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Facebook Advertising: Do Facebook Ads Work?

21 September 2009 8 Comments

I decided that Facebook would be an excellent medium to target 20-somethings and try to expand the reach of this blog.  As such, I created a quick Facebook ad (the process was very easy), and away we went.  Interestingly, after a few days, and several thousand impressions, I have yet to have a single click.  I’ve been charged not even a penny.

While of course the quality of my ad with regards to how enticing it is for a user to click on it, I have to wonder how effective the Facebook platform is for advertising.

The Facebook Conundrum

Facebook is an absolute incredible website.  According to Alexa, it’s now the 3rd highest most trafficked site on the entire internet.  Simply amazing.  I use it and spend hours on it.  The only problem is that I’ve never given a dime to Facebook, and I’ve never clicked an ad before on Facebook.  It’s not that I’m against ads, I click on ads on websites when I want to, but the problem with Facebook is mostly you don’t even notice the ads.

In an effort to make ads less intrusive to the user experience, Facebook has delegated their ads to only the side and in a non-intrusive manner.  This is smart for keeping the user experience high, but it also means they limit their potential revenue.

It has been the constant debate surrounding technologies and websites such as Facebook or Myspace (or even Twitter): can these sites actually generate significant amounts of revenue?  I wrote over a year ago about Facebook’s business problems and I’m still skeptical.  The good thing is that Facebook isn’t going anywhere so I guess they have time to try and work out how to make money more effectively.

Advertising With Facebook

With all of that said, I would still recommend trying out Facebook as an advertising platform because you only pay when someone clicks thru to your site.  You can show thousands of ads, but if nobody clicks on it, you don’t pay a dime.

Their interface is very nice and easy to use making setting up your advertising campaign extremely easy.  So, with regards to making it easy for potential advertisers, Facebook did a fantastic job.

Facebook has more younger users than probably any other website that exists.  Not only that, these users stick around for hours browsing pages and photos.  Targeting these users makes a great deal of sense for a wide range of businesses.  Try it out!


  • Darwin's Finance said:

    That’s interesting; I hadn’t thought of advertising Darwin’s Finance on Facebook or Adwords or whatever, because I figured the ROI wouldn’t work but admittedly, I’ve never researched it. Are the ads cheap enough that the clicks you’re paying for have a positive ROI? i.e. let’s say a blog has an ECPM of $20 ($20/1000 impressions). Are you able to buy clicks at less than the 2 cents each to pay off? Curious what kind of assumptions you made in setting up and whether I should try something similar. And then, of course, I guess it doesn’t help that you haven’t gotten any clicks. But have you considered the same concept with Adwords or are they more expensive?

    Any additional insight would be great. Tx

  • keishona said:

    hi keshona and i have facebook

  • Kevin said:


    Honestly, I haven’t even moved towards this kind of strategy at this point. I just wanted to see what Facebook ads were all about. I set my budget very low because this isn’t really thought out at this point.

    I’ll give you an update and whether or not this makes sense for a direct analysis with regards to cost/benefit.

  • DLBurkhart said:

    I began researching the effectiveness of Facebook ads when I was getting reports of hundreds of clicks, but no hint of new customer traffic. None of the "clicks" you are really paying for have been following through, resulting in a conversion rate of 0%. My research so far has only found similar reports, lots of clicked ads, no conversions.

    To note, Nielson recently struck a partnership with Facebook to guage the effectiveness of Facebook ads and their affect on Facebook users. I was satisfied that reasonable explanations would finally come to light until I discovered that Facebook itself would be "handling the data collection" in the deal. So much for unbiased results.

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  • Jiao Fashion said:

    Yeah, i need some advice, I just started Facebook ads, and it doesn't work AT ALL! After several days, the freq. is only 1.3, reach is 6, OMG! What do I suppose to do? Yes, I made bid 0.01 euro, and daily maximum 1 euro, so it means nothing to FB? How did you set your budget? Thanks.

  • Samantha said:

    We were getting some really great results for a while with our ads – 11,000 impressions per day, 50 or more clicks per day with a 50% "like" conversion rate – it is difficult to track beyond that how many of those have actually monetized since the tracking breaks down a little bit at that point. What I ran into that was most troublesome is that FB suddenly decided to stop giving us impressions and I don't have a clue as to why. I have been updating the image apx weekly to combat the fb fatigue too. If they wont even show the ad , how am I going to see results? Today's report shows it has shown to the same 1 person 74 times, as if that is going to make a difference. I have also attempted split testing multiple ads and found that they would randomly pick one they ran and it wasnt a fair split test, ie one gets 11000 and the other gets 100. Anyway, I am not happy with their system and they arent making it easy for me to understand what is going on or how to fix it, so it might be time to stop doing business with them.

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    Grand commercial corporations survive due to strong strategies, resilience on the market and, not rarely, sacrifices. We as clients, are faced with the external image of it. Highlighted shopping centers, enlistments in the Baltimore classifieds sections, advertising campaigns addressing our needs as customers and so on. Little is there to be seen what struggle lays behind it.