How I Got A 12.5 Percent Click-Through Rate On Facebook

By Dennis Yu 

Have you played with the news feed position report on Facebook? In addition to the standard ad-level metrics of impressions, clicks, and spend, you can see news feed click-through rates and news feed position.

Here’s what it looks like:

Notice that if you’re in the first or second position, you’re likely to get greater than a 10 percent CTR. Go brag to your friends who have peasant-like CTRs of 0.050 percent. You’re 200 times better — not 200 percent, 200 times.

But you might have to bid high to get it. I’d still recommend optimized CPM (cost per thousand impressions), unless you just can’t get enough traffic or must reach a niche at any cost.

Of course, if you’re targeting page post ads against existing fans, these folks are more likely to interact. Then multiply by five or six if you’re doing this in mobile.

It is not apples-to-apples to compare CTRs across different placement types — desktop and news feed are not the same. Nor is it fair to compare the CTRs of different ad objectives — reach, minimizing CPC, maximizing interactions, or driving conversion.

For the Google AdWords veterans out there nodding your heads — yes, we know that average CTR by position varies the same in Google. A first-position ad can often get 5 percent to 7 percent CTRs, while position 10 can be excellent if you can get even 0.3 percent. We have to grade on a curve.

And since Facebook has the infinite scroll, it’s hard to really assess what position your ad is in. I don’t see position numbers higher than 10, although clearly there are news feed ads way, way down the page.

So run the news feed position report on your ads and let us know what you see in the comments below.

If you’re not running ads in the news feed, then go here to find out how to  play with power editor. You can thank me later when your CTR is way up, while your cost per click decreases, too. I’ll take Amazon gift certificates as payment, but anything chocolate will do, too.

Dennis Yu has helped brands grow and measure their Facebook presences. He has spoken at Search Marketing Expo, Search Engine Strategies, Web 2.0, The American Marketing Association, PubCon, Conversational Commerce Conference, Pacific Conferences, HostingCon, Affiliate Summit, Affiliate Convention, UltraLight Startups, MIVA Merchant, and other venues. Yu has also counseled the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues for social networks. Yu has held leadership positions at Yahoo and American Airlines. His educational background is finance and economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics.