Nielsen and Facebook collaborated on a study of more than 800,000 Facebook users and ads from 14 brands in a variety of categories, which shows a marked increase in ad recall, awareness and purchase intent when ads mention friends who are fans of the brand in the ad. Ads that included mentions of friends who were brand fans saw an increase in recall of 16%. The recall jumped to 30% when the ads coincided with a similar mention in users’ news feeds.
Overall, Facebook-home-page ads on average generated a 10% increase in ad recall, a 4% increase in brand awareness and a 2% increase in purchase intent among users who saw them compared with a control group with similar demographics or characteristics who didn’t.
Purchase intent was 2% higher among viewers of home-page ads vs. nonviewers, but increased to 8% either when ads appeared alongside organic mentions of the brand in the news feed.
Of the 18 million users exposed to the ads, only around 130,000, or less than 1%, “engaged” with them by clicking on them. But around 40,000, or around 4%, of users who saw organic mentions of their friends become brand fans clicked on those news items.