October 15, 2013, 4:26 PM

Paying to promote content on Facebook boosts engagement

Ads that support photo posts and linked content generate high levels of engagement.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

Paying to support content that marketers post on Facebook can help improve the reach of that content and get more consumers to engage with it.

An analysis by social commerce software vendor ShopIgniter of more than 2,000 Facebook news feed posts placed by brands during the first half of 2013 shows that the average conversion rate across all Facebook ad formats is 4.4%. Facebook had 27 ad formats as of June. ShopIgniter’s analysis studied a mix of Facebook campaigns coming from multiple industries. It defined conversions as a consumer taking the action the marketer wanted her to complete, such as watching a video or clicking through to visit a landing page.

Ads bought to support posts containing photos and links drive the highest engagement rates, the analysis shows. Engagement rates are calculated by taking the total number of people who interacted with the content, such as by clicking Like, sharing it or commenting on it, and dividing that by the number of people who saw the content. Photo posts that a marketer promotes with a paid ad have an average engagement rate of 5.79% versus a 2.96% rate without an ad, ShopIgniter says. Similarly, posts linking to a web page that a marketer promotes with an ad have a 2.71% average engagement rate versus a 0.65% average engagement rate among their un-promoted counterparts. ShopIgniter recommends marketers use photos and links in their posts to drive engagement and clicks.

Just more than half, 51.4%, of all the Facebook activity ShopIgniter measured took place on a mobile device, the company says.    

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