These Facebook Stats Will Make You a Social Advertising Hero

by Justin Kistner on Aug 29, 2013

facebook-new-statsIf you’ve been marketing to the Facebook ecosystem for any amount of time, you know how quickly things change.

Frankly, I don’t see the pace slowing any time soon, as Facebook and its Preferred Marketing Developers (PMDs) continue to hone and evolve their offerings to maximize your efficiency and efficacy.

However, just because Facebook is improving its offerings doesn’t mean that marketers are maximizing the opportunities in front of them.

Which is exactly why the team at ShopIgniter recently undertook a significant research project, The 2013 Social Rich Media Benchmark Report, analyzing over 2,000 news feed posts and their 2 Billion+ impressions.

All with the aim to help marketers such as yourself understand post strategies that drive success in today’s Facebook advertising environment.

In doing so, we unearthed a few findings critical to Facebook post strategy success.  Before diving into the findings, however, it is important to note that the posts were taken from a broad mix of campaigns and brands using multiple objectives and across multiple industries.

Both posts and the rich interactive experiences behind the post — individually and as a social ad unit – were analyzed.

1. Paid Content and Organic Content See Different Post Type Winners

Organic and Viral Performance Graph

One of the first things worth noting is that unpaid status posts averaged five times more organic impressions than any other post type.

However, outside of status posts, putting an investment behind posts significantly changed their organic and viral reach – most particularly offers. With video posts collecting the largest amount of average viral impressions as a share of average total impressions with a 36% boost.

2. Paid Promotion Affects Engagement Differently By Post Type

Average Engagement Rate Graph

Stepping to engagement rates, we find that paid media also affects this metric, sometimes quite meaningfully.

However, as you can see from this chart, the impact varies greatly across post types, indicating it’s more helpful to look at the individual post type you’d like to post.

Specifically, Photo and Offer post types increase in engagement when paid media is applied, making them ideal units. Photos also had a high CTR average compared to other post types when paid media was applied, further reinforcing the Photo post type as a good choice for paid, rich media campaigns.

3. Negative Feedback Is Different By Post Type and Paid vs. Organic

Average Negative Rate Feedback Graph

Few people enjoy bad news, yet we felt it just as important to benchmark Facebook post negative feedback in this report as it is an important measure of the types of posts that audiences don’t like.

Also, high Negative Feedback rates decrease a post’s organic and viral reach, which makes it an important factor in performance as well as sentiment.  As with most post types, negative feedback rates increased as paid media was applied. As you can see, Notes is the most disliked post, followed by Video.

4. Rich Media Posts Receive Less Negative Feedback

Yet, when we examined rich interactive experiences, we found an average of over six times lower negative feedback rate. It would seem that Facebook consumers prefer interactivity and content designed for their social mobile context.

Average Rich Media Negative Feedback Rate Graph

So what does all of this mean?

First, brands need to be smart about what post types they employ to support both short term tactics and long-term strategic goals. One size does not fit all, especially when paid media is involved.

Second, Facebook has emerged as a cost-effective channel, and that putting media dollars behind your posts is a sound strategy – especially when it comes to offers and rich, interactive experiences.

rich-posts

Additional changes at Facebook underscore the success of the strategies outlined in the research findings. For example, Facebook has announced:

  • It is making link posts with images as big as photos posts starting September 10th
  • Facebook’s emphasis as a “mobile company” lead the shift from “right rail” advertising to the news feed, from which it was born

In addition to these findings, we also found that:

  • With an average conversion rate of 4.4%, social rich media puts Facebook ad performance on par with the best performing digital channels
  • More than 51% of total engagement was on mobile. Mobile optimized experiences and analytics have to be a first thought, not an after thought.
  • Paid media not only vastly improved total reach, but also increased organic and viral impressions on most posts by a factor of 2x
  • Photo and Link posts had among the best click through rates.

From this data, several best practices are clear:

  1. Photo and Link posts to drive the most engagement and clicks to maximize performance.
  2. Be smart when thinking through how paid media will impact your key metrics. For example, do you want to maximize viral reach or your click through rate.
  3. And, if you takeaway nothing else, it’s that we are in a mobile-first market and you should only do desktop campaigns if you have the extra time and budget.

For a complete look at all the research, download the free report: The 2013 Social Rich Media Benchmark Report.

Post Author

Justin Kistner is author of the 2013 Social Rich Media Benchmark Report and VP of Strategy at ShopIgniter, recently acquired by Mixpo. Justin has been a well-renowned leader in social marketing strategy for over ten years with leadership roles at...