Page post ads in the desktop News Feed once again include a “Like Page” button, which could make the unit effective for fan acquisition once again. However, the mobile version of the ad does not include the same call to action.
Page post ads can be links, photos, videos, offers, questions, events or statuses. These can be promoted to a page’s existing fans, friends of fans and audiences without any connection to the page. It used to be that when the ads were shown to non-fans, the unit emphasized the “Like Page” action over engagement, such as likes, comments and shares.
On Nov. 22 last year, Facebook changed this so users would interact with the post itself and be less likely to Like the page. Spruce Media found that clickthrough rate of this placement dropped from 2.52 percent down to 0.62 percent as a result. Conversion rate fell from 12.8 percent to 6.5 percent. The average cost per fan increased 270 percent.
Now, starting some point in the past week, the “Like Page” button is back for desktop News Feed page post ads, though not for the mobile equivalent. Advertisers should be aware of these differences as they plan their campaigns. Page post ads are generally good for content marketers and pages looking to increase engagement, but they are not optimized for fan acquisition. If getting new fans is an important secondary goal, advertisers may not want to buy mobile page post ads since they do not currently have the Like Page button.
For advertisers, it can be hard to keep up with Facebook’s tweaks, especially since the social network often tests different variations with different users. These design changes can significantly affect how users interact with ads, but advertisers do not get any information about whether their ad was shown to someone in a test group. An ad could be effective in gaining fans one day but then greatly underperform the next because of a small difference an advertiser can’t see. This makes it difficult for advertisers to compare past campaigns or to feel like they can apply previous learnings to their strategy today. We’d like to see Facebook give advertisers an accurate preview of what their ad will look like to the majority of the audience being targeted. Currently the social network gives advertisers a basic idea of what elements are included in an ad but day-to-day design changes are not reflected in the preview.