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BizReport : Social Marketing : July 16, 2007

Advertisers disappointed with Facebook's CTR

More reports are circulating of disappointing click-through rates for advertising placed on Facebook. Should marketers persevere or concede that social networking sites aren’t yet the place for ads?

by Helen Leggatt

Earlier this year the Valleywag blog reported that media buyers saw Facebook as a “truly terrible target”. At that time they were experiencing click-through rates of just 0.04 percent. Around the same time, GigaOM’s Robert Young commented that, “Word on the street, Madison Avenue that is, is that advertisers who have experimented and bought ads on Facebook are universally disappointed with the results.”

It would appear that not much has changed in the intervening months. A recent entry on the Reach Students blog expresses disappointment at their recent Facebook flyer campaign for which, coincidently, they also only managed to achieve click-through rates of around 0.04 percent.

Lots of reasons have been put forward as to why the click-through rates are so low. Some believe that a high number of tech-savvy students on Facebook are using ad-blockers and some that the younger generation are good at ignoring commercial messages.

However, while Myspace and other community networks are all about content, Facebook is more of a communication tool, like IM or a closed forum for friends. On MySpace users spend time browsing through content on various webpages whereas Facebook users spend their time absorbed in dialogue. The difference in user behaviour could well account for the disparate click-through rates, as Myspace has a click-through rate of around 0.1 percent, according to Valleywag.

Tags: click-through rate, Facebook, MySpace, social marketing, social network

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  • Marketing via Facebook -- as with on any other social network -- comes down to a question of branding and reputation management. It offers companies to create communities for themselves. This is what's known as building a trust economy.

    The benefit of social media communities is that users/consumers tend to have an earnest desire to belong somewhere. When they do belong to a community, it fosters trust between community members. By building communities around their brand names, then, marketers can establish a bond of trust between themselves and the consumer/user. And that will convert better than any single click.

  • I think it's clear why CTR sucks. The campaigns are not integrated in facebook and completely ignoring the facebook users. I blogged about this triggered by your article:

  • Rahul

    Nothing surprising and as per my views this click-through rate is much better than other market sites.

    I experienced as low as .02% click-through rate on homepage campaigns or campaigns . This is the reason such websites promote only CPM offerings.



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