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November 20, 2012

Finally! Real evidence that Facebook does drive new business!

Obviously specialising in online and digital PR, we’ve always known that social media is a tool which can be used to help meet your business objectives. Therefore, we weren’t surprised when Facebook announced last week that it was to release a new tool which would allow online retailers to track the purchases that had been made as a genuine result of their Facebook advertisement.

The tool, which is set to officially launch at the end of this month, is a conversion measurement tool which will be accessible under the Ads Manager page. Marketers will be able to add a bit of clever code to Facebook to whichever site they want to measure the conversions on – for example, a checkout page or a registration page – every time someone clicks an advert and ends up on that page, Facebook will count it and place it on that Ad Managers dashboard.

David Baser, a product manager for Facebook’s advertising section, said: “Measuring ad effectiveness and outcomes is absolutely crucial to all types of business marketers.” He also mentioned that the demand for this tool has been growing for some time now: “Marketers have been asking for this system for a long time from us. We know it’s incredibly important to marketers that they are able to measure the effectiveness of their ads, and the holidays are a great opportunity for direct-response marketers to drive sales and really see the effectiveness of their ad campaign”.

But what reaction has this new ad-on received from the wider public?

Debro Aho Williamson, an analyst from eMarketer, seems to be in favour: “It allows marketers to track the impact of a Facebook ad hours or days or even a week beyond when someone might have viewed the ad. That allows marketers to understand the impact of the Facebook ad on the ultimate purchase”.

A user on Mashable expressed his eagerness for the new tool in the comments stating: “I can’t wait for it to go live.”

When Stuff.co.nz recently reported on the story, it got a few mixed responses. One user made a point that some people were grateful for the adverts, and if they didn’t work (whether it be on Google, Facebook to Television) advertisers wouldn’t spend the money. They also added that “At least on a webpage you can concentrate on your content and ignore the ad – on television they actually interrupt your enjoyment.”

However, some users were not so optimistic.  Another user said it was “just another reason not to have anything to do with Facebook”.

I personally think it’s a great way to show the immense power that social media marketing has and how effective it is in helping a business reach its overall aims and objectives. Without sounding arrogant, it’s a little bit of an ‘i-told-you-so’ to all those who have argued against it. However, I do think it’s quite a contradictory move. It wasn’t too long ago that Facebook were claiming that they didn’t want brands to drive the general public off Facebook.

Chris recently wrote about the lack of quality in Facebook’s advertising platform pointing out the fundamental flaws in its billing system, so it is interesting to hear Facebook is adding some new features to its backend.

Would you buy a product from a Facebook advertisement? Would you spend some time investing in this tool? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Comments

  1. I have always struggled to understand how facebook were going to make advertising work for larger organisations. If you’re a local wedding photographer then great, niche opportunities where people interact with their wedding guests. If you’re a large brand then get out of my face. It’s like a sales bloke butting into my conversation down the pub. Not wanted and more likely to put me off than make me buy. At least they’re providing a tool to properly measure ROI. The advertising is so expensive (comparatively speaking) it’s about time they gave true transparency on results!

    • Chris Norton

      Ha Anna – I know exactly what you mean. Facebook promotions are odd as sometimes the price can be low and the results can be brilliant and then the following week they are shocking and cost around £2 a click. I think they have a role to play like you say. They are really useful for localised businesses or for campaigns targetting local areas. Dominoes must be spending a fortune as we would to help drive awareness.

      The problem I have with their platform is the back end is useless and charges you each day rather than weekly or monthly which is stupid and feels cheap. If they want to be taken seriously they should try updating their billing platform. Google’s PPC platform is so much more advanced and the ROI is greater in my opinion.

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