It’s the social media marketing smackdown of the summer: On one side, you have high-profile brands like GM who say that despite sinking millions into advertising on Facebook, their company has seen little or no return. GM shocked the marketing world when it pulled its advertising completely from Facebook. On the other side of the battle, after weeks of silence and an abysmal performance on the stock market, the world’s most used social network has come forward to defend its advertising power.
Facebook came out with guns blazing on Tuesday when it released a report which boldly states advertisers earn $3 for every $1 they spend advertising on Facebook. The new numbers were released along with ComScore in a report that shows how Facebook advertising has helped companies like Target and Starbucks. The research, according to Facebook, shows that 70 percent of ad campaigns will get advertisers three times the amount of what they put in. The company further claims that nearly half of all campaigns get companies $5 for every $1 spent. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The report also showed people who ‘Like’ Target were likely to buy from the company 21 percent more frequently, and people who saw unpaid marketing messages from Starbucks made purchases from the company every four weeks, 38 percent more often than those who didn’t.”
While these are compelling numbers and every marketer has some early Facebook marketing success stories in his or her cannon, the fact remains that public interest in Facebook is in a slump. Over time, we’ve personally seen clients who were once determined to talk to the Facebook crowd now focus their marketing dollars elsewhere. Moreover, Facebook has yet to prove that its users spend money. So far we can only confirm that Facebook is good for folks who want to chat, share pictures and reconnect. Still, we’re not going to count Facebook out just yet. If we learned anything from watching this brand explode over the past five years, it’s to never underestimate Facebook and its remarkable staying power.