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October 08, 2007

Facebook Flyer test results

By Charlene Li

Facebookflyer_3 I was preparing for my Graphing Social Patterns speech on Facebook marketing last night and decided to try out Facebook Flyers, which allows members to create their own little display ads that shows up in the left navigation bar. You can see the ad to the left, and in the ad is a request that people let me know if they saw the ad.

I bought the minimum, 2,500 flyers to run in one day for $5.00 with no targeting at all.

Just now, I received a flood of emails in my Inbox -- at first, I thought I was being spammed until I realized they were all responses to my ad!! The ad ran at 3:26pm PST and I received 67 responses over the course of two minutes. That's a 2.68% response rate. My first responder came from someone in Jordan, the last from a transplanted Nigerian in London. And yes, I'm going to be responding to each and every one of those 67 kind folks who bothered to click on my ad to thank them for their participation.

So this is just one small test that I thought I'd share about advertising on social networking sites. The vast, vast majority of ads that are "run of site" are the typical media buy that you see on many media sites - untargeted, undifferentiated. If you're going to market on social networks like Facebook, then you need to understand that this is a community where communication is paramount. Impersonal ads that shout and don't listen won't work.

If you've had experiences with Facebook Flyers, please share them in the comments below, or email me.

(Also, my presentation from the Graphing Social Patterns conference, "Big Brands & Facebook: Case Studies and Best Practices" is available online at SlideShare.)

Update: Didn't realize it, but I also got two pokes. That ups the response rate to 2.76%.

Tags: Facebook, online advertising, charleneli, ,

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Comments

Damien Mulley

Hey Charlene, read about this from Jeremiah's Twitter: http://twitter.com/jowyang/statuses/321382612 and decided I'd try it out myself so spent a tenner on 5000 ads in the Ireland network asking for suggestions on how I give away two Arcade Fire tickets. Ads go out at 12am PST so I'll let you know what happens.

shel israel

Jeremiah sent me as well. I'm using flyers to let people bid on two hours of my consulting services. I hope I recover my investment.

shel israel

Jeremiah sent me as well. I'm using flyers to let people bid on two hours of my consulting services. I hope I recover my investment.

markivey

Charlene--Nice presentation, and good ideas for marketing on Facebook. It'll be fascinating to see how all this plays out, as marketers learn this new medium. Thanks for sharing.
Mark

Paul Chaney

I've used Facebook Flyers on two occasions, one to give away (begrudgingly) a house cat and one to advertise a position with our company.

I was successful in giving away the cat and our company did receive some visits to our employment page via the flyers. I can't say we got any qualified candidates as a result though.

I'm going to try using flyers to advertise my Facebook group, Conversational Media Marketing, which, uh-hum, I'd love for you to join.

Andrew Wise

I've used facebook flyers as an addendum to my ebay sales. It's nice not to pay out nearly $100 on a $1200 laptop to eBay and PayPal, plus I get to help out some hungry students in the process by introducing them to the Mac side of things :)

francine hardaway

Charlene, I think the message and the photo were part of the reason you got such a good response. You weren't selling anything, you were asking for help. This is an interesting comment on marketing. I believe it's the messaging that's wrong on most marketing today, and that the same old messaging translated into a new medium won't work. Facebook is very personal, and if you want help, people will come out to help you. But they may not want you to actually SELL them anything.

Andrew Foote

Good test, thanks for sharing. I agree with Francine. Your 'ad' worked because it was personal. You used language like "I'm testing" and "let me know," which gave your flyer a human touch. And, since it appeared within Facebook (along with your photo), it made the ad seem innocent and safe. People won't be as inclined to click on "buy me now!" flyers. Facebook is all about communication and community, which is why flyers about joining groups and attending events will outperform the transaction-focused messages we're so accustomed to with AdSense.

Beth

Thanks for that tip - You can't beat that price. I decided to try one out for my blog tomorrow. I wish there were a better way to find my niche (nurses) within "Networks" though.

Ed Terpening

Interesting test...I'm going to try this out for my art business as I'm about to have a "box sale" of unframed paintings. Should be interesting. Will let you know how it goes.

Matteo Fabiano

Hi Charlene, I enjoyed your presentation very much at GSP07. I'd like to contribute my own experience with Flyers.

We used Flyers to advertise a casting call. we posted it across 3 Bay Area geographical networks and 2 college networks. The response rate (contacts directly related to the ad) was 0!

Like in any display ad campaign copy and creative are critical. The major problem I see with flyers is that, from an advertiser perspective, they are inadequate even for the least sophisticated of needs. Some basic reporting capability and the ability to run multiple creatives in the same campaign are needed to make this a measurable useable vehicle.

BTW, we also used marketplace to post junior marketing job openings. We got a statistically irrelevant conversion from that too. This was a couple of months ago, so things may have changed, but my assessment is that Marketplace is not going to be a threat to Craiglist for some time.

Mary S Butler

Hi Charlene, I used Facebook Flyers in August to help advertise a MiniDV camcorder I was selling. I posted them to my company and city networks, but was disappointed with the results. The only responses I received were from check overpayment scammers. I had a much better response to my Craig's List posting, which led to a sale.

Mary S Butler

Hi Charlene, I used Facebook Flyers in August to help advertise a MiniDV camcorder I was selling. I posted them to my company and city networks, but was disappointed with the results. The only responses I received were from check overpayment scammers. I had a much better response to my Craig's List posting, which led to a sale.

Simon Dance

Nice post, but the nature of your advert screamed for people to get in touch - and hence the good response rate - but what about traditional banner/ product advertising?

If you were using facebook flyers for a traditional campaign, I am confident the rich media and applications of facebook would keep users from clicking on the ads.

Si

gowri

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Nihaar

Charlene,

We ran a similar test on the new Facebook FlyersPro product and you can see the results in a 2 part blog entry below: http://youlicit.wordpress.com/2007/10/04/facebook-flyers-experiment/

Best,

Nihaar
Youlicit

Noah Grieco

Charlene:

You make a great point in your presentation when you say that "Facebook marketing is about communicating, not advertising." Being a student of public relations, I see this as a win for public relations; however, the presentation does not touch on what areas of business will benefit from investing in Facebook. Do you think that Facebook and MySpace are more geared toward entertainment type professions than other businesses? What is your view on Facebook (and other modern social media tools, e.g. MySpace, etc.) as it relates to the music industry?

Thanks,
Noah

GettyCash

I never knew about facebook flyer untill I read your post. Thanks for sharing.

Matt ridout

Thanks for sharing this, I have started a test today from a business point of view. I agree with one post that you probably got so many responses because you posted a pic of yourself up. But a good read!

markus

Charlene, I think the message and the photo were part of the reason you got such a good response.

Blogging tips from mcrilf

Thanks for sharing your exeriences.

I've done some recent testing on the Flyers platfom which you can read about here http://itsanonlineworld.blogspot.com/2007/10/case-study-facebook-flyers-part-1.html

The results are not great to be honest, but have a read.

Theron Harmon

Good post. I just learned about Facebook flyers from a post that linked to yours. I'm not sure if this would be beneficial in a business to business application, but I will experiment with it.

Alex H

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jim

i never knew of facebook flyer until i read this. Thanks for the great information.

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