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Do Facebook Ad Campaigns Work For You?

Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/23/2013 - 10:05 AM

Just curious.

There's another active thread about the AW websites being down, and in that thread more than one person mentioned their FB ad campaign.

I did not know so many were apparently advertising on FB.

If you have tried or currently have a FB ad campaign, was / is it successful for you?

Edit: and please, no jokes like "yes they work... when FAA is not down."

That is not what this thread is about. I want to know if the ROI on FB ads is successful.


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 01/23/2013 - 10:57 AM


Targeting ads does bring traffic, however; unless a buyer contacts you specifically and says "I purchased because I found your advert via Facebook," this is no immediate way of knowing, to my knowledge. And until we are notified on the Sales page which site sales were generated from, it all appears to be guess work.

If you were running a targeted advert, let's say, to the Pennsylvania area only, and suddenly received a sale from there, one would summarize the Facebook advert was effective. But, if your advert was targeting the entire United States, how would you know?


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/23/2013 - 11:03 AM


Understood. However, if advertising is directed to the AW website, google analytics would show the referral. Additionally, when possible, a landing page on a personal domain can be created and watched.


Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 01/23/2013 - 11:05 AM

Yes, Google Analytics will show (in most cases) the arrival impression, but, does it record the sales, too?


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/23/2013 - 11:07 AM

No, Jeffery it does not, and I'm not debating the issue here. Analytics would show, however, whether the traffic generated is little or substantial.

I am just trying to get a feel here if facebook ads work for people.


Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 01/23/2013 - 11:13 AM


Facebook adverts informs us via a graph on our Facebook page when someone clicks on our ad. Mine is set up that when someone clicks on the advert they are taken straight to my AW site. I am unable to glean any further information from either Facebook or Google Analytics as to weather a sale was generated. If I have a sale throughout the day, how could I possibly know where it came from?

And, yes, the adverts are effective in generating traffic, at least in my case. But, in your original question you asked about Return on Investment.


Posted by: Dazzle Zazz on 01/23/2013 - 11:20 AM

I just started an ad 3 days ago for new likes on my page. Ive only had 3 clicks from about 1000 views/impressions of the ad and those seem to be people who have "liked" a ton of pages as if they are just like collectors. I have a month to go so we will see. So far I'm not impressed.


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/23/2013 - 11:29 AM

Thank you Dazzle. I appreciate your feedback. It's useful. One of the reasons I am asking is because I'm not impressed with FB to begin with.

I know my many carefully-crafted and well-targeted adwords campaigns were not very impressive to me. I'm wondering if FB might be money better spent.


Posted by: Lar Matre on 01/23/2013 - 11:30 AM

Good question, Dan. I'm just joining your thread so I can follow it. I, too, have wondered.


Posted by: Dazzle Zazz on 01/23/2013 - 12:51 PM

I will keep you updated.


Posted by: Heather Applegate on 01/23/2013 - 12:57 PM

I'm running the ad for my FB page, not linking to my AW page. I want to advertise my photo services in my area - but the link to my AW site is on my FB page as well of course.


Posted by: David Patterson on 01/23/2013 - 1:12 PM

Good info...


Posted by: Gynt on 01/23/2013 - 2:12 PM


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/23/2013 - 2:47 PM

That's fine, Gynt, but instead of using this as an opportunity to advertise and get people clicking on your facebook page, please understand the people watching this thread are here to learn how well your facebook efforts are working out for you.


Posted by: John Rizzuto on 01/23/2013 - 3:20 PM

Even though the statistics available to us do not show where the sales came from (FAA, AW, Amazon, FB ad/promo) you can do some tests and make some informed assumptions.

For example, if in the past two February's you averaged 5 sales a month and then during the upcoming February you run a FB ad/promo during the month, and you receive 10 sales, you could assume that the ad had some positive affect on your selling. Of course other factors could be in play but that is just one test. For the next month, March, don't run and ad/promo. Are sales the same as the previous 2 years (or longer)? If yes, then try the ad/promo route for April and see. If you have no history of selling then running and ad/promo to determine its impact is pretty hard.

From a practical standpoint, every time I run a FB ad/promo I see my visits skyrocket on my AW site and FB page, and for the most part my sales for that given time period have jumped from 30% to 150%.

Edit - there is one point about FB that people should be clear about. Ads are basically going out blind. You define the target audience but that's it. Promos go out to people who have already liked your FB page so I consider these not blind ads but ads to people who have already said they like your work. Ads will get me visits and likes on FB, promos will get me sales from FB. Besides just seeing my monthly sales go up on FAA, when I run promos people usually email me on FB and ask about certain images or write that they are happy with the print they just purchased.


