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Facebook Had A Massive Q1 2012 In Ad Sales, But Performance Softens In The US

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-q1-2012-earnings-ad-revenue-2012-4

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Facebook had a great Q1 2012, with a 41 percent increase in ad rates (the cost-per thousand impressions that advertisers pay), according to TBG Digital, a major seller and manager of Facebook advertising campaigns.

This bodes well for Facebook’s Q1 earnings, which the soon-to-go-public social network has yet to report.

The only bad news: performance softened somewhat in the U.S., where Facebook’s growth overall is slowing.

TBG’s conclusion was based on a sample of 327 billion ad impressions from 235 Facebook advertising clients. What follows are TBG’s estimates of Facebook’s Q1 ad performance, accompanied by commentary from TBG CEO Simon Mansell and his team.

(If you want the Q4 2011 Facebook numbers for comparison, click here.)

CPM rates are up 41%

“Facebook is earning more from Marketplace ads which could have a positive impact on their imminent IPO. We have seen an increase of 41% in Cost per Thousand impressions (CPM) since Q1 2011, which indicates how much Facebook earns per ad served. Average CPM has increased by 15% from Q4 2011 to Q1 2012 with the US seeing an increase of 11% and the UK seeing an increase of 13% during the same period.”

Cost of advertising up by almost 23%

“Cost per Click (CPC) prices have increased by almost 25% since last quarter with the biggest increase in France (35%) followed by the US (20%). There has been a 34% increase in US CPC costs in the past year. Unbalanced supply and demand could be the reason behind these rises. Growth in new users may be slowing but the social network is becoming more attractive to advertisers.”

Ad engagement decreases in the US

“The US experienced a reduction in average Click Through Rate (CTR) of 8% in this quarter with the top five territories seeing an average decrease of 6%. France saw a drop of 13%. CTR is generally a measure of how engaging users find the ad, affected by the quality of the creative and how appropriate the ad’s targeting. However, this drop comes after Facebook has increased the number of ads on a page, sometimes showing up to seven at a time, which could also be a contributing factor to this change.”

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Monday, April 16th, 2012 charts No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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