Facebook Click-Through Rates Are Below Average and Shrinking

The click-through rate on ads shown on Facebook was about half the industry average in 2010, worse than the prior year’s performance, according to research firm Webtrends.

Facebook’s click-through rate declined to 0.051 percent in 2010 from 0.063 percent in 2009, per Webtrends’ analysis of more than 11,000 ads on the social network. Despite this decrease in efficacy, the site’s CPM rose to 25 cents from 17 cents over the same interval. Says Webtrends:

 This is a typical pattern for display ad networks as the audience becomes more savvy and demand causes prices to rise. Brands investing now will save money building their Facebook ad programs now by taking advantage of currently low rates that will continue to increase over time.

The study also found that older people tend to click on Facebook ads more often, until the age of 65. Women and men click with equal (in)frequency from ages 18 to 24, but then women begin to outpace men beyond early adulthood.

One potentially material finding: People clicked far more often on more socially adapted ads containing their friends’ names than on run-of-the-mill ads. 

mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor

Facebook Click-Through Rates Are Below Average and Shrinking