comScore: Facebook Ad Performance Might Just SURPRISE You

In the days just before and after the company went public and its revenue became the subject of investor interest, advertising on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and its apparent lack of sufficient impact, has been under the microscope. General Motors (NYSE:GM) withdrew paid advertising from Facebook just before the latter’s IPO last month, and a few days after, a survey found that four out of five users had never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network. Its ability to monetize advertising on the mobile platform, which is increasingly gaining in popularity, has also been questioned, even by Facebook’s own accounting executives.

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But Internet marketing research company comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) believes standard tools of advertising impact measurement don’t quite apply to Facebook, and plans to launch a new system of metrics. “Our research uses a test vs. control methodology to compare the behavior, such as brand site engagement and purchase, of similar groups of individuals with their primary difference being whether or not they were exposed to a media impression,” comScore’s Andrew Lipsman writes in a blog post.

According to Lipsman, people spend time on several simultaneous activities while online, and surveys asking them about ad impact are not accurate because it is highly unlikely that their “recall of the exact sites they visited, the amount of time they spent there, or their specific exposure to brand messages will be closely aligned with what actually happened.”

comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) also contends that people don’t generally like to believe or admit that advertising has an effect on their behavior. “It’s time to advance this discussion of marketing and advertising effectiveness, but doing so requires that the debate centers on meaningful measurement approaches, not on self-reported recollection,” Lipsman writes. comScore is planning to launch a new report that will try and change the discussion on measuring Facebook’s effectiveness. The report, titled The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works, will be released at the ARF Audience Measurement 7.0 conference in New York next week.

Shares of Facebook closed Friday at $27.10 per share, or 3% higher on the trading day. A little more than 33 million FB  shares were traded.

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