The Truth About Facebook Conversion Rate Optimization: Facebook converts better than Google in some industries

If you’re the CEO of a company with an online business, your focus should be the  conversion rate optimization of your online presence – your web site or your Facebook Business page.  A percentage point improvement in any step of your marketing funnel could enhance your overall conversion rate optimization which then results in a significant improvement in the bottom line of your business.

Since everyone knows Google, let us use the Google Search Engine Marketing budget as an example to illustrate.

Suppose you have a really cool online retail clothing website, call it JaneJackets.  JaneJackets buys $25000 worth of Google Adwords clicks every month.  The $25000 results in 30000 Visits to the different product pages of your web site.  For simplicity, each product page will have a different design, but will have a “Add to Cart” Button.  Suppose that out of these 30000 visitors,  a total of 7500  added a product to your shopping cart.  Now suppose that only 3250 of these people who added to the Shopping Cart proceeded to the Checkout Page.  Now suppose out of these 3250 people who went to the Checkout page , only 1950 continued to pay with their credit card (i.e. 1300 abandoned their shopping cart).   Suppose that the average order size is $200 dollars.

Let us do a simple math and compute the Conversion Rate of JaneJackets.

Total Sales = $200 * 1950 = $390,000

Conversion Rate = (# who Added to Cart/# of Visits to the site) *(# who went to the Checkout page/# who Added to Cart)* (# who successfully Checked out/# who reached the Check out page)

Conversion Rate = (7500/30000) * (3250/7500) * (1950/3250)
= 25% * 50% * 60%
= 7.5%

Now suppose that we use Conversion Rate Optimization techniques to  tweak JaneJacket’s Landing Page, tweak the Google Search Keyword Campaigns and the overall conversion rate improves to 9%,  the resulting Total Sales will become (9% of 30000) * 200 = $540,000 or an increase of $150,000 in revenues!

Now, this may surprise you but here is the little truth:  Facebook may actually perform better than Google and increase your Conversion Rate.   We  deal with Facebook ad campaigns everyday and we have live internal data to show that Facebook is outperforming Google in terms of conversion rate with some clients. In fact, Google Analytics’s latest product, “Customer Journey to Online Purchase”, confirms that Facebook is a good conversion channel for some industries.  Read this post to find out how Facebook fares against other online advertising channels among various industries.


There are some industries – entertainment, media, online retail – where Facebook is really good at conversions. Additionally, because Facebook has the native ad units and their cost per click tends to be lower than Google, the overall conversion rate is much better with Facebook than with Google.  It is our prediction that as the world becomes more and more comfortable in the future with social media, Facebook will perform even better as a conversion channel.

AppAddictive helps organizations and clients do Facebook conversion rate optimization by using analytical Facebook Ad Optimization and Facebook Page Optimization. In short, we use Facebook to help clients acquire customers and conversions for businesses – whether it is customers, Facebook likes, Facebook Engagement as measured by People Talking About This (PTAT), or mobile and Facebook app installs, leads, surveys or contests or coupons.

How Rihanna Can Help Your Facebook Ad Campaigns Raise Funds for Democrats

It is never a dull moment in the world of Facebook ad optimization.  For all you internet marketers out there, I am giving you a freebie for your next Facebook ad campaign.

One of my favorite passions in Facebook ad optimization is using my love for numbers to come up with correlations and relationships ahead of our competitors.  As Facebook has more than 1 billion users, they have a very comprehensive database of targeting and running these tests require a lot of number crunching.    This is very much akin to when I was testing quantitative finance algorithms on my Silicon Graphics Irix box back in the 1990's to try to extract opportunities for profit in the stock market.

At AppAddictive in our NYC headquarters, our team uses massive Excel sheets, collect data from all sources,  make conclusions that allow us to achieve return on investment goals of our client.

This machine learning process discovers some insightful jewels that human guessing will never be able to find.

In one of our exercises, we discovered that Rihanna's fans are mostly political Democrats.

So, what can you do with this?

Suppose you are fund-raising for a Democratic candidate, you can create ads in Facebook Ad Manager and target Rihanna Fans.  You can set #Rihanna under Precise Interests.  And if you are targeting only people from your state you can add all the other geographic target.   See screenshot below.


