About two weeks ago I decided to do a little experiment with Facebook ads for fan pages.
My band Colorless Green Ideas has a Facebook fan page for a couple of months now. Unfortunately, the amount of fans stagnated at a humble 64 fans. I thought we deserved better and tried a Facebook ad campaign.
What’s quite interesting about Facebook ads is that you can decide to spend a small budget and that it’s quite easy to target your ad to a specific niche. I targeted my message only to people in the UK who were younger than 37 and who claimed to be interested in drum’n’bass or breakbeat.
Here you can see a preview of the ad:
Apparently, the ad showed up on Facebook for 222.874 times in that 10 day period. If I understand the difference between unique impressions and impressions correctly, 75.965 unique people got the message on their screen (some of them saw it more than once). The clicktrough rate was 0,08% on average (0,18% unique CTR) and quite stable during the campaign (I only wonder what caused the big fall on the third day. There were a lot more impressions that day. Maybe Facebook did some experiment because the clicktrough rate was quite good?). After all, 112 people clicked on the ad. 85 of them became fans, which is quite a high conversion rate, imho.
But the main question will be: was it cost-effective? The first days I set the daily budget on € 5, the default value. I saw that Facebook had no problem with spending this amount and it was a bigger budget than I wanted to spend, so I changed it to € 2 per day. At the end of the campaign I spent € 22,98 for 112 clicks and 85 new fans. That’s € 0,27 per fan. Is it worth it? I wouldn’t know. If I decided to spend € 300 to acquire (the ‘famous’) 1000 fans, what would the return on investment be? If 30 people of these 1000 Facebook fans would pay € 10 for an album or merchandise, that would mean break-even. Can you expect this engagement of Facebook fans?
I’m not sure how this would work out for Colorless Green Ideas. To prove my point I’ll make a comparison with the Facebook page that we set up quite recently for the other band I play in: Amatorski. We didn’t set up any advertising campaing for this fan page. The growth of number of fans is only fed by word of mouth. Look at the graph:
In a couple of days the number of fans grew form zero to 325 (I must admit that we already had a Facebook group with 500+ members and that we sent them a message to tell about the new Facebook fan page). It’s quite clear that Amatorski’s music is better received by the public than Colorless Green Ideas. One of the determing elements is the fact that Amatorski is a quite new band (about 1 year old) which generates a lot more buzz than Colorless Green Ideas, which exists for more than 4 years now and seems to have passed its acumen (I think our most succesful period was 2 years ago). Although we received much appreciation during the years, we never really got the people to tell their friends about ‘this great new band’. The high conversion rate from clicks to fans in the ad campaign also proves that the music is perceived as qualitative, once the people get to know it. But apparently it’s not good enough to let the word of mouth do its work. Word of mouth works far more better for Amatorski.
To sum up: with a Facebook ad campaign you can increase your number of fans with a rather limited budget. However, the future will tell if you get a good return on investment with such a campaign. Word of mouth will always get you better results.
Hilke Ros is a musician who got very interested in internet and how the latter is changing the music business. Het writes a blog at mmmotion.com and is working on a start-up that aims to help musicians with managing their online identity.