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Web Analysts Proved Facebook Advertising Effective


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Guest Evilblade

Comscore has surprised many industry experts by saying that advertising on the largest social networking service, Facebook, proved to be an effective way to spend anyone’s advertising budget.

Recently, Facebook saw a number of high profile exits from its customer base. For example, such company as Ford claimed that Facebook wasn’t a good direction to spend its cash. A recent poll published in the beginning of June confirmed that 80% of Facebook users have never purchased any product or service advertised on Facebook.

Comscore’s report investigated paid advertising on the social network and earned media exposure. It revealed that most brand exposures on Facebook happen through users’ news feeds rather than visits to brand pages. Members clicking a like button of a certain brand or product usually outspend others for that particular brand.

The analysts studied two groups, using Target as a test case. The first group consisted of Target fans and their friends who published updates about Target, while the second was made up of no Target fans who saw no messages about it. Prior to the study start both groups had similar purchase behavior at Target.

Nevertheless, those fans who saw the messages were almost 20% more willing to purchase goods at Target than the group which never saw a message. As for their friends, they were 27% more likely.

After the test study, they conducted a similar one with a national retailer. It investigated the groups of Facebook users who were exposed to a paid online advertising campaign about that brand, and a test group that wasn’t. In 30 days, the group which saw the messages was 16% more likely to purchase goods at that retailer than the second group, which didn’t see the ads.

However, the experts see some problems with Comscore’s reasoning. First of all, it’s quite hard to estimate how many people saw a particular message. As for connecting the ad with purchases, it is even more difficult. Finally, Facebook is actually a Comscore’s client who pays it to measure advertising effectiveness.

In the meantime, the key clients of the social network left and are not going to come back, while the shares of Facebook are still hovering at $27, (30% below its IPO price of $38 in May).

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