Our inability to accurately measure the direct effect of most social media has always haunted those agencies and marketers anxious to demonstrate a positive ROI. Ad agencies, help may be on the way as Facebook is currently testing a new direct response ad-unit platform, that offers coupons and free samples to their users.
For the first time ever, Facebook has created a set of home page ad units that don’t just drive the consumer to the advertisers Facebook page, but rather directs the user to complete a direct response form. It looks very similar to a standard Facebook sponsored link; however it also has a call to action!
This new service allows marketers to actually get real product samples into consumers hands, as well as giving them the ability to monitor coupon downloads and redemptions. According to Nate Elliott, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, “If a marketer is looking to launch a new product, or change a consumer’s opinion of a product, then this is a good strategy.”
Chik-Fil-A is testing one of these new ad-units, offering free chicken biscuit samples to responders. According to the website, “Inside Facebook”, this is the most integrated lead generation style home page ad-unit they have seen Facebook launch. The free sample ad response also allows respondents to share their action with their friends.
While this product is a no-brainer for packaged goods and foodservice advertisers, it could also be applied to other products like subscription services too. Facebook also announced that there were even more new features on the way for performance advertisers managing large campaigns through Facebook.
From an agency perspective, all these new developments help to further push social media main stream. It’s not just about buzz and community anymore, it’s fast becoming more about response and action too. If you are not out there helping your clients test and learn in the social media space, they will either get there on their own or be shown the way by another agency.