The Search Engine Strategies conference is in progress in San Jose. One of the sessions at the event was about turning the social web into real ROI (return on investment). The session focused on best practices in how marketers can leverage the social web as a simple way to quickly build and manage effective campaigns.
The question is should you invest in marketing your site on Facebook, or invest in marketing traffic to your site? Tim Kendall, Director of Monetization at Facebook offered some insight into Facebook ads. He pointed out that Facebook now has a tabbed experience, and that a lot of customers are fixated on the click through rate. He said he thinks to customers paying on a CPC basis this shouldn’t be such an issue.
Facebook delivers so many millions of impressions that you are pretty much going to have low click through rates by default. It’s about serving better ads. He says micro segments can really add up to a big reach, and that ads need to be clear as to what the offer products or services are.
More glowing commentary on Facebook came from Sean Heywood, Managing Partner with MR Barber Shop & Urban Lounge. Heywood said that they can’t experiment unless social advertising is going to create a positive ROI in the short term, and that Facebook ads are good for this because they can experiment for as little as $5 a day.
Heywood says this allows them to gain an incredibly attractive return quickly. They started with search, but they said Facebook worked better for them. “I do marketing as a necessity to drive business. Of all the options available Facebook has been the most intuitive in helping us figure the ad options out,” said Heywood.
Claudia Virgilio, VP, Western Region at Performics said they rely heavily on th years of experience, and look at it from a consumer journey approach. “We look at social as a way to influence a consumer’s purchasing decision.”
Performics looks at conversions, actions and registrations, sales and engagement opportunities like time on site. She said:
Our clients want to see sales and ROI. We are focused on the education of the engagement metrics. Different metrics are really warranted to be looked at. You need to test to make sure that your customers are in line with their metrics. How many connections to you have on your fan page? etc…
With our clients click through is very important. One of our automotive clients tried 2 paid strategies and 1 Facebook component. The budget was split equally between search and Facebook. Facebook delivered the most impressions (58%) and 52% of clicks. The ROI ended up being 42% higher for Facebook ads versus search ads.
On the other hand, Rogelio (Ro) Choy, Chief Revenue Officer at RockYou says they see an average of 2-2.5% click through rate on Facebook ads. “A big misperception about social media is that there is actual engagement,” says Choy. “From our perspective there is no difference at all in measuring metrics for social networks versus search or web campaigns.”
Clearly, there are varying levels of success with Facebook ads depending on who you talk to. That’s a given. The different things these different speakers had to say about marketing with Facebook just goes to show that it’s about how you use it to suit your own business. Choy seems to prefer the viral aspect of Facebook.