STUDY: Facebook Ads With Friend Activity Work Better

Search ads have a longer shelf life than advertisements on Facebook, but the social media ad's lifespan can double or triple if the promotion refers to the viewer's friend(s) engagement with the brand.

Ads on Facebook lose relevance more quickly than ones placed on search engines, but social media ads can double or triple their lifespans by incorporating messages about the viewer’s friend(s) engaging with the brands.

That finding from a Webtrends cost justifies Facebook’s recently announced sponsored story ads, which essentially refrain fan activity in newsfeeds, while also explaining why Google and Facebook can coexist, at least for now.

Webtrends published a white paper called “Facebook Advertising Performance Benchmarks & Insights” today based on analysis of 1,500 advertising campaigns on the leading social network, comprising over 11,200 individual ads, 2.2 million clicks and 4.5 billion impressions.

Apparently, the average clickthrough rate dropped over the past year while the cost per click increased. Webtrends explains:

This is a typical pattern for display ad networks as the audience becomes more savvy and demand causes prices to rise. Brands investing now will save money building their Facebook ad programs now by taking advantage of currently low rates that will continue to increase over time. Facebook’s top advertisers have increased their ad spend tenfold.

The Webtrends study found that clickthrough rates are about the same among women and men between the ages of 18 to 24, but then females age 25 to 65 click through more often.

For the most part, geographical location doesn’t affect clickthroughs, although Hawaii has about half of the average clickthrough rate, while North Dakota has twice the average and Wyoming has three times the average.
Meanwhile, the more that a brand or the content fits the definition of social, the more people click through, according to Webtrends.
How does the Webtrends data