Posted by: Chuck Staley on 01/23/2013 - 3:22 PM

Dan, I spent $270 over 9 months on FB ads for my personal website--not the FAA one. Some weeks they were national, most weeks they were local Los Angeles.

For most of the time I got nada, nothing, zero.

However, when I offered a free 13x19 inch gyclee to the winner of the "Name this piece" contest, I got about a hundred entries. But no sales.

A total waste of money.


Posted by: Kate Sumners on 01/23/2013 - 3:32 PM

I have run Facebook ads both for my business as an artist and to promote a local animal shelter's page that I volunteer for. I find it to be a very effective advertising method for the money IF you have a plan.

The beauty of it is you can target your audience by what they "Like." I know my client base is made up of pet lovers that are comfortable shopping online and have disposable income. So I targeted only users who have 'liked' a particular high end pet supply boutique website. For $5 I reached 1795 of these folks in one day. They saw my advertisement, which is a charcoal pet portrait I have done, on average 7.8 times that day. The comments earlier about not knowing if you had any sales from the campaign are true for me too, I don't know if I had sales as a result of it or not. But I I think that is $5 well spent. Only 11 people actually clicked on my ad and liked my page, but I think its worth it for the exposure and don't forget all of their friends who saw that they like my business. I know of a woman on Etsy who has a HUGE fan base and is very successful and she very much credits facebook ads with building her fan base. She sells jewelry and targets people who like a particular store that carries jewelry like hers.

For the animal shelter, I just targeted users in our zip code because we live in a small, isolated town. I spent $10 and gained 39 new, local followers and am happy to say find a lot of pets homes through our page. And it's cumulative, I feel like it goes on long after you have stopped running the ad because people's friends see it every time they comment on the page, and then their friends of those friends see it... on and on.

I will say that Facebook has done something in the last few months that drastically cuts down on the amount of people who 'like' my page that actually see my posts in there news feeds though. I hate that. I think they are trying to cut businesses out and be more of a social network like they were originally. So I'm not sure how long Facebook will be a useful tool but for now, I think its a good place to advertise because of the targeting factor. It is so much more effective to have 10 people see your post who you know are interested in your product that 100 random people. At least for me it is because of my niche.

Edited to add: Okay I got WAY more than 11 likes when I ran that campaign! I thought so but I was looking at my ads manager and I thought that's what it said but I'm sure that's wrong. I guess it doesn't track likes. I just ran another ad after reading this post. I went from 186 'likes' to 339 and counting over night. Spent $5. Targeted facebook users who like Great Pyrenees dogs, posted links to my Pyrenees artwork here and on Zazzle, then ran the ad. Traffic on my FAA and Zazzle sites went WAY up. No sales as of this morning. Still think that is $5 well spent.


Posted by: Heather Applegate on 01/23/2013 - 3:33 PM

Well I'll keep people posted about my ad, but so far I've been running it for an hour and gotten 2 clicks, 1 new 'Like'. I'm running it for a very small area in the grand scheme of things - just around where I live. At least if I get some FB likes out of it, that's progress for me since sessions getting me more money than prints on here probably ever will.


Posted by: Heather Applegate on 01/24/2013 - 3:25 PM

I'm trying a second day for an ad... got 6 new likes yesterday from it and I at least know they are all locals to me that might be interested in photo sessions, we'll see what today brings.


Posted by: Edward Fielding on 01/24/2013 - 3:49 PM

My guess is that the most active people on Facebook don't spend a lot of money on artwork (they don't need to decorate their room in their parents basement). Definetely you want to target your ad to an over 25 age group.


Posted by: Edward Fielding on 01/24/2013 - 3:52 PM

If you just want likes (not sales) you can always pay people on to add likes. You can get a couple hundred likes for $5. Makes your page look more popular.


Posted by: Charles Kozierok on 01/24/2013 - 5:12 PM

Do folks running Facebook ads optimize for clicks or for impressions? I'm getting a lot of views, almost no clicks, and no likes.



Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 01/24/2013 - 7:58 PM

I've yet to make a facebook and google plus page, but when you advertise with facebook ads, can you set and choose the region / country advertised to? Because I don't wan't that if I place an ad that facebook automatically decides ( by 'reading' my profile ) to only target profiles form Belgium, which is way too small a market and if I would place an ad I would want to market primarily to U.S...


Posted by: Heather Applegate on 01/24/2013 - 8:15 PM

Yes you can set the area - local, national - whatever. I'm just targeting mine to the town and surrounding area where I live since I'm not advertising for my work on this site per se.

