One of my automated agents agreed to let us do a Facebook experiment with their store using Facebook ads. We ran the same ad over two different weekends using a CPC (cost per click) campaign. The ad featured a 0% offer and forwarded anyone who clicked on the ad to the store's Facebook page.
With the first ad, we targeted people who lived within 25 miles of the dealership, 18 years or older and not affiliated with the dealership. This query netted as an estimated reach of only 1920 people. The suggested bid was $ 0.49 – $ 0.63 USD per click, however, we started the bidding on the first day at $ 0.35 and had zero impressions. The second day we increased the bid to $ 0.50 (falling into the "suggested" range) and still had zero impressions. On the third day, we increased the bid to $ 0.75 well above the top of the "suggested" range and were able to get 1,249 impressions, with no clicks through to the store's page.
Since we got 1249 impressions and had an estimated reach of only 1920 people, on the second advertisement we decided to increase the distance from the dealership to 50 miles. We also thought we would set our age target just a bit higher and raised the minimum age to 23. The estimated reach for this new ad was 1,103,340.
With the new ad we kept our daily spending budget at the $ 10.00 mark but because this targeted group was older and larger, the recommended bid was between $ 1.49 and $ 2.00. Just like the first ad, we decided we would start our bid a little bit lower than suggested and see how it would turn out.
The first day, we saw 52,554 impressions with 12 clicks at an average cost per click of $ 0.83 with one of those 12 clicks becoming a fan of the store – that has been changed on Facebook to "Like." The second day saw very similar numbers, 52,291 impressions and 12 clicks, again at an average CPC of $ 0.83. One of those 12 visitors also "Liked" the dealership. The third day numbers again, the same. 52,310 impressions, with 12 clicks and again one "Like." The fourth day was a bit strange from an impressions stand point. Impressions fell to just 33,261 delivering our 12 clicks at an average cost of $ 0.83. Again only one of the 12 click throughs "Liked" the dealership. Overall, the second ad delivered 190,416 impressions with 48 clicks through to the site with three actions from those 48.
For the money, I felt the first ad was the winner. The dealership was able to get 1000+ impressions for free. Most display ad companies want to charge between $ 20 and $ 25 per 1000 impressions. While the second ad did deliver almost 200,000 impressions but at a cost $ 0.21 per 1000 impressions.
I do not see advertising on Facebook as a valuable medium at this point. The store spent $ 40.00 and with a net increase of 5 Facebook fans, that works out to $ 8.00 per fan. Two of the fans were not directly related to a click through. If you want to drive traffic to your stores Facebook site, my suggestion is to give away a free Ipad when you reach 500 total fans.