Facebook Ads Do Increase Sales, Study Finds

Facebook ads have been one of the casualties of a disappointing public offering, and in the days just prior to Facebook’s IPO, major advertiser General Motors pulled out of its Facebook ad campaign, causing much buzz about whether or not Facebook ads translate to actual dollars in the pockets of advertisers.

Coupled with the IPO hit, Facebook ads took a bit of a tumble in public view, and many agreed with GM that the method of shilling items and services had its flaws. But a new study by web analytics firm comScore reveals that Facebook ads are, in fact, an effective method of reaching specific audiences.

However, it should be noted that the report on Facebook ads was in part commissioned by Facebook, and involved participants who opted in to provide data for the survey. Two of the companies included in the research on Facebook ads were Target and Starbucks, and behaviors related to buying behavior of Facebook fans was measured.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Starbucks Facebook fans were 38% more likely to spend money at Starbucks after being exposed to the brand’s content on Facebook than average Facebook users. Among Target fans, that percentage was at about 21%.

comScore VP of Industry Analysis Andrew Lipsman said of the data:

“Social media continues to emerge as an important marketing channel and major brand marketers are devoting more time and attention to understanding its impact on consumers. While marketers understand the importance of a channel that now accounts for 1 in every 7 minutes spent online, many are challenged to quantify its effectiveness.”

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Lipsman continued:

“The [data report] Power of Like research sheds new light on how brands are able to deliver earned and paid media at scale, amplify its effects from Fans to Friends of Fans, and understand how exposure to these media can drive the desired consumer behaviors, including online and in-store purchase.”

The Facebook ads data can be viewed in greater depth over at comScore’s site.