Facebook Ads Growing In Influence

By Justin Lafferty 

Though Facebook advertising may not always lead to direct sales, social ads still lead to sales through a variety of avenues. Eric Ludwig, the VP and general manager of Rosetta Stone’s North America branch, spoke this morning at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in New York about how companies can tap into the power of Facebook advertising.

Ludwig, Tuesday morning’s keynote speaker, surprised some people in attendance by saying that the mean time of an average Facebook fan is 25 days. That means on average, brands have less then a month to capture the attention of a fan on Facebook before they get bored with the page, stop engaging, and the page falls lower in the news feed sorting algorithm commonly known as EdgeRank. Because of this, every action that a company makes with regard to social marketing must be well thought-out and deliberate.

Ludwig broke down the cycle of Facebook marketing into a funnel:

Ludwig said that while social doesn’t correlate to many direct sales, marketers should look for the effects of Facebook marketing in several other areas:

  • In-store sales
  • Call center sales
  • Web sales
  • Traffic
  • Lead collection
  • Brand awareness

Then Ludwig said something else that was a little alarming — many times, even the most charming, witty, or shocking ad doesn’t always beat a good old sponsored story:

For me, it’s that advertising is changing forever. The days of a brand trying to align themselves with a creative agency that creates something like the Geico gecko or the caveman … those days are mostly over. … The most important thing is what customers are saying about your brand. There’s not a single ad that I’ve written that has out performed a sponsored story ad.

Ludwig suggested that brands should up their ante in Facebook marketing, by preparing for Facebook to roll out a search product and an advertising network that would compete with Google AdSense. They should also remain agile and react to social changes and integrate Facebook into everything they do.

Readers: Are you finding that sponsored stories and promoted posts are outperforming your own creative posts?

Be sure to check in with us throughout the AllFacebook Marketing Conference. I’ll (try to) live-tweet the event and post stories to AllFacebook, recapping key sessions or interviewing interesting speakers. Join the conversation with the Twitter hashtag#AllFacebookConf and follow me, @JLaffertyAF.