Practical Ecommerce

Facebook Promoted Post Generates Sales, Traffic

Although recent studies demonstrate that social media sites like Facebook work best to augment other ecommerce marketing campaigns, anecdotal data from a small Facebook ad test demonstrated that the promotion could boost both direct traffic and sales.

“In its most recent [Ecommerce Quarterly] data, Monetate demonstrates in a very definitive way that social media is not a significant source of direct traffic to ecommerce websites or purchase conversions from those destinations,” wrote marketing expert Jay Baer in the Monetate report. Baer goes on to point out that social media sites represent about 1.55 percent of all traffic to online stores and tend to have conversion rates of about three-quarters of one percent.

Baer is still an advocate of social media and social media marketing, but as I wrote last week in “Don’t Focus on Social Media Traffic,” Baer rightly argues that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and similar sites work best at building long-term relationships with potential customers.

Experimenting with a Facebook Promoted Post

I tested a Facebook promoted post on May 27, 2013 on behalf of a farm-and-ranch retailer. The test produced some interesting results. This retailer had used promoted posts in the past, but — perhaps agreeing with Baer’s argument — had focused on promoting blog posts, videos, and contests.

For the experiment, I developed a post that showed a few products and pointed to a new product-closeout landing page. A total of $200.00 was invested in the campaign.

This Facebook promoted post generated traffic, sales, and engagement. The retailer's name has been removed.

This Facebook promoted post generated traffic, sales, and engagement. The retailer’s name has been removed.

The Promoted Post Drove Traffic

The promoted post generated a significant amount of traffic, although there were reporting differences.

According to Google Analytics, the promoted post sent some 965 site visitors. Of those visitors, 787 came from a mobile device and 178 were using a desktop or laptop computer.

The Facebook Ads Manager reported the total clicks at 2,095. The discrepancy may be a matter of how Google and Facebook are counting. Facebook is counting the click whether the visitor actually goes to the site or not. In some case, it may be that a user immediate clicks a back button or looses a mobile signal before Google can count the visit.

Most of the visitors (555 to be precise) where using an Android device, including more than 450 tablets. The post also sent 239 Apple users, including 37 from iPads. Nearly all of the desktop and laptop traffic originated from Windows devices.

There was also a seemingly related rise in traffic from Facebook that did not actually come from the ad. According to Google Analytics, an additional 3,842 unique visitors came from Facebook (but not from the ad) to the retailer’s site. These folks arrived from a number of other Facebook posts and represented more than a 1,000 percent increase in daily site traffic originating from Facebook.

The Promoted Post Made Sales

The Facebook post also enjoyed a 0.75 percent conversion rate that was almost exactly what Monetate predicted. Revenues were about five times the total ad spend.

Depending on a business’s margins, investing 20 percent of revenues may be seen differently. For this retailer, it did seem to make the promoted post somewhat expensive relative to other advertising and promotional vehicles.

More Likes, Email Subscribers

During the promoted post campaign, the retailer also received 283 new Facebook Likes. Nine Facebook visitors registered for the store’s email newsletter.

Taken together 292 shoppers took steps toward a long-term engagement with the retailer, which as Monetate and Baer argue in the Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly, is Facebook’s greatest strength.

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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Comments ( 5 )

  1. ricardodacosta May 29, 2013 Reply

    Sounds quite amazing to me. $200 for 2095 clicks is less han $0.10 a click. Thats better than Adwords when Adwords was good!

  2. William Young May 30, 2013 Reply

    What do you attribute the extra 3,842 visits from that were not from the promoted posts. It must be some kind of halo effect but I’m not sure how to quanity that. Maybe a tracking glitch too? Somehow some of the clicks on the promoted post are being tracked in there?

  3. AlexC May 30, 2013 Reply

    We actually have good results with traffic, likes ans shares, but not sales. I think the sales really depends on how easy to sell is the product. For us, it is perfect for marketing purposes. By the way, really nice post that reflects the real deal with Facebook Ads. Thank you Armando!

  4. Avin May 30, 2013 Reply

    From our experience, Facebook posts does generates sales, especially for fashion retailers.

  5. Calvin Bridges September 4, 2016 Reply

    what really sells the most is those how to make money on-line squeeze pages redirect to a affiliate site. this way the visitor’s email will received 7 to 30 days of follow up emails on engagements and sales.

    front-end selling never works unless you offer them the $1.00 try it out deals or the $97.00 e book with 4-7 membership how to step by step videos for under $10 bucks, usually $7. it increases the opt in conversion from 35% up to 85% in auto-responder leads, each lead is worth $1.-$3. per month x 12 month = $12.00 – $36.00 also you need to use re-targeting conversion ads.

    as for the additional 3,842 unique visitors it may be facebook re-targeting and pixels as a way of testing your product line for improving there conversion, this way they can get you to buy more traffic. Re-targeting conversion improve your conversion each time your advertises these pixels following the face-book visitors and tracks what the visitors clicks on, giving valuable feedback to face-book.

    Improving conversion always starts with engagement. Think about if you saw someone you find attractive, do you go up to them and say I’m in love with you, love first site, Oh Please Marry Me Now!!! He or she most likely say, “Hell No! Damn Pervert!!” LoL :-D .

    Either way it kind of works the same way, you have to build a relationship first, know, like and trust, them watch your sales conversion goes up through the roof.

    Gee if I keep going I will have to write an article. Well, said my friends. Enjoyed