Grow Your Site Like Tumblr with This Facebook Hidden Formula

Last week, the world welcomed another billion dollar company with Yahoo's acquisition of Tumblr.  Tumblr was founded by a high-school dropout named David Karp in 2006.  Using a combination of common sense and growth-hacking techniques, David Karp grew his site into millions of users with a hundred million blogs in 7 years.

As a developer of mobile apps, we are often asked by business owners how can they grow their apps like Tumblr?  The answer is:  Don't dream about being the next Tumblr, but instead, go for a more realistic goal, like, which has raised over one million dollars using a seldom used feature of Facebook's API – the Open Graph, without much marketing.

I am very glad to read this post by Charles Best of  A business that helps organizations raise funds for good causes takes advantage of Facebook's Open Graph to raise over $1 million dollars. What is there not to like about that?

Here is how Facebook's Open Graph works:

When developers create a web or mobile Facebook app, they can specify certain actions that are automatically posted to the user's Facebook timeline. Examples of verbs are :  Run, Donate, Cook, Draw, etcetera.

When a user does certain actions inside the app, the app can publish the verbs at the timeline. used this clever Facebook feature to publish the verbs “donate”, “fund” at various points of the app.

Back in 2007 working only on weekends, I took advantage of Facebook's API to create quiz apps that reached 10 million monthly active users.  In these days, the Facebook apps are a lot less viral than they used to be.  But there are still tons of opportunities to use Facebook's ecosystem to grow your apps without much marketing spend.  If I were a developer starting out today, I would think about a “pain point” that needs to be solved.  I will then create a Facebook mobile app, integrate Facebook's Open Graph, and Facebook's  Native Share Dialog.

How You Can Use Facebook’s Secret Product to Market to Your Email List!

Every online marketer knows the value of an email address.   When customers give your business their email address, it means they have entrusted your business the permission to send them your messages.    So, what is the problem? The problem is that more often than not, the email is  interruptive to the user and the brand has just eroded some of the goodwill the customer has formed with the brand.

Now, combine this trusted permission and the power of Facebook and you get the picture.   Enter Facebook’s “Custom Audience” Product.

Here is how “Custom Audience” works.  Custom Audiences allows businesses to upload their email list to Facebook and communicate with the email list without being interruptive. Instead of emailing (often unwanted) to an existing customer,  ”Custom Audiences” enables a business to communicate to an audience without interrupting the experience. It’s a subtle conversation between the marketer and the customer.


At AppAddictive, we recently ran a custom audience Facebook “Custom Audience” campaign with a B2B customer, and the results were dramatically amazing.  Ask us about Custom Audience.

What is Your Brand’s Facebook’s Graph Search Marketing Strategy?

Have you heard about Facebook’s Graph Search?  I will make a prediction:  A year from now, many brands must have their Facebook Graph Search Marketing Strategy just like they have their Google Paid Search Strategy.

Here is why.

When a person is searching for “something”, that activity is super valuable to marketers. Why? Because marketers know exactly that the person has demonstrated an intent to purchase something.  The online marketing term for this is “search intent”.

Google versus Facebook

Google figured out the value of “search intent” and built a $50 billion business by selling advertising spots to businesses who want to target people who are “looking for your product or brand”.   Before the announcement of “Graph Search”,  businesses have always claimed that advertising on Facebook generated much lower return on investment because visitors on Facebook are not “on the search” for their product. However, “Graph Search” is going to allow businesses to reach users who are searching for their product on Facebook.

This is how “Graph Search” works:

When you enter a “search term”, Facebook's Graph Search examines a your friends and your connections  to find content they have ‘liked’ that matches the search term. It also considers second-degree connections or friends of friends, as well as content which has been shared either directly with the searcher or publicly on Facebook. It uses natural language processing technology both to suggest other related search terms and identify connections. (Facebook's strategy to use natural language processing is in itself a ver y interesting technological read and the reasons can be found here)

Preview of “Graph Search”

You can go to Microsoft's Bing (Microsoft is an investor in Facebook and has first access to Facebook's Graph Search)  and search for “Geico”.  If you are logged onto “Facebook” in another tab, you will see a box of your Facebook friends' comments that matched “Geico”.  (see Screenshot below)geico

What does this mean to brand marketers?  Huge!  In a few years from now, all the brands will claim their “branded” terms on Facebook's Graph Search just like brands claim their brand names on Google now.

