Today, many local businesses are recognizing the importance of social media advertising because numerous consumers are openly communicating online about companies they do business with. For those businesses that want to advertise on Facebook, Twitter, and eventually Google+, they may first ask themselves, will my potential customers actually engage with my ad? Or in other words, will my possible clients click on my ad and then buy my products/services? One particular research firm named EyeTrackShop decided to answer these questions in their study called, "Facebook and Google+ Ad Visual Performance." EyeTrackShop is well-known for its technology that tracks eye movements. In the study, the firm showed participants a sample Facebook newsfeed as well as a mock-up of a Google+ newsfeed with ads shown on the right side of the pages. As the participants viewed the pages, EyeTrackShop observed each person’s eye movements.
What were the results? The majority of the respondents viewed each Facebook and Google+ page equally by looking first at the center, then to the left, and finished at the right where the ads were placed. Moreover, EyeTrackShop found that consumers were less engaged on Facebook compared to other studies. Less engaged? How so? See below.
Although the statistics are not dramatically different, this is definitely some food for thought. Which social media site seems to generally offer a bit more success with ad engagement? Twitter. In March 2011, Chitika, a data analytics company, determined that Twitter had a higher clickthrough rate than Facebook. OK, so a statistic is noteworthy, but why Twitter? Over this past weekend, I discussed this topic with a friend. He mentioned that Facebook looks a bit more crowded now, compared to what it used to look like. Perhaps this is why Twitter is gaining popularity among businesses that implement social media advertising.
Here are some legendary tweets that had high levels of engagement from 2010-2011:
So if you are developing your social media advertising plan, here is a bit of advice. If you want consumers to engage with your ad, you need to do two things: 1) Make it exciting by linking to a video or picture and 2) Provide a call-to-action. When your ad urges consumers to do something (i.e. “save 25% on your next purchase today!”) they are more likely to act on it. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, or someday Google+, establish your performance metrics and be sure to evaluate those metrics. You do not have to necessarily stick to one social media site for advertising either. Like most things in life, you have to test the waters and find out what the best fit is for your company.
Did you think consumers were less engaged with Facebook ads? Do you think this trend will also occur for Google+ ads? Will Twitter keep its standing as a growing social media ad destination?
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1,000,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
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