Facebook’s mobile advertising is now available in South Africa. Launched internationally in February, it has proved popular with global advertisers, recording click through rates that are up to 13 times higher than adverts that appear elsewhere on the Facebook platform.
Wayne Bischoff, MD of Habari Media (which has represented Facebook in sub Saharan Africa since February 2012) believes that this latest development is the ultimate power combination, bringing together the reach and one-to-one, ‘always-on’ aspect of mobile advertising and the connectivity, engagement and influence factor of social networking.
“Mobile is the ultimate medium in Africa, with the latest figures predicting that there will be over 735 million subscribers across the continent by the end of this year. And Facebook is the ultimate mobile app with an estimated 6.5 million downloads in South Africa,” says Bischoff.
He says that the power of Facebook for marketers lies in its unique ability to connect with current and potential customers, engage with them by sharing meaningful content, and influence them by sharing engaging stories from their friends.
“McKinsey and Company found that almost 50% of a consumer’s decision is impacted by marketing driven by other consumers’ opinions and past experiences. In this way, Facebook’s sponsored stories are the perfect medium, helping marketers to convert current customers into fans, and then into influential marketing vehicles capable of driving new customer acquisition,” says Bischoff.
Bischoff confirms that at least one global advertiser has already bought into Facebook mobile advertising in South Africa, and is already experiencing click-through rates of above 5%.
Figures from Facebook Ads API Partner Social Code reveal an average click-through rate of 0.79% for the mobile ads, compared to the 0.148% average across mobile, desktop news-feed only, desktop only (comprised mainly of right-rail ads), news-feed only (desktop and mobile) and the “control” group (uniform bids across all placements). Click-through rates for desktop-only news-feed ads stands at 0.327%, which means that the new stand-alone mobile ads are attracting double the attention of desktop-only ads.
These mobile ads are officially known as ‘sponsored stories’, and are effectively posts that companies and/or individuals have paid to highlight in the News Feeds of its fans and their friends so that there’s a better chance that Facebook users will see them. They are created when someone ‘likes’ a page or comments on a page, checks in, uses an app or plays a game. Because they run in the content stream, they appear as a seamless part of the news feed, more of an update on a friend’s activity than an advertisement per se.
“Globally, advertisers are lining up to take advantage of Facebook mobile advertising. And we firmly believe that, given the local love of all things mobile and social, combined with this medium’s seemingly constant ability to outstrip all growth predications, we are ideally positioned to provide advertisers with record-breaking click-through rates.”