London, UK (MMD Newswire) July 23, 2012 -- The importance of advertising through social media is one that has changed the framework of countless marketing strategies; however the impact each of these methods has not yet fully been assessed. According to a recent report from Ad Age Digital, it is very difficult for businesses to measure the impact that a Facebook advertisement has. Whether or not a business receives many "likes" or "fans" from these marketing efforts, it is hard to trace how many of those numbers translate into sales. To fill in these analytical gaps, businesses are shifting focus and placing ads on Facebook as a way to increase brand awareness. Francis Pickworth, a noted marketing professional, ads that such strategies reveal an evolution in the nature of online marketing tactics.
In the study, researchers from Ad Age and Citigroup surveyed businesses to observe the original intent of a Facebook ad. At 45.9 percent, nearly half of the respondents said that their primary goal was to achieve higher brand awareness through Facebook advertising. Ranked second, 17.6 percent hoped that Facebook ads would drive more traffic to a company website. Interestingly, only 12.1 percent hoped to increase the number of "likes" or "fans" the business had on Facebook. Francis Pickworth explains that while the "fan" and "likes" rankings are unique to the Facebook model, many business owners are realizing that those statistics mean very little in terms of profitability.
According to the article, it may remain difficult for businesses to track the exact amount of profit that Facebook ads generate. Facebook has recognized these concerns and has since pitched the idea that the social network is "a branding platform like TV" and urges advertisers "to focus less on metrics, such as click-through rates, and more on reach and 'resonance'." Although many analysts hope for immediate results, the online marketing industry is moving to wider interpretations of data.
For Francis Pickworth, the move to a branding focus offers businesses a unique opportunity to establish company identities. Pickworth concludes, "With a shift in motives from fan acquisition to lifting brand equity through Facebook ads, it will be interesting over the next year to see what big brands do in terms of interacting with their current likes or fans on Facebook."
Francis Pickworth is an experienced marketing professional who has worked in several different industries around the world both online and offline. He has provided marketing services to leading companies such as Google and Calvin Klein Jeans. Most recently, Francis Pickworth has worked for London-based Alchemy Social, a part of Experian Marketing Services. Through his work he specialized in social media advertising, where he helps clients understand the changing nature of social media and how to use these resources to encourage revenue growth.