Does Facebook still matter to advertisers post IPO?

Summary:A survey of brand marketers about their attitudes to advertising on Facebook post IPO shows a significant change in sentiment and attitude towards Facebook compared with the rest of the web.

Eileen Brown ZDNet Facebook
Credit: Facebook

US advertisers are moving away from Facebook after its IPO in May. 80 per cent of advertisers now say that Facebook is less important to them than the rest of the web.

33Across distributed a survey to 2,200 brand marketers, asking them identical questions in April 2012 and again in June. The results show a significant change in sentiment and attitude towards Facebook compared with the rest of the web.

In the new survey over 70 per cent of respondents said that they focus 80 per cent of their attention on “Rest of Web” vs. Facebook. This represents a 23 per cent increase in focus since March.

The percentage of respondents who were ‘Very Concerned’ about understanding and driving ROI from big data rose from 91 per cent in March to 96 per cent in June.

Respondents were also asked the question ‘When thinking about Facebook versus the rest of the web, which gets more of your teams attention?

Marketers are now focusing on advertising across the rest of the web more than Facebook. In March, 58 per cent said that they focus 80 per cent of their attention on advertising across the rest of the web compared with 20 per cent on Facebook.  Post IPO, this figure had risen to 71 per cent.

16 per cent of advertisers in March gave Facebook equal attention (50:50) to the rest of the web, by June this figure had fallen to just four per cent.

“What was particularly surprising to me was the dramatic shift in advertiser and agency attitudes towards Facebook after the IPO,” said Allie Kline, Chief Marketing Officer, 33Across.

“Facebook’s future greatly depends on advertiser spend -- on both the web and mobile devices -- and this survey indicates that they have some work to do to restore advertiser confidence in their Facebook investments.”

Just before IPO General Motors announced it would stop advertising on Facebook, focusing instead on channel brand interaction. Today, reports indicate that the car manufacturer is once again in talks with Facebook about a possible return.

There were always risks that advertisers would turn away from Facebook. Facebook itself raised this concern and risks in the IPO filing.

The change in attitude towards Facebook indicates that confidence in the platform as an effective advertising channel for brands is reducing. 

Advertisers might achieve greater success for better Facebook fan engagement through standard brand page marketing -- although brands such as Femfresh might want to look to leaders such as Coca-Cola, Disney and Wal-Mart to improve the quality of engagement and customer interaction.

Topics: Social Enterprise


Eileen Brown is a social business consultant who has been working with collaborative technologies for 20 years. Eileen creates the social business, energises communities and ignites social commerce and social CRM. She develops social business strategy, customer reach and online branding. Her book, Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketi... Full Bio

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