Facebook ad tools record modest uptake

26 February 2013

NEW YORK: More than two-thirds of US advertisers are yet to use the various new products Facebook has introduced during the seven months since it went public, new figures show.

Advertising Age, the magazine, and CITI, the bank, surveyed 701 marketers and media executives in January to garner their views of the social network, following up a similar exercise undertaken in June 2012 after Facebook's IPO.

Some 70.7% of respondents said they had yet to use a 'sponsored story' in a campaign.

But of the 29.3% that had used 'sponsored stories', the great majority were pleased with the results.

Over 84% said they would use the product again, while 79.6% were 'very' or 'somewhat' satisfied with the return on investment (ROI) they had received from campaigns utilising this channel.

This performance stands out against a more general question asking respondents to compare Facebook ROI with other platforms like Google or Yahoo. Some 29.3% felt it was inferior, a further 46.7% thought it was about the same, and the remaining 23.9% said it was superior.

Just 12.8% had used Facebook Exchange, where brands can bid on ads targeted at specific Facebook users based upon data from third party demand side platforms.

Overall, 85.1% of respondents used Facebook as a marketing tactic, the same as the June 2012 survey. But more are now choosing to buy ads there – 61.5% compared to 55% seven months earlier.

And 58.2% expected to 'significantly' or 'modestly' increase their Facebook advertising budget in the coming year – a slight increase on the earlier survey figure of 56% – while 37.2% indicated the budget would remain unchanged.

Facebook's mobile alignment also appears to be paying off. "We have basically retooled and focused the company around mobile," Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's vice president for engineering, said in the middle of last year.

And now 68.5% of marketers now say Facebook's mobile app is 'somewhat' or 'very' important compared with 63% seven months ago.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff