Results: Facebook Promoted Page vs. Page Like Sponsored Story

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page like box Results: Facebook Promoted Page vs. Page Like Sponsored Story

A little over two months ago, I wrote about a new Facebook feature I referred to as Promoted Page: A simpler, easier way to create a campaign that would promote your Facebook Page.

It was the Page level answer to the Promoted Post, which allowed marketers to generate a campaign to increase the reach of a piece of content with the single click of a button.

So does the Promoted Page feature work? I’m ready to share my results.

One Month and $100

I experimented with this feature beginning February 16. By the end of March 16, I had spent exactly $100.

Understand that when you activate this feature, Facebook automatically generates three ads:

  • A Page Like Sponsored Story that appears in mobile and desktop News Feeds of friends of Fans
  • A right sidebar Marketplace Ad that was presented to non-Fans without a social connection
  • The same ad as the one above, but within mobile News Feeds only (presented to non-Fans without a social connection)

The third was something that was completely new. Until this unit came out, the Marketplace-style ads (not Sponsored Stories) were not being displayed within mobile or desktop News Feeds.

facebook mobile only marketplace ad promoted page Results: Facebook Promoted Page vs. Page Like Sponsored Story

Of course, I like to tinker. Within a couple of days, I quickly realized that the mobile-only Marketplace-type ad was performing best. I stopped the other two ads.

It’s possible I stopped the two ads prematurely but I certainly found success from the one that remained.

I spent $99.50 on that ad, resulting in 358 new Pages Likes within the United States only.

For those without a calculator handy, that’s $.28 per Page Like.

Ad Performance Breakdown

The numbers across the board were terrific for this ad.

Impressions: 10,621
Clicks: 491
Click Through Rate: 4.623%
Page Likes: 358
Spent: $99.50
Cost Per Desired Action: $.28

I was able to get $.28 CPDA all while having a CPM of close to $9.50. Considering ads ran only in the US and on mobile — two characteristics of the most expensive ads — this performance was quite amazing.

Point of Reference

I’ve run Page Like Sponsored Stories in the past to increase my Page Likes.

I had a campaign running from December 19, 2012 through February 28, 2013. I created 37 ad variations, split testing like crazy to find the most efficient combination. Variations were created based on country, interest targeting, bid type and placement.

I spent a total of $195.91 on that campaign. So how did this new ad’s performance compare?

Impressions: 66,148
Clicks: 492
Click Through Rate: .744%
Page Likes: 329
Spent: $195.91
Cost Per Desired Action: $.60

facebook promoted page vs page like sponsored story Results: Facebook Promoted Page vs. Page Like Sponsored Story

Wow. This is crazy for so many reasons.

I created 37 ad variations of the Sponsored Story, yet no matter the split testing I couldn’t touch the performance of a single auto-generated ad.

The Sponsored Story had 16% of the CTR of the Promoted Page ad and more than double the CPDA.

I ended up spending nearly twice as much money in more than twice the amount of time to get fewer the number of Page Likes.

The Verdict

Wow. This thing works. If you have it, I recommend trying it out. And also consider monitoring and pausing the other two ads as I did to get maximum performance.

Let me know the results of your campaign below!

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

  • Kenneth

    Another epic, epic article – thanks John, gonna give this a try this week!

    • Kenneth

      Oops I meant “Jon” sorry

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Kenneth!

  • Kris

    Where do you find the Promote Page feature

    • Jon Loomer

      Kris — It would be where the Page Likes are normally displayed within your Admin Panel. If it’s not there, you don’t have it.

  • Jules

    Jon, when you say “if you have it” – does this mean that this is a feature not available to everyone?

    • Kenneth

      Jules, I just went to try this and noticed that feature isn’t anywhere – so yeah it seems like it’s not available to everyone yet :(

      • Jules

        bummer, this seemed to be the answer I was looking for – bang for my buck, ease of use, etc.

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  • Rebecca Dahlke

    Jon, I’ve used the Facebook pull down promotion for one post, however, I’ve been told that the option for friends of friends can get me in trouble with people who may not want to see my post.

    • Jon Loomer

      This is not regarding promoting your posts, but promoting your page.

  • Mary Vanzo Chevalier

    Hi Jon – glad you’re covering this! I’ve had very similar results for clients but using all three ads that come bundled in the Promoted Page. Almost all actions have come from the ‘mobile-only Marketplace type ad’, though.

    The average cost per Like for clients has been approximately half of their respective historical cost per Like! We don’t have a large sample set, but this pattern has held across our accounts.

    We’re using this while we can! I suspect that as more Pages use the tool, the cost per Like will normalize.

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks for sharing your results, Mary! Happy to know I’m not the only one. And I agree that we can expect the price to normalize. Take advantage while you can!

  • cody

    How much value does a “like” really have for you? No way $.28 is worth it, really?
    I place very little value for my bricks and mortar business. I would do much better spending $200 in Google Adwords. I would 10 times more customers from the spend.

    • Jon Loomer

      You have to decide this for yourself, Cody. But you typically have much different goals with Adwords. There, you’re driving someone directly to buy something. Building targeted and relevant Likes is similar to building your email list. It’s part of the sales funnel.

