Facebook has often claimed that ads with a social context or initiative
byline are generally more effective.

As an example, an ad may contain
information showing how many of a user’s friends ‘like’ a particular
brand, or a question/answer call to action, with users more likely to
click ads that their friends have already tried out.

In order to prove this effectiveness, Facebook has now launched a set of
metrics that measure social engagement for paid ads, showing
advertisers exactly how much value can be gained from including a social

A quick glance in the Ads Manager dashboard now shows a new column marked ‘Social 5’, showing four new ways to measure effectiveness and reach:

  • Social impressions: Impressions for ads that included a social element.
  • Social clicks: Clicks on ads with social element.
  • Social percent: Percentage of total ads with social element
  • Social click-through: Social clicks divided by social impressions.

Facebook’s blog reports that this is an attempt to move Facebook advertising further away from traditional broadcast marketing and instead integrate increased word of mouth response. According to Facebook:

“Just like offline friend recommendations, social endorsements make your ads more personally appealing and relevant, which can dramatically improve performance.”

Facebook is not currently charching any more for ads that contain a social call to action, although a recent Nielsen report claimed that almost 70% of users are more likely to click on an ad previously visited by friends. In addition these ads will appear in a users friend’s newsfeed, giving social ads added reach compared to their more straightforward counterparts.