Facebook Ad Engagement Down 8%, But Don’t Fret

According to a Q1 study by ad agency TBG Digital, Facebook ad engagement is down 8% from Q4 of 2011. The number comes as a surprise to many after the large Facebook conference held in February announcing the new timeline layout for brand Pages and push towards Facebook ads that pushed Page posts out to consumers across Facebook.

So, what does this 8% drop in Facebook ads mean? Not much of anything. Why?

1. It follows an 18% jump in engagement rates during the Q4 study by the same ad agency TBG Digital. Contrary to what many businesses think, growth can’t continue at exponential levels. With such a large increase in engagement rates for that quarter, an 8% drop should be somewhat expected, especially when comparing a normally slow quarter to a quarter packed with holiday shoppers.

2. This drop also likely stems from the fact that Facebook recently increased the amount of ads placed on each page from four to seven. This increase in ads likely means more are placed in areas consumers are less likely to click (below the fold of their newsfeeds, while they’re clicking through a photo album). With the publicity Facebook received from the conference on their ad products, it’s likely that more and more businesses started running ads, many of which likely are running ads for the first time, still learning how to tweak ad copy, images, and targeting to improved performance. I know that I have seen many ads (even from big brands) that shouldn’t be targeted to me, and I have been targeted with Like ads from brands I’m already a fan of (hint to the agency that is running these placements- you can select targeting that would include people who already like your page, meaning better click-through-rates and a lower likelihood of causing consumer irritance!).

As businesses learn the self-serve tool and consumers see better-targeted ads, I really think we’ll see increased engagement rates from Facebook overall. Rates will increase especially once more page posts ads are utlized, which have seen very high engagement rates in the past.

Given Facebook Ad’s ease of use and affordablity, I think businesses with the right targets and brand messages can really see great results from these ads, and I recommend trying Facebook ads out for yourself, even if it is a small test.

-Bryan Nagy