Thursday, 25 October 2007 at 15:03, mcrilf wrote...

Case study: Facebook Flyers part 2

A couple of days ago I blogged about my experience with Facebook Flyers - the pay-per-click advertising platform for Facebook.

Part 1 focused on what Facebook Flyers are, how to set them up and the details of the tests that I ran. In this post (part 2 of the series), I'm going to reveal the results of my test. Read on...

The results
Facebook provides limited reporting but it is enough to give you basic insight into how your ads are doing: impressions, clicks, CTR, average CPC and budget spent - all on a daily basis.

What was interesting in my tests was the way in which the flyers were served. Although they initially got some good coverage, they quickly started to lose visibility. Several times, I upped the maximum CPC and each time they got a boost of impressions.

The graph below shows the impressions each of the 3 flyer tests got.



After 11th October, I left the flyers to run themselves, with no changes. And as you can see, they are hardly being served at all now, even though they are all showing as active.

So what's going on here? Why isn't Facebook spending my budget in serving my Flyers? Perhaps since it's a cost per click model, they upweight Flyers that get good click through rates (CTR). Initially, my CTRs were terrible - the maximum CTR I got was on the 'Supersize your iPod' Flyer which received a CTR of 0.28% on October 9th.

The average CTRs for the 3 Flyers currently stands at:
Find your soulmate: 0.008%
Control your credit: 0.004%
Supersize your iPod: 0.138%

As you can see: abismal.

If you think about it, CTRs are bound to be lower on Facebook than something like Google Adwords. Google users are actively searching for something. Facebook users are keeping in touch with their friends. With this in mind, it follows on that Facebook users are less likely to respond to sales-led advertising. I included the 'Find your soulmate' Flyer since I thought that this would fit in with what Facebook users are doing - ie connecting with people. But as you can see, this didn't perform well at all.

Conclusions
The tests I ran were not exhaustive, but give an indication of the sort of response you can expect from Facebook Flyers. Although CPC is relatively cheap, CTRs are terrible since users aren't in the frame of mind for buying stuff (or even finding a date it seems!).

Despite this, I haven't written Facebook Flyers off. With a user base of 40 million people and 60 billion page impressions per month, the numbers are too big and the potential too great to pass up. So I'll be doing some more testing in the days and weeks to come. Of course, you'll hear about it here when I have any results.


The future
It seems the Flyers platform is set for a major overhaul. Nick O'Neill of AllFacebook reports that Facebook is expected to launch a new ad network on 6th November and have recently filed a trademark for "SocialAds".

They are clearly looking for a way to monetize those 60 billion page impressions per month to help justify their valuation! Watch this space.


If you've had any experiences with Facebook Flyers, let me know in the comments below.

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4 comments:

On 31 October 2007 at 04:33, whydowork said...

Hey There!

I was just working on a similar post at the WhyDoWork blog about our experiences with Facebook Flyers.

Our CTR was 0.09% so it looks like we're all in the same boat.

Check out whydowork.com/blog tomorrow for our results.

Great post! :D

On 1 November 2007 at 17:43, mcrilf said...

Hi, just read your post about Facebook Flyers - I see we're having similar poor results... although 0.09% is way better than some of mine!! ;)

On 11 February 2009 at 21:11, Søgemaskineoptimering said...

Great post, i have addet your blog to my reader.

On 26 February 2009 at 10:29, Karl Foxley said...

Very interesting posts. I was looking at this as a possible advertising medium but given the results I think I will give it a miss.

I wonder if a message to market match would improve the CTR... the problem would be finding a monetized product that fits a social media audience.

Thanks for posting this and giving me food for thought. :)