Facebook has begun offering metrics on social endorsements in ads - those little footnotes that tell users if a friend has taken the step to "like" a brand or its paid placement.
Marketers using the Facebook ads platform can now learn the total number of ad impressions containing "social-context," as Facebook refers to it, as well as the number of clicks, the click through rate, and the percentage of impressions represented by those ads. If they like what they find, they may decide to further optimize campaigns for that kind of user advocacy - for instance, targeting an ad buy to the friends of people who have "liked" its page.
Facebook insists endorsements have the potential to dramatically improve ad recall and engagement. In research conducted on Facebook's behalf, Nielsen reported people who have seen an ad with social context are 68 percent more likely to remember it, and twice as likely to recall its content, compared with ads that have no "likes." Additionally, the researcher found purchase intent was four times higher when Facebook users were exposed to ads with social advocacy.
Facebook's social-context ads were first introduced in June 2009 when the company customized its ad products to let marketers promote their own pages on the site. The new metrics can be accessed by all Facebook advertisers through the Reports tab in the Ads Manager interface.
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
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