Facebook Adds "Social Context" Metric For Advertisers

Social Context IconYesterday, Facebook began displaying a new metric for advertisers called “Social Context”, which “tells you the percentage of your ad’s impressions where the viewer saw at least one friend who liked your Page, event, application, or ad.” It’s a valuable metric, however based on our tests, the correlation between a high “social context” and high click through rates are strong, yet not perfect. For example, we were able to find ad campaigns which had very low social context, but extremely high click through rates due to effective targeting.

Facebook has let Page administrators (as well as event admins and application developers) target the friends of those people who are already “connected” to their Page, event, or application when creating ads for a while now. You can do so by using the connection targeting when creating ads, as pictured in the image below.

For example, at AllFacebook, we could develop a set of ads which targets the friends of all those people who are connected to AllFacebook.com. If we promote something that’s on Facebook, there will be a “Like” link and a list of the user’s names included since we decided to take advantage of Facebook’s connections feature. We can then develop ad copy which takes advantage of this feature and looks to improve the performance of those advertisements since we know their friends are listed below.

While “social context” has mixed results, leveraging copy that takes advantage of the social aspect of the ads will most likely increase performance. This could be effectively determined through some basic split testing, however we’ll wait to post the results until after we perform a more exhaustive study of this new metric. Nielsen has already performed their own analysis and have concluded that “social context” (having a user’s friends’ names included) boosts ad recall by 10 percent, awareness by 4 percent, and purchase intent by 2 percent.

While we personally don’t measure our own ads based on “awareness” and “ad recall”, we’ll now be able to more effectively determine how social context impacts overall ad performance.

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