Interview with Social Times Pro, I: Facebook advertising for direct response

Why Facebook's Self-Serve Ad Platform Works

Social Targeting: Why Facebook's Self-Serve Ad Platform Works

I was recently interviewed for the report “Social Targeting: Why Facebook’s Self-Serve Ad Platform Works” from Social Times Pro lead analyst Tameka Kee (@geekychic). The full report is available for download to subscribers. Here’s an excerpt:

Case study: Facebook for direct response

Facebook’s self-serve ads may be effective at building brand awareness, and less intent-focused than search, but that doesn’t meant they can’t be used for direct response campaigns. Take coupons, for example.

  • Target audience: “Soccer moms”
  • Brands involved: CPG food brand
  • Agency/Developer: Bulbstorm
  • Flight time: Four weeks; April 2010
  • Cost: $5,000

Bulbstorm’s client wanted to position itself as a “cost-effective, convenient family meal.” The Facebook ad copy asked users to share tips about how they saved money for their families. The ad drove traffic back to the brand’s Facebook page, where users received a coupon after they posted a money-saving tip.


  • 8,000 new fans over the course of four weeks
  • 4,000 family savings tips submitted

Why it worked: First, Bulbstorm targeted the ads using age, gender and marital status. The ad also featured a call-to-action that focused on encouraging users to engage with others, not just promoting the brand. The addition of the coupon added direct response metrics to the “branding” benefits, since the advertiser could track how many Facebook users actually redeemed the unique code.

“We were especially proud of this campaign from a cost standpoint, because $5,000 was relatively inexpensive for such a competitive demographic,” Bulbstorm marketing director Matt Simpson said.

“These moms spend lots of time on Facebook playing games, among other things, and CPGs with huge budgets go after them. It’s difficult for smaller brands to compete, but the combination of smart targeting and compelling content made it possible.”

The campaign would have also been far more expensive if it had run via paid search on Google or Bing, given the competitive landscape.

Copyright 2011 WebMediaBrands Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission from SocialTimes Pro.

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