| SAN FRANCISCO, June 11
SAN FRANCISCO, June 11 Marketing on Facebook
influences consumer behavior and leads to increased
purchases for the brands that leverage the social-networking
site, consulting company comScore said in a report released
"The Power of Like 2: How Social Media Works," looks at
paid advertising on Facebook as well as earned media exposure--
meaning mentions of the brand made by Facebook users in status
updates and the like. It is based on the experiences of large
brands such as Best Buy, Starbucks and Target
The report follows up on a July 2011 paper, "The Power of
Like: How Brands Reach and Influence Fans Through Social Media
It swipes back at recent research questioning the
effectiveness of Facebook messages. A Reuters/Ipsos poll
published last week showed four out of five Facebook users
haven't bought a product or service as a result of advertising
or comments on Facebook.
Most brand exposures on Facebook occur through users' news
feeds, comScore said, rather than visits to dedicated brand
pages on Facebook.
Fans - consumers who click a button that they like a certain
brand or product - tend to outspend others for that particular
brand, comScore said, citing examples such as Amazon,
Best Buy, and Target. Purchase data comes via information from
loyalty clubs, credit card companies, and third-party
collectors, with the permission of the study participant.
In the case of Target, Facebook and comScore studied two
groups. One group, made up of fans of Target and their friends,
saw "earned" messages about Target - updates about Target that
run in news feeds and the like.
The second group was made up of Facebook users who weren't
fans of Target and saw no messages. Both groups had identical
purchase behavior at Target prior to the study.
After the four-week study, the fans who saw the messages
were 19 percent more likely to buy goods at Target than the
group that didn't see the messages, and their friends were 27
percent more likely. A comScore spokesman said he didn't know
how much messaging the groups were exposed to.
To measure the impact of paid advertising, ComScore
conducted a similar study involving a national retailer. It
looked at groups of Facebook users who were exposed to a paid
online Facebook campaign about that brand, and a test group that
was not. Again, the two groups had identical purchase behavior
before the study.
By the fourth week of the study, the group that saw the
messages was 16 percent more likely to buy goods at the retailer
than the group that did not see the messages.
Separately, Facebook said it had conducted research on about
60 campaigns to measure their return on investment, or how many
dollars in sales were generated by every dollar spent on
About 70 percent of campaigns showed a return of three times
or more on the money spent for the advertising, a spokeswoman
said. About half of campaigns showed a return of five times or
Evaluating the effectiveness of advertising has proved
challenging for Madison Avenue, no matter the media, brands have
long said. They find it hard to gauge how many people saw a
particular ad, and connecting the message with purchases is even
Facebook is a comScore client. Along with many other large
brands, it hires comScore to measure advertising effectiveness.
Shares of Facebook closed at $27 Monday, down slightly from
Friday's close of $27.10, and 29 percent below their offering
price of $38 on May 18.