Facebook Ads Can Work… Sometimes.

Facebook Ads Can Work... SometimesI wrote a post last year where I talked about my experience with the ineffectiveness of using Facebook Ads to promote our college website.

Over the past few months we’ve run two Facebook Ad campaigns that were highly successful.  The first one was an alumni campaign, the second a Facebook Fan Page campaign.

Alumni Facebook Campaign

The Lost Alumni (www.lostalumni.ca) campaign goal was to reach out to ‘lost’
alumni and have them either update contact information or provide new
contact information if they were not in the system.

Our main KPI was conversions.  We had two conversions we were tracking;

  1. Update Form Completion
  2. Referral Form completion.

We’ve had 910 visits from Facebook Ads with a 24% conversion rate.  That’s 203 alumni that updated their contact information.

Success Factor

The Facebook Ad was targeted to people who indicated they were a graduate of Lethbridge College.  There was already an awareness and connection to our brand. Those who responded to the ad were already qualified.

Fan Page Campaign

Last week I created a fan page for Lethbridge College.  The fans started trickling in, but when I created 5 Facebook Ads, the fan growth exploded.  The ads were targeted to high school students from our catchment areas. The fan page was started on March 24th and now has 392 fans, that’s an average of 56 new fans a day.  The chart below demonstrates the success of Facebook Ads for Fan Pages:

Facebook Ad Statistics

While the click rate is low, the conversion rate is anywhere from 10% – 30%.  That is much higher than the conversion rates we experienced when we promoted our college website with Facebook Ads.

Success Factor

The success factor for the Fan Page campaign is similar to the Alumni Campaign.  Except in this case, those who respond to the ads are familiar to the Facebook brand.  It is less of a commitment for them to become a fan of your Fan Page then to provide personal information on your website.  Also, becoming a fan doesn’t require them to leave the Facebook experience.  They can become a fan, then go on to other Facebook activities.


While I still have my doubts about promoting regular websites with Facebook Ads, I think there are valid reasons for advertising on Facebook.  These two examples clearly demonstrate that.

Do you have successful examples of using Facebook Ads? Please share them.

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  • andreacooley

    We use Facebook ads to promote our programs and have had good success. The ads are much cheaper than Adwords (which we still use sparingly) and they are much more targeted. Our University is a little different because it is a only a graduate level medical/health science university. But I love the idea of connecting to alumns with Facebook and am going to suggest we do something similar to the “lost” alumni campaign mentioned in the post. Thanks!

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    When we used Facebook Ads to promote our programs, they don't deliver much success. A main reason for this could be the expectations of the visitor. The ad sets the expectations of the visitor, but if the landing page don't meet those expectations they could 'bounce'.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  • andreacooley

    I have another question. When you ran the lost alumni campaign did you drive them to a specific page where they updated their info? Or just to your main alumni page. Thanks!

  • http://www.mikemccready.ca/blog/ Mike McCready

    The Facebook Ads directing them to a specific campaign page to update information. They went to http://www.lostalumni.ca The only thing they could do there was update their information or refer a friend.

    I think that was part of the success, they would driven to a true landing page. Our use of Facebook Ads for programs don't drive people to a true landing page. They are given too many choices. We are learning as we go.

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