Facebook Cost-per-action advertising: first results

Only three days ago Facebook launched its new advertising solution: cost-per-action advertising. This means that now you can give Facebook the option to automatically try to minimize cost per action by letting the algorithms determine the perfect target audience. You set your target audience as you always do (demographics, specific page likes, …) and then Facebook uses its algorithm to determine which subsegments within that target group will likely convert best. In that regard it indeed is very similar to Google Adwords’ Conversion Optimizer.

Facebook can optimize towards three goals:

1. Page Likes
2. Offer Claims
3. Specific link opens/clicks

Ofcourse I had to test this immediately. As a hobby project I run Amigurumipatterns.net, which has its own Facebook page with over 35 000 likes. I had tested regular Facebook ads before to get some more likes which typically resulted in a cost-per-like of between $1,00 and $1,50. So could the cost-per-action ads perform better?

In the experiment I set up the both available types of CPA ads: a regular sidebar advert and a sponsored story which goes into the timeline. I targeted the audience of other crochet sites in English-speaking countries and set a daily budget of $5,00.

Already on the first day the results were very interesting: with the budget of $5,00 we managed to get 30 likes. That is a cost-per-like of $0,17 which is roughly 6x to 8x less than we had with non-cost-per-action ads. On the second day however the surprise was even bigger: for the same budget of $5,00 we reached 109 new likes, or a cost-per-like of $0,05. That is at least 20x cheaper than the regular ads! Since day 2 the CPA stabilized at that $0,05 level, bringing us more than 100 new fans a day at a mere cost of $5,00.

Is this a great tool then for getting new likes? Absolutely! Evidently Facebook is an ideal target for our cute crochet animals, so less engaging topics will be slightly more expensive to add new likes. But even then, at a factor between 10x and 20x cheaper as regular like ads, this might prove a serious boost to your Facebook page.

There is however one important downside to this. What I’m essentially doing now is targeting the loyal fans/visitors of our competitors site and making them fans of my site for only $0,05. Imagine having the option to buy your competitor’s CRM data for $0,05 per record. Having a Facebook page then also means that your data is just as vulnerable as that of your competitors. My prediction then is that Facebook will likely come out with some sort of Premium Page package where you have more customisation options but also where you can protect your fans from being targeted by other brands.


3 thoughts on “Facebook Cost-per-action advertising: first results

  1. Pingback: Facebook CPA Bidding: What you Need To Know | Internet Marketing Services | Professional SEO Company

  2. Gregor

    Hi Bruno! Great results, congrats! It would be great if you could follow-up on this post and explain how exactly can you bid “per like”. I can’t seem to find these options in my FB ads management account, noir in Power Editor. :( Thanks!


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