Brand View: Do Facebook Ads Work?

Facebook’s undergone the hype cycle in the ad world. It was heralded as “word of mouth on steroids,” then set in the disillusionment. Suddenly Facebook was inherently flawed, unable to serve the needs of advertisers beyond piling up dubious like counts. GM crystallized this sentiment with a noisy break with Facebook, on the advertising front. Digiday decided to ask some top brands their view on the proposition of how well Facebook ads work. Here’s what Zappos, Kia, Nissan, Campbell’s and others said.

Nate Luman, social marketing manager at Zappos
Facebook ads work for us. We’ve spent about 10 million over the past two years at about a 3.5:1 ROI. About 99 percent of that spend has gone toward direct response ads driving traffic to If we were to look at Facebook ads on their own, a 3.5 ROI is not sustainable and is well below our overall direct marketing program’s ROI expectations. But when we consider where Facebook ads fall in the sales funnel and compare it to similar marketing efforts (mainly category head search terms), it delivers similar performance, fuels other channels (drives long tail search and comparison shopping queries), and is one of our best marketing channels for driving new customers.

George Haynes, social and digital media manager at Kia
We have found when combined with the right content, Facebook ads perform better. For us it still provides an opportunity to reach an audience beyond our community pages. We are definitely interested in seeing, experimenting and evaluating the evolution of the Facebook ad suite for future efforts.

Erich Marx, social media chief at Nissan
Do Facebook ads work? Well, it matters how one defines “works.” Nissan believes Facebook ads work well as part of an integrated digital marketing plan in helping us build awareness for new model launches. Nissan also believes Facebook ads work well in helping us build the size of our fanbase. These are the two ways we use this particular tool. Admittedly, we do not currently leverage Facebook ads for much more than this. But we are always looking to optimize our plans and are open to using any tool that maximizes the effectiveness and efficiency of our campaigns and initiatives. And Facebook ads are among the tools we consider.

Adam Kmiec, director of global digital marketing and social media at Campbell Soup
As I’ve said before, we don’t have a social media ROI problem, we have an expectations problem. As marketers we need to invest the time and dollars to evaluate our Facebook efforts, beyond looking at just “likes” and “people talking about this.” Before we can answer, do Facebook ads work, we should be asking what’s the impact we want and how will we measure it.

Damion Martin, head of PR and marketing at All Nippon Airways
To date, Facebook has been our best performing ad campaign online. It’s hard to beat the low cost of participation and uniquely engaged audience.

Ata Haftchenary, spokeswoman for P&G’s Pampers
Depends on what you mean by “works.” Just as Facebook would tell you, The ads do work at driving fans to our page.

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