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Can Facebook Ads Prompt Purchases?

Posted on 11.20.2012

Facebook is going to be making its own unique splash on Black Friday, at least for marketers, as the social network is looking for a little more recognition for all of the customers it drives to online retailers.

On Friday, Facebook is going to launch another brand new advertising tool for conversion measurement that will let merchants actually track which purchases were made on their sites by Facebook users that viewed the retailer’s ad(s). This fits into the company’s collection of new advertising features that are, essentially, trying to convince marketers and advertisers that the social network is worthy of their sought-after ad money. Other recently added advertising capabilities include a conversion measurement service for big brand advertisers through a partnership with Datalogix that helps track Facebook ad influence on brick-and-mortar spending, as well as new tools for local businesses that provide a new online coupon service and promoted posts.

Designed for direct response marketers, this new conversion tool helps navigate the path-to-purchase from Facebook, which is often more erratic than those from search engines, which are usually able to deliver ads to consumers as they’re actively looking at or for a specific products. The conversion measurement tool will let marketers look at the impact that their Facebook ad(s) had on business for up to a week beyond when a user may have viewed it; in the end, this gives the advertiser a much clearer understanding of the role that the Facebook ad played on purchases.

In addition, the tool has an option that lets advertisers aim their ads at specific segments of Facebook users that share attributes similar to those users that “responded well” (i.e. made a purchase) to their ads in the past. However, advertisers will only see anonymous sales information about the buyers, as merchants won’t be able to give up any data that could identify the individuals. has been testing Facebook’s new advertising service and ended up reducing the cost it paid for each new customer acquisition by an impressive 39 percent when ads were served to consumers that were considered the “most likely to convert,” which was defined by Facebook as a completed sale or a consumer taking another desired action on a website (e.g. signing up for a newsletter).


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