Facebook is in the midst of trying to make its advertising component more attractive to online marketers. The social network giant has suffered ever since going public as investors try to figure out what it is, exactly, that Facebook can do to bring in revenues and justify spending money on the platform. As far as simply alerting people to the presence of your business, Facebook is very useful. More and more businesses are launching Facebook pages in order to collect a reliable number of fans/customers that they can reach on a constant basis. A page also gives businesses the opportunity to do PR on the cheap and communicate directly with their customers.
But, how effective are ads? And are they worth the money? Online marketers are still trying to figure that out, but the team over at Facebook insists that we actually need to rethink the way that we see advertising when it comes to the site. Facebook seems to believe that advertising with them actually harkens back to the traditional way that we would measure the effectiveness of ads. Here in 2012, we care about clicks. At the end of the day, we use clicks to justify our ad buys. With online ad budgets being tight, we need to make sure we’re getting our money’s worth. A click guarantees that someone saw the ad and was interested enough to learn more about the product.
But Facebook says this is misguided. We have to think of advertising on Facebook more like we would advertising on TV or in magazines. Clicks, being such a narrow metric, don’t tell the true story of what’s going on. While placing ads on Google is all about the click through rate, Facebook is all about the impressions. Much like seeing ads on TV, you can’t get a precise measurement of how many people took interest in the ad because it’s just out there. We must also consider that the average CTR for an ad is around 5%. That is a lot of eyeballs unaccounted for.
Now the challenge is for Facebook to sell advertisers on that line of thought. Will they be successful in convincing online marketers to consider success as more than a high CTR?