When I placed the ad for my business page I choose to try using $5/day - which isn't charged per click, its per impression.

I'm not doing it just for the sake of getting likes, but targeting a very specific area in hopes that I can drum up some work doing family/newborn and event sessions. I have made sales of prints from doing sessions though - so those sessions pay off twice.


Posted by: Tim Buisman on 01/24/2013 - 8:23 PM

Honestly any way you can get your name out there is good. Facebook seems like it would be a less good idea than having your friends put bumper stickers on their cars. I pay more attention to bumper stickers than I do facebook ads. As for knowing where sales come from you can always use sales campaigns. On my quick shopping cart through go daddy I can give someone $5 off as long as they put the code "facebook" in. I know I saw something like that while browsing around Fine Art America. True, sales decrease profit, but they're a great way to get attention and know who bought your item from what media outlet.


Posted by: Greg Jackson on 01/24/2013 - 8:33 PM

I didn't pay FB to run an ad, all I've done is make an announcement (with link to my AW site) on my page/wall? about my current sale going on. Don't figure it'll conjure-up much (any) business, but you never know. I'm still not too adept at the FB thing yet.


Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 01/25/2013 - 5:57 AM

What type of page did most of you choose and is best to choose when creating a page? Local company / place, company / organisation, brand / product or artist page?


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/25/2013 - 6:51 AM

"If you just want likes (not sales)..."

This is a good point. I have a question. Can somebody please explain to me the value of "likes"? Not the value of potential leads, sales, but of "likes" of an only by themselves.

I have run across many different situations lately where to do this or get that you need to Like a FB page. Is this a numbers game driven by a self-esteem or ego problem, or is there actual value in likes?


Posted by: Judy Kay on 01/26/2013 - 8:54 AM

This article states what I have been saying all along that it is important to target your market. Here is a quote from Forrester findings " before you run out to go forth and find any and all people to Like your brand on Facebook regardless of who they are –stop and remember what you learned in marketing class re: demographics.

From the Forrester findings…

“Profile and target your Facebook fans. Use demographics, marketing preferences, and online and retail behaviors to tailor your marketing strategy to them. Your fans are among your highest value customers — they spend more, and they are advocates of your brand. Target your customer retention marketing strategy to appeal to these valuable customers.” Basically, it's nice to get"likes "but has no real value unless they are synched to your brand. In art, that can be encompasses such a broad base that it can be difficult to narrow down and clearly define your market however.

Here is a link to the article if you would like to read further :


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/26/2013 - 6:51 PM

Excellent, excellent post, Judy. Exactly my contention and why I asked the question about the value of "likes" when the intent is to simply gather as many as possible.

You can get a whole bunch of people to like your page if you offer them a free beer, but not every one of those who did so will actually come back and buy a six-pack from you. What you have in fact received is a bunch of likes from people who want free beer. But you got a lot of them!

The demographics as you say are difficult but would it be fair to use common sense and say that a middle-age female, or retired female who might be decorating their home might be a better prospective customer than somebody in their twenties who may have just graduated college, is just entering the workforce and does not have the liquid income of the former?

This is exactly why I asked about facebook ads in the first place. If I could design campaigns to target only commercial designers in my geographic area I would jump all over it. However, as far as I know, campaigns cannot be designed with that much control.

Thank you for your contribution, Judy. I will read the article:


Posted by: Chuck Staley on 01/26/2013 - 7:01 PM

Dan, I searched for commercial designers on FB and found some, but this new feature of FB jumped out at me:

"Graph Search is available now in a very limited beta program for English (US) audiences. Sign up now to find out when you can start using Graph Search."


Posted by: Lynn Palmer on 01/26/2013 - 7:22 PM

Philip, to set up my fan page I used "Artist, Band or Public Figure" then selected "Artist".


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 01/26/2013 - 9:53 PM


Thanks. Will look into it. I had read about Zuckerberg's new Google-killing search tool, but had not looked into it. ; )


Posted by: J L Meadows on 01/26/2013 - 10:12 PM

I'm not sure Facebook, period, works for anybody. Which is why I don't have a Facebook page...yet.


Posted by: Kip DeVore on 01/26/2013 - 10:30 PM

Edward Fielding: "If you just want likes (not sales) you can always pay people on to add likes. You can get a couple hundred likes for $5. Makes your page look more popular. "

lol This is too funny. So I can pay people to "like" my work. lol That's inspiring!!

I realize in all seriousness it's a marketing tool, but I can't help laughing. Reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield -- 'had to tie a porkchop around his neck just to get his dog to like him.


This discussion is closed.