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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Do Facebook Ads Work?

Previous posts have discussed ways in which Facebook may influence political behavior.  But does it pay to advertise on Facebook? Brendan Sasso writes at The Hill:
Facebook advertisements are a popular way for candidates to connect with voters, but a recent academic study suggests they aren't actually that effective.
Donald Green, a political science professor at Columbia University, and David Brookman, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, found that voters exposed to Facebook campaign ads were no more likely than other voters to know the advertised candidate's name. Nor were they more like to have a favorable impression of the candidate or vote for the candidate.
The authors concluded that online ads are "quite unlikely to play a meaningful role in determining the fate of a political campaign or retailer."
Brookman admitted that $280 might not have had a measurable impact if the candidate had spent it on TV ads or yard signs instead.

"This still could be the most cost-effective campaign tactic out there," he said. "We can't rule that out."
But he argued that Facebook ads are cheap because most groups doubt their value.
"There's a reason TV ads are so expensive," he said.