Report: Facebook Page Post Ads Drive Engagement; Page Like Sponsored Stories Deliver Immediate Results

By David Cohen 

Web-based social-management outfit Upcast Social conducted a study of the use of Facebook’s open graph actions by three of its clients over a two-month period to gain insight into how advertisers and marketers were running campaigns on the social network.

Findings by Upcast Social included:

  • 50 percent of the open graph actions on standard Facebook page ads were page likes, meaning that optimizing campaigns based on cost per action could be misleading, as there are double the number of actions occurring as prior to the introduction of open graph actions.
  • 85 percent of all page likes occurred within 24 hours of users clicking on ads, but there were significantly more page photo views and likes post-impression, leading Upcast Social to conclude that there is value in Facebook ad impressions.
  • When latency is taken into account, the proportion of action types changes significantly, with different types of actions occurring depending on time elapsed since the initial ad click or view.
  • Page post ads were extremely effective for driving engagement, and Facebook’s new metrics offer much better insight into this type of engagement.
  • Page like sponsored stories were much more effective at driving immediate responses, usually likes, with more than 95 percent of those happening within 24 hours of users clicking on the ads.

Upcast Social Managing Director Grant Muckle said:

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen brands invest in building their fan bases on Facebook by running ads and page like sponsored stories. The goal of the campaign optimization has been to drive the maximum number of quality fans at the minimum cost. While increasing page fans is still important, we’re seeing a shift to brands now looking at how they engage more effectively with the follower base they have established.

Using Facebook action metrics, brands can measure which page posts are getting the most engagement and then amplify the stories created from this engagement using a variety of different page post and sponsored story ads. Marketers now need to start experimenting with these new formats and metrics, and ensure that their time spent communicating with their fans has the maximum impact.