Advertisers pay an average of $1.07 to attract fans to their Facebook page, but those costs may rise as clicks and users become more elusive, a recent study reported.
Webtrends studied 11,000 Facebook ad campaigns in the United States and found that marketers specifically wanted fan-acquisition ads, mainly because they had permission to market directly to users, according to the Wall Street Journal Digits blog. They were also willing to pay more to get them.
However, the study also showed that the fan-acquisition ad clicks are declining while ad costs are rising. There's no clear reason why users aren't clicking through the ads, but Webtrends had this to offer:
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Justin Kistner, Webtrends’ senior manager of product marketing for social had a few theories. One possibility is that the ads aren’t as effective these days at attracting users, either because the ad creative design is growing boring or because Facebook users are learning to ignore the ads. And ads could be growing more expensive because many of them are sold through an auction system that’s getting increasing competition as more advertisers turn to Facebook.
Kistner's advice was for companies to start acquiring fans sooner rather than later, or risk substantially higher costs.
Facebook declined to comment on the study because it did not participate in it, a spokesman said.
The obvious answer would be for businesses to give consumers something tangible to become a fan on Facebook, such as a free service, hamburger or laundry detergent. People may be more willing to give up personal information if they know they're getting something in return.