I predict that Graph Search will be huge and will make Facebook equalize Google.  Graph Search can become a $10 billion market over time.

Brands who want to get a head start on Facebook's Graph Search can contact a Facebook Ads API developer like AppAddictive.

Advertisers Can Now Reach Facebook Users by Their Most Recent Activities

Facebook just gave advertisers another benefit. Advertisers Can Now Reach Facebook Users by Their Most Recent Activities

Here is how it works. Up until this week, advertisers can target Facebook users
who took “Open Graph” actions no earlier than within 2 weeks. With today’s announcement, advertisers can now specify a shorter period.

For example, a site selling concert tickets can reach users who “listened” to a particular song within the last “3 days” instead of settling for the previous limit of “2 weeks”.

Why did Facebook introduce this feature? Simple. Recent memory increases chances of a visitor making a purchase. People have a higher propensity to purchase something that is fresh in their memories.

If you are a business that wants to take advantage of this new benefit offered by Facebook, please consult with a Facebook Ads API provider. AppAddictive is one of the approved Facebook Ads API providers. This benefit is available only with with the “target specifications” feature of Facebook, that only Facebook Ads API developers have access to.

We at AppAddictive, are very much keen to use this benefit with our existing clients. We are also constantly looking for new clients to add to our portfolio.

In fact, we are giving a client in the Retail Industry space an incentive to try this new feature. Just fill out the form on the right and we will contact you.

Mobile iOS App Developers: Here’s Why You Must Use Facebook’s Native Share Dialog!

iOS app developers looking to maximize their referral channels can take advantage of Facebook's “Native Share Dialog” that makes it as easy as inserting a single line of code to their existing apps to take advantage of this viral sharing channel.

Introduced early this week, Facebook announced the availability of this feature (which you can read about here). The AppAddictive team caught a glimpse of this technology during Facebook's invite-only event for mobile app developers held last April.

What exactly is this “Native Share Dialog” and what does it mean for developers and their users? If a user is logged on in their native Facebook App, in this case the iOS version (Android to come soon), other apps (and websites) that would like to share items on their respective users' timelines will no longer be required to log-in. This more or less mimics the ubiquity of the Like button embedded on other websites, making your Facebook experience seamless. The same applies for native mobile apps through the introduction of the “Native Share Dialog”

Facebook reported last May that they currently have over 751 million Active mobile users, and it's quite natural for the company to introduce new innovations like these.

According to Facebook, “The Share Dialog offers a lightweight and consistent way to enable sharing from your apps. People now have the option to share activity from apps through this dialog without needing to login to Facebook first. This eliminates 1 – 3 extra steps required for login when sharing via the feed dialog.

The Share Dialog further improves upon the iOS6 share sheet by adding support for publishing Open Graph actions to make it easier for people to tell their stories on mobile. In addition, people can now tag friends and share where they are enabling them to share in a more meaningful and engaging way, while helping even more people connect with your app.”

Pretty neat isn't it?

When we started AppAddictive, building tools for brand marketers as early as 2007, we took advantage of all these new features right after Facebook rolls them out. We've been fairly eager to try these things, and one of our apps eventually had a monthly active user base of 10 million users. And this was before AppAddictive became a “formal startup” – we were just doing this on weekends as a hobbyist!

If we were to do it again as a developer, we'd certainly build a mobile app and take advantage of Facebook's mobile users.

Google Analytics’ New Tool, “Customer-journey-to-online-purchase”

Attribution remains to be a subject of interest in the world of Search and Social Marketing. Having discussed this topic with our partners, the verdict is still out on which framework the industry should adapt when faced with this question.

Recently, the fine folks from the Google Analytics team introduced a new report called “The Customer Journey to Online Purchase”. You can find out more about their findings here.

Marketing professionals and marketing students are well aware of the marketing funnel to purchase, most usually called AIDA. AIDA is an acronym used in marketing and advertising that describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement. A stands for Awareness (attract the customer’s attention of the product), I stands for Interest (raise consumer interest of the product) , D stands for Desire (convince the customer that they want the product) and A stands for Action (e.g. lead consumers to purchase the product). AIDA was invented by American marketer and advertiser E. St. Elmo Lewis back in 1898.

