I promised you an update regarding Facebook’s clickthrough rates and here it is.
Since I began running the ad, there’ve been three clicks. I’ve been running it for three weeks.
Am I disappointed that it’s not bringing a flood of traffic to my website, everyone anxious to be budgeting? I suppose. Though not so much.
People don’t click through with billboards either, but people are still advertising on them. Facebook is a very inexpensive billboard. The thing’s generating about 10,000 impressions per week. Of course, impressions does not under any circumstance, mean views. But of those 10,000 there is certainly some percentage of people that saw my brand for the first time.
Don’t they say it takes seven impressions to make a sale?
Six to go.
I know plenty of affiliates have jumped on the Facebook bandwagon (the health industry appears to have caught on, but they’re subsequently being banned from what I can gather)…other than that, Facebook ads appear to be nothing too special. I’ve never clicked through to one, and I may have only noticed them since I’m into this whole internet marketing thing.
That being said, now that the dust has settled, is Facebook a viable (profitable) advertising platform?
Well, sorry to rain on the parade, but no. Media buyers — the agency people who book campaigns — report that the college social network is a truly terrible target. They’re mainly students, with low disposable income, of course; but, beyond that, the users appear to be too busy leaving messages for eachother to show much interest in advertising. Facebook’s members appear indifferent even to movie advertising aimed at their demographic. Clickthrough rates, the percentage of time users click on an ad, average 0.04% — just 400 clicks in every 1m views
Facebook users spend their time absorbed in dialogue. The difference in user behaviour could well account for the disparate click-through rates (disparate from Myspace, where CTR is about .1%).
These reports were from last year, and since then Facebook has allowed a bit more targeting with the ads. However, if people fundamentally aren’t noticing the ad, then my ad targeted at the 25-year old lover of Transformers also won’t work so well. They have to be noticed first — and then you have to make sure they’re being noticed by the right demographic.
So I’m running an ad for my personal budget software (I was kidding about Transformers). We’ll see how it goes. If the clicks are affordable and profitable, then even if the traffic is coming through at a molasses-rate, if the work is hands-off, I’m on it.