Facebook: ‘Don’t get too hung up on CTR’

Facebook has urged marketers not to get “too hung up” on click through rates when they are trying to measure the value of their actions on the site, a plea that comes as the social network publishes further research to convince doubters that there can be an ROI from “likes”.


Speaking at Chinwag and Our Social Times’ Facebook Marketing 2012 conference, Facebook’s EMEA head of customer market insights Andy Pang, says marketers should instead focus on three main marketing imperatives: “reach, resonance and reaction”.

The site is also looking at media mix modeling analysis to offer insights on how Facebook adds value as part of wider marketing campaigns both on and offline. Pang says the moves are part of the “battleground” of proving accountability and ROI.

He elaborated that marketers can currently use Nielsen’s Online Campaign Measurement tool to understand how Facebook is reaching their audience compared to other channels.

The social network claims that brands see just 5% wastage in their campaigns when they broadly target segments, compared to an industry average of 10% wastage for other online campaigns. Moreover, when brands narrowly target their audience they are seeing just 10% wastage on average compared with a 65% average.

To understand the resonance of campaigns on Facebook, the network has conducted polls for users to take, situated where ads appear to test recall of advertising and whether it has influenced their perception of the brand. Nielsen data suggests that Facebook campaigns have twice the recall rates of non-Facebook ad campaigns online.

To quantify “reaction”, Pang pointed to case studies from Nestle’s Kitkat and Nutella to demonstrate how Facebook ad campaigns led to sales.

A Kitkat campaign that ran in the UK in January last year was said to have generated £1.34 in sales for every £1 invested in Facebook, according to Milward Brown and Kantar Worldpanel data. This was compared to a £1.11 return from TV and a £1.02 return from the corresponding online display campaign.

A European campaign from Nutella generated 15% of additional sales through Facebook, according to a German panel on media efficiency. Pang said this demonstrates how Facebook can provide incremental reach beyond TV.

He added: “There is still a reliance on click through rates as a measure of success but this is not the only measure, there are many other things that are equally as important. CTR doesn’t necessarily equate to ROI or engagement.

“We will continue to work towards the big theme of tackling the measurement challenges in the next five years or so.”

Separately but very much part of wider efforts to convince doubting marketers disgruntled with the lack of case studies provided that prove the monetary value of the social network to brands, Facebook has partnered with Comscore to determine the “power of a like” to retail marketers.

Tracking 400,00 internet users across Europe, the report claims that fans and “friends of fans” on Facebook are more likely to visit the brand websites of the retailers that participated in the study – ASOS and TopShop in the UK, La Redoute and Zara in France and H&M and Zara in Germany – than the average internet user.

For example, in the UK, it is claimed that ASOS fans are 3.6 times more likely to visit than non-Facebook fans. Friends of fans are 2.7 times more likely, the study finds. However, the study fails to determine whether the visits led to increased sales.

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