Google uses the same marketing funnel, but they call it ACID. A stands for Awareness, C stands for Consideration, I stands for Intent and D stands for Decision. The “Customer Journey to Online Purchase” attempts to match the common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with a specific online advertisement identified by seven different sources (Display, Social, Email, Paid Search or SEM, Organic Search or SEO, Referral, Direct or Other Paid)

The Google report presents a pretty clear perspective on how a series of interactions with your brand can  lead to an online purchase. We all know for a fact that it’s out there – we just need the right lens.

Google Search ads disproportianately benefit from “last click” attribution. In a typical setting, advertisers give full credit to customer purchases from Google Search and PPC Ads. While this situation gives the most obvious (if not lazy) answer to attribution, even Google acknowledges that the actual purchase is actually a byproduct of a unique “Customer Journey”. Traditional marketing describes “Customer Journey” as a series of interactions people have with a campaign through different mediums like telemarketing, Internet, branch and other forms of marketing communication. By seeing this as more of a journey, it takes into consideration the context of the customer’s feelings in each and every interaction.

In online marketing, channels (such as email, display ads, paid search ads, social, and direct visits to your website) influence the customer at different points in the path to purchase. Now this is where it gets interesting,  Google Analytics’ new “Customer Journey”  tool allows a company to assign fractional attribution to each of these channels.

We’re working with two major channel types here: ASSISTING channels build awareness, consideration, and intent earlier in the customer journey or “purchase funnel. LAST INTERACTION channels act as the last point of contact prior to a purchase.

Since it’s the NBA playoff season, think of these interactions as a series of steps (from the inbound pass) culminating in an objective (scoring a basket). When Chris Bosh rebounds and passes the ball to Shane Battier who passes to Lebron James who passes to Dwayne Wade for a layup-dunk,  Lebron James gets the full assist in regular statistics.  If there were fractional attribution,  Shane Battier might get credit for a fractional assist.

I played around with this new tool for a few minutes and I was quite impressed.  For example, in the CPG industry, I found out that Social Channels are closer to the actual purchase than an Email channel. Another surprise is that in the Auto industry, Display Channels are closer to the actual purchase than Email or Social channels. It’s not really a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s up to you, as marketer or advertiser to decipher your ideal mix.


Here are the main Google findings on 11 industry groups. Every media buyer should print this and hang on their office wall.

Displayed in order from Awareness (on the left) to Decision (on the right)
1.  Auto – Social, Email, Referral, Paid Search, Display, Organic Search, Other Paid, Direct -> Purchase
2.  Biz – Display, Email, Social, Referral, Paid, Organic, Other Paid, Direct -> Purchase
3.  Classified/Local – Social, Display, Email, Paid Search, Referral, Organic, Other Paid, Direct -> Purchase
4.  CPG – Display, Email, Social, Paid Search, Organic Search, Referral, Direct, Other Paid -> Purchase
5.  Edu/Gov – Social, Display, Email, Paid Search, Referral, Other Paid, Organic Search, Direct -> Purchase
6.  Finance – Email, Social, Paid Search, Organic Search, Referral, Other Paid, Direct -> Purchase
7.  Health – Social, Other Paid, Email, Referral, Paid Search, Display, Organic Search, Direct -> Purchase
8.  Media – Display, Email, Social, Other Paid, Paid Search, Referral, Organic Search, Direct -> Purchase
9.  Retail – Display, Social, Email, Referral, Other Paid, Paid Search, Organic Search, Direct -> Purchase
10.  Tech – Display, Social, Email, Paid Search, Referral, Organic Search, Other Paid, Direct -> Purchase
11.  Travel – Social, Email, Paid Search, Organic Search, Display, Referral, Other Paid, Direct -> Purchase

If you want to chat about how Google Analytics’ new tool of “Customer-jouney-to-online-purchase” can help in conversion rate optimization for your organization or your clients,  fill out the contact form on the right.

10 Interesting Tidbits About Banks on Facebook This Holiday Season

By Mike Onghai, CFA

One of my pastimes is analyzing banks on Facebook. I analyzed banks when I ran a hedge fund in an earlier life. So why not apply that to social?

Hedge fund pros love Wells Fargo’s business model. They don’t engage in proprietary trading and they’re good at consumer cross-selling. How about on Facebook?

