The Case for Facebook Page Likes

Page likes don’t equal sales. We found out they can.

Almost everyone has a love/hate relationship with Facebook – even more so given recent debate over Facebook and its role in modern society. Despite the criticisms, Facebook controls the vast majority of social media traffic, with more than two-thirds of all Americans using the platform and 91% of those users visiting it at least once-weekly.

In 2018, Facebook is set to make up 10% of all U.S. ad spending. That’s in addition to commanding 20% of the digital ad market right now. Needless to say, Facebook is an essential part of any brand’s marketing strategy.

In every strategy or campaign, there are rules and guidelines we abide by: “everyone” is not an audience, don’t use a QR code on the web, etc. One such rule regarding Facebook is that increasing a brand’s Facebook fans/page likes does not equate to increased sales.

For years, we’ve followed that rule in every Facebook campaign we’ve run, telling clients time and time again that we can’t promise sales value as a result of a page like ad buy. But a recent campaign for one of our clients has us changing our tune.

For our client VIKTOS, a startup apparel brand creating their own category, Facebook page like ads were a required component of our strategy. The ads offered a swift boost to the brand’s visibility and legitimacy in the marketplace, but only a “fingers-crossed” approach to driving online sales.

As an agency known for building momentum and delivering business results, we didn’t want to take the “fingers-crossed” approach. We wanted to hunt the mythical Facebook beast, conquer that long-standing rule, and increase our client’s fans and sales through page likes.

Leveraging custom targeting and a strategic ad spend, we created a new conversion campaign directed at our client’s newfound fans. This set joined several others, including a standard conversion campaign and a product catalog retargeting campaign.

Over the next six weeks, our mythical ad set performed 45% better than our retargeting campaign and a whopping 88.6% better than our standard conversion ads. When factoring in the page like ad spend across our client’s account, our return on ad spend was still 26.6% higher with our new ad set than without.

Not only were our page like ads expanding our client’s reach and audience size within our cost per page like target, they were leading to a higher return on ad spend and more sales. That once-intimidating beast, the notion that page likes didn’t equal sales, has been overcome.

Of course, like any weight loss solution or financial disclaimer, our results aren’t guaranteed to work for everyone. We didn’t run a full split-test between audiences to avoid exposure to ads from multiple ad sets. Creative differed between our product catalog ads and our conversion ads, with the former showcasing multiple products and prices, and the latter featuring a single product without a listed price. Category/industry likely plays a factor – a brand like VIKTOS is likely to see different results compared to another vertical with differing goals and success metrics. Plus, a commitment to creating engaging, audience-centric content as part of an overall social strategy can greatly contribute to a campaign’s success as it likely did for our client.

Even with these factors, the results prove especially promising for brands looking to grow their audience AND their sales. Facebook’s commitment to offering options in custom targeting allows for clients to find success – even in ways we marketers thought unattainable a short time ago.

Want to discover how Traction Factory can bring Facebook Blueprint Certified strategic thinking to your Facebook ad campaign or digital strategy? Send us a note.

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