People that are exposed to paid content and ads on Facebook are more likely to buy products from the brand doing the advertising, according to a new study released today. ComScore’s “The Power of Like 2” research report goes to show that social media advertising is useful in achieving marketing objectives like reach, brand resonance, and ultimately sales.
The study was conducted on two groups of Starbucks and Target fans, one exposed to organic brand content, and another one that hasn’t been and followed their activity for four weeks. The results showed that the of the group exposed to content from Starbucks 2.12% people made an in-store purchase, while only 1.54% of the people from the other group made a purchase.
For the other test groups, of fans of Target, 3.9% of the group exposed to organic content made an in-store or online purchase in those four weeks, and only 3.3% of the group that didn’t see any messages or ads made a similar acquisition.
There is a difference, maybe not extremely big, but in today’s competitive market each consumer and each sale made is important.
So the conclusions of this research report would be that earned media exposure can be valuable in influencing consumer behavior, specifically in purchase behavior, and that there is a latent branding effect that continues to influence people weeks after the exposure to content and ads.
The report clearly is intended to emphasize that paid advertising – promotional content, ads etc. – on Facebook is a good investment for companies from the point of view of marketing, and, in the end, sales. What remains to be seen is whether those consumers that make the purchase – since the percentage isn’t extremely big – justify the investment in promotional content on this social media network – let’s not forget the case of the big car manufacturer GM that mentioned it will no longer invest in advertising on Facebook.