Let’s compare December 1-15th against November 1-15th of 2012. Chase’s engagement (using People Talking About as the proxy) number grew nine fold from 12,418 (0.32%) to 137,084 (3.5%). (See the green rectangle in Figure 1).

Figure 2 below shows how Chase did it—they’re simply giving away money to charities.

People talk about what they’re passionate about, not about what you want to talk about. Oh, and the money part doesn’t hurt either—especially since the more you talk about it, the more your favorite charity moves up in the rankings.

What’s the ROI of this? Hard to say, but there’s certainly power in getting people to mention your brand name in a positive light multiple times per day. Free checking and automatic overdraft protection might be pretty cool, but are you telling your friends about it?

Chase promoted the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy. Big hit in engagement—a one-two punch of celebrity content and charity power. The only thing better would be to somehow work in bacon, kittens, and babies.

We’re not saying that blindly increasing engagement is best, nor that a business should take advantage of sensitive situations to promote themselves. We are saying that you need to connect what your fans are passionate about in a way that still aligns with your brand message.

Figure 2: Posts on Chase’s Community Giving Facebook Page

But what about Wells Fargo? They’re posting finance tips and saving advice for small business owners and consumers. See Figure 3 below.

Looking at the stats in terms of engagement, Chase’s achieved a 3.5% engagement rate on a fan base of 3.8 million whereas Wells achieved a less than 2% rate of engagement on a fan base of 470,000.

Generally, engagement is lower on larger bases but in this case, Chase’s achieved a higher engagement on a larger base.

Figure 3: Posts on Wells Fargo’s Facebook Page

Key takeaways:

1. Your charitable causes activate passion, key to sharing. What are your fans passionate about?

2. Mixing celebrities and charitable causes can multiply your power. Do you sponsor a stadium or are active in the community? Amplify these connections. First Bank’s page ( has a few good examples of such amplification of content.

What do you think? Who is your favorite bank? Would you like to have a dashboard analysis drawn up for your bank? Tell us in the comments below.

Should Brands Outsource Their Community Management? Think No Further. YES and Here’s Why

Although this question may be debatable, here are three reasons why Community Management of your social media channels in the marketing mix would be better off  if managed by experts outside of your organization.  In the long run, it would be more effective and efficient to outsource your community management.

1. Community managers (and their agencies) live and breathe social media

If your job is not living and breathing social media 24/7,  chances are you are not able to keep up with what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.  While adding the odd tweet and keeping an eye on Facebook comments might be manageable, you might not have time to do a great deal more.

Creating content calendars that ensure that every post is optimized to create the maximum impact and ensuring that your Twitter account follows all the key influentials in your market may be enough to fill your day.

Also ask yourself if you are keeping up with the latest Facebook competition rules? Or working out how the Twitter API changes could impact your brand’s output? And what about other platforms – should you be focusing on Google+ this year or Pinterest?

Community managers will be up-to-date on all platforms, what they can offer and how they can potentially work best for your brand. It is their job after all. Why not let the experts worry about the finer details?

2. Community managers can offer a fresh perspective

Sometimes working on one specific thing or brand can make things jaded after a while. Outsourcing your social media efforts will invite a fresh perspective to the table and stimulate discussion around the brand and how to make it stand out in the fast-changing social media sphere.

Your community manager will have worked on or read about other branded online campaigns. They know what has worked in the past, what could work in the future, and what could potentially be a social media disaster.

They will also be able to advise on and devise the social media strategy that is essential to ensure your brand flourishes online and offline.

3. Community managers are enthusiastic about what they do and will be backed up by a team

If you divide the community management duties between individuals in your company, chances are the actual management of the online entities end up falling through the cracks as other tasks take precedence.

Also, unless proper guidelines are set, your brand’s social voice and tone could end up being fragmented across the social media entities.

An agency can provide the important neutrality good community management requires and will have a team set to ensure your community management is kept consistent regardless of summer holidays or staff turnover. They have also actively pursued this career, so will be eager to do it well.

Finally let’s not forget one very important thing. If you outsource your community management then you can be assured that your Facebook pages will always be updated and that someone is responding to questions on Twitter and other social networks in a timely and coordinated manner.

Your brand won’t be joining the thousands of others whose Facebook and Twitter accounts lay dormant and are an embarrassment to the company and the staff that were supposed to populate them.