Social Context Drives Facebook’s Top Performing Ads [Report]

By Devon Glenn 

While Facebook continues to streamline its advertising options after rolling out Graph Search, a recent report from the Salesforce Marketing Cloud shows that the remaining ad units deliver more bang per buck with the help of social context.

In its Facebook Ads Benchmark Report, Salesforce crunched the numbers on more than one million ad units and over 114 billion impressions on its marketing dashboard,, to see which ad units performed the best for the cost.

“The results in our report were not impacted by the changes that Facebook announced last week, as our report was conducted from January 1 – March 31, 2013,” said Michael Lazerow, CMO of Marketing Cloud. “Looking ahead, ad units with social context will continue to perform better than ads with no social context. In less than a year, all ads on Facebook will have social context.”

Sponsored Page Like Stories, which show users which of their friends have liked a page, cost 43 percent more per Page Like compared to a non-sponsored Page Like, but are 13.7 times more likely to get a Like from a user.

Sponsored Place Check-in Stories, which show when a user has checked into a physical location, are also top performers, with an average cost of $0.04 per click and $6.27 per impression, and an average click-through rate of 3.2 percent.

The overall value for the other ad units varied. Mobile App Install ads were more expensive than average for both clicks and impressions. Impressions for Application, Click ads, Event RSVPs, and Inline Likes were relatively inexpensive, but the ads had smaller click-through rates.

Salesforce also found that Sponsored Stories, although more expensive than non-sponsored stories, deliver Page Likes and App Installs at a higher rate.

Salesforce’s analysis contains data from the top 25 countries around the world and top five countries per region, based on impressions.  Click here for the full report, which includes a breakdown of ad performance by factors such as industry and location.