pay for your ad spend on those campaigns whether you cancel/stop using the service or not. You would then have to remake all the campaigns manually through Facebook to avoid it.

Oh, I forget to mention a pretty important thing. They have a 14 day no-obligation trial period, so you get to use it for 2 weeks with no % commission owing to them. Completely forgot about that one, lol. So yeah, you can try it for 2 weeks and then at the end decide it’s not for you. You may have to remake campaigns though, they probably don’t want people just mass producing campaigns with the API then leaving. I can imagine people making hundreds of campaigns for future testing… so yeah

Given that they are also buddy buddy with Facebook itself, I would think they can have your campaigns removed if they have reason to believe you were simply exploiting access to the platform.

User Comment:
The city function is pretty damn interesting, I’m gonna have to look at it..

The Article Published IN 07-25-2011 01:57 PM

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