Facebook ad trends: 78% of consumers ‘rarely or never click’ on Facebook ads


With 1 billion regular returning visitors, Facebook is the most compelling marketplace in the world but despite this, 35% would never click on a Facebook ad and a further 18% would only do so by mistake, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted on behalf of marketing technology provider Whisbi, quizzed 1,000 UK adults and segmented with 470 UK Adults aged 18-44 representing generation X & Y.

Key findings are:

• Only 25% of Facebook users click on company fan pages advertised in their newsfeed
• 78% of consumers ‘rarely or never click’ on Facebook ads
• Only 14% click on adverts highlighted by their friends
• 75% fail to purchase a product after visiting a company’s Facebook page
• Only 24% use Facebook to engage with a brand whilst 56% use the site to post images
• 7% admitted that a clear motivation of using Facebook is to stalk their ex-boyfriends and girlfriends

Jon Smith, Vice President at Whisbi, comments, “Brands have been struggling to work out just why Facebook advertising doesn’t work. But as the research reveals, ‘Likes’ are less meaningful than hoped for and the influence of friends is just not strong enough to drive consumers outside Facebook to make a purchase. It’s time for brands to make a radical change and look for something out of the ordinary to drive revenue from Facebook.”

Whisbi’s research shows all too clearly that existing marketing strategies just don’t deliver sales through Facebook.

The research survey, which samples and segments the views of 1,000 UK adults and the generation X & Y components, found that 78% of respondents rarely or never click on an advert promoted in Facebook, so with over half of users actively avoiding advertising, the quantifiable return on investment (ROI) needs to be questioned.

Given the explosion in company fan pages, brands will be surprised to hear that just 27% of consumers will often ‘like’ a company page following a friend doing so and a further 23% would only do so after seeing the company page advertised on the site.

The research also highlighted a clear difference in the behaviour of generation X & Y (under 44s) compared to the general population. According to the research, younger consumers are far more willing to ‘like’ a company page after their friends doing so, 41% to be precise.

Despite the divergence in willingness to ‘like’ a company page, the difference in purchasing behaviour is less evident. While 75% of the general population had not made a purchase after visiting a company’s Facebook page, this number only fell to 66% for generation X & Y.

Brands are willing to spend money on Facebook advertising but currently fail to turn the engagement into revenue. 24% of consumers use Facebook to engage with a favourite brand and while this is significant in comparison to the 7% who use it to stalk their ex-boyfriends and girlfriends; it isn’t in comparison to the 56% who use Facebook to post images and the further 49% who use the instant messenger service.

For those that have clicked on a Facebook advertisement, the largest group, 50%, do so for promotional reasons whilst a further 43% do so for updates on special events. Despite this, consumers remain unsure about Facebook’s role as a purchasing platform as just 4% would be very likely to purchase a product from Facebook if given the option.

Commenting on the findings, Smith, added: “The research results demonstrate that current Facebook advertising spend isn’t justified and is fundamentally flawed. While Facebook is very good at making money for Facebook, brands aren’t benefitting from the 1billion returning users and instead need to rethink their engagement strategies.”

Smith continues, “By integrating click-to-call or click-to-video functionality, brands can create a Facebook sales channel and use Facebook to drive real, measurable traffic to the company’s sales team and finally justify the resource spent on the social platform.”

Whisbi is a provider of Lead Management and Video Agent-assisted sales technology that enables e-commerce businesses to offer their web customers an ‘offline’ experience, online. Whisbi for Facebook is a unique patent protected technology that utilizes a combination of real-time video and phone, enabling instant one-to-one communication to a video agent for online shoppers through a brand’s Facebook page. This new, immediate, simultaneous video and phone connection allows online retailers to offer one-to-one sales assistance directly from their company Facebook page.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted among 1,000 UK adults and segmented with 470 UK Adults aged 18-44 representing generation X & Y. The interviews were conducted online by Redshift Research, a UK-based market research agency, on behalf of Whisbi.

To read the research findings in full, download the Whisbi eBook by clicking here

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