Facebook Advertising – Does Facebook Advertising Really Work?

With more than a few billion people on Earth, and roughly at least half a billion logged on to a social networking site like Facebook and twitter, it’s come to no surprise that more and more business owners are taking advantage of this phenomenon. The premise here is that Facebook claims to be the future of online advertising. This premise is backed by how people within that website can affect or influence others. In this case, think of it as an online version of WORD OF MOUTH ADVERTISING, except that it’s on Facebook. This kind of influence is changing the way consumers behave.

But is this the truth?
Andrew Lipsman, VP of Industry Analysis at comScore and co-author of the recent study called “The Power of Like[2]: How Social Marketing Works.”, had something to say about the validity behind the theory. This study was a collaboration between Facebook and comScore, and focused on the site’s internal analytics platform and other data like proprietary comScore analysis.
The study focused on these main issues and more:

1.) Facebook ads can work, but there are different kinds of ads available and not all of them will work for every marketer. According to Lipsman, ads can drive advertising effectiveness, but not enough data has been gathered to form such a generalization. There are a lot of factors that can affect an ad, like colour, location, and the creative elements involved, so it’s difficult to generalize that FACEBOOK ADS WORK or FACEBOOK ADS DON’T WORK. There’s not enough data to generalize that Facebook ads are as effective as other publishers like AOL and Yahoo!.
2.) “Exposed” people and fans tend to spend more. This area of study focused on the online and offline purchase behaviour of fans and their friends for Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, and Target during the 2011 holiday shopping season. This purchase behaviour was measured against the general population. The study showed that the fans of these retailers tend to spend more at those stores compared to the general population. Another impressive data showed that friends of these fans spend at least 8% more at Amazon, 104% more at eBay, and 51% more at Target.
3.) Virality is the key to success. One of the biggest marketing advantages of using Facebook ads is the virality, boasting close to a billion users. This virality is solely reliant on the concept of “birds of the same feather”, meaning people can actually cause or influence people to make a purchase, as long as the others belong to the same social circle or market group. Case in point, a lingerie store owner can influence women from all ages and races in Facebook.

If you think really hard about it, there’s not much to say about how effective Facebook advertising is. We can only hope that by the next few years, there will be more relevant data to back this theory of success.