With their introduction recently, there's been no shortage of reports and analysis about how well Facebook's new advertising model is working and whether they engage users.
A new report from SEO and PPC consulting and technology firm Greenlight suggests that a significant proportion of users aren't warming to Facebook advertisements with 44 per cent of users saying that they've never clicked on an advertisement or sponsored listing on Facebook. To add further worry, this was the most popular answer of those choices available.
Only three per cent of users surveyed said that they clicked on them regularly while 10 per cent said that they do it often. With 31 per cent saying that they rarely click on Facebook advertisements. This 44 per cent figure becomes more worrying when you realise that in that survey, 13 per cent of those surveyed said that they don't use Facebook so you could say that roughly half of users never click on advertisements.
Cause for concern?
This report come at what is a crucial time for Facebook with the company now trading on the stock exchange and their share price performing quite steadily. But is this cause for concern? Well, the idea that almost half of users ignore advertisements isn't encouraging to say the least.
Also, Facebook and Twitter were the two sites that users would be least likely to trust their personal data with. This isn't particularly helpful when you consider the fact that Facebook uses personal data to better target users and present ads that the user would be more likely to engage with.
Yet advertising on Facebook has become the norm for brands and an integral part of any strategy due to the amount of users there. It's very difficult to ignore a potential audience of 900 million.
Also, despite the large percentage that said they never clicked on an advertisement, another report from TBG Digital says that sponsored stories bring a 32 per cent decrease in cost per sales and an increase in clickthrough rate (CTR). As well as that, in Greenlight's experience, when a brand runs a traditional ad format alongside a sponsored story format, there's usually a 30 per cent increase in conversion rates.
The findings are part of Greenlight's global Search & Social Survey (2011-2012)
where 500 people - ranging from professionals, students and the unemployed - were asked how they engage with online advertising, search engines, and social networks. The full report can be found here.
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