      If targeted, $.28 is definitely worth it for me. It certainly depends on goals and the nature of your business.

  • Scott Ayres

    My head hurts…

  • Ala’a Tarawneh

    Wow Thats Too much !!! i only spent 45$ , made 21 ads mixed CPM , CPC and got 2450 Likes with a reach of 300K within1 week all targeted in my Country ” Jordan ”

  • Michal Smetana

    These are really surprising findings, thanks for doing this research for us, @jonloomer:disqus. I’m really looking forward to trying this on my own.

  • Brenda Kosky Deskin

    I’m not sure which two of the three should be paused!

    • Jon Loomer

      I wouldn’t pause anything until you give each of your ads some time to run. But go into the campaign itself and click on each ad to see where they are targeted.

  • Aaron Myers

    Yeah… doesn’t work.

  • Ross Sheingold

    Question: Does this feature use “lookalike” targeting to decide who sees the ad?
    Comment: There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to when/why the “promote page” box appears. Has anyone figured this out? It just showed up for one of my pages, I refreshed and it was gone. Very strange.

    • Jon Loomer

      Not that I’m aware of, regarding Lookalike Audiences. Would have to be behind the scenes and something they don’t say within the ad specs.

      No rhyme or reason, as far as I know. I have it on some pages, don’t on others!

  • Maryjane Stuckey

    Is there a way on Facebook to BLOCK these types of ads from showing in one’s News Feed? I just had someone ask about that today. I realize that’s not what advertisers want, but this person has already found them annoying.

  • Alisa Meredith

    Hi, Jon. After reading this article, I decided to give it a shot and found that my results were very similar!

    However, I do wonder why on earth some of them are liking the page. I ran a promoted page ad for a Manhattan visiting Dr. who works with seriously ill patients. After running the ads, I found that the majority of the fans were teens – male and female. Not sure how much value that adds, but it was a brand new page and I just needed enough likes to see insights :)

    So, does it work? For the two pages I tried it on – yes. Are the “likes” of real value for us? Really hard to say, but I kind of doubt it.

    • Jon Loomer

      Interesting findings, Alisa! Did you also target within the city of the doctor?

      • Alisa Meredith

        Yes. Apparently a lot of NY, NY teens are interested in palliative care – or they just “Like” everything they see!

        • Jon Loomer

          Yeah, by default it will target your local country, but you can drill down a little further.

  • Erik Eth

    Hi Jon

    I’ve been subscribed to your page recently and greatly enjoy your informative posts.

    I run a small English center in Hanoi Vietnam.. I’ve only been set up since March. Yesterday I decided to copy what you did in this post and you won’t believe it….

    I set a budget of 10$ days to promote my page..

    Within 2 hours I received over 100 likes! This campaign has been running since about 6 pm last night. It’s now 8:11 pm, I’ve spent a total of $13:33 cents, and in total I’ve received 305 likes so far. I almost doubled the amount of likes on my page in about 24 hours! That’s .02 cents per like! Our CTR is up to %0.76 on one of the ads! (I had 3 but cut down to 2)

    I know this sounds hard to believe so I have included a screen shot I just took of my facebook stats!

    Further details: I post 4 home made English learning videos every week. I finally decided to advertise them so I did via promoted post. My ad description matched this summary.

    Overall > I had incredible success with this and just wanted to share since I’m a fan of your posts!

    See our page for more details (don’t forget to like :P)

    • Jon Loomer

      That’s great, Erik! My only concern is that it really does sound a little TOO good. I had similar success last year when Optimized CPM came out, and it was because of very low quality likes. Are the new likes centered in Vietnam? How much do your ad campaigns tend to cost per like?

      • Erik Eth

        Hi John.

        I targeted people only in Hanoi (our city) aged 16-25.

        Also, under “precise interests” I typed in very key interests to ensure that I could target people who liked pages of companies / organizations in the same industry as me such as the facebook pages of all the universities in Hanoi, IELTS, English, studying abroad fan pages and also the facebook pages of other English schools in Hanoi (my competitors).

        This is the first promoted page I have ran… So far as of writing this in total I’ve spent USD 17.65 and received 448 new likes. Cost per page like is $.02. We are using Optimized CPM as well. We more than doubled our likes which is really impressive.

        I really wasn’t expecting it to explode like this. I’ll also note that it’s slowed down a bit since, CTR is down from highs of .76% to .593% In our “page insights” section I can also see that the vast majority came from Hanoi.. Overall I think the quality of the likes is alright due to the specific targeting.

        I ended up with two of the exact same ads running with the same targeting specifics (one was for mobile users only the other for regular users) I was expecting likes from mobile users to be higher but actually the likes from regular facebook was slightly higher.

        Just wanted to share with you and others. I’m shocked at how successful this campaign was because it does seem too good to be true. I will share insight about future results from other campaigns on other topic related posts of yours in the future. Thank’s for the personal response

        • Erik Eth

          Also one more note… I didn’t run any sponsored stories only promoted page because of what you wrote in this article. Great advice I think!

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