May 19, 2020

$1 000 Facebook Ads Comments Split Test

When it comes to advertising on Facebook, everything is important. Before investing the money we need to take a step back and decide which factors and metrics predict the profitability of our efforts.

Ctr., frequency, CPC, engagement rate – there are so many metrics to follow on Facebook.

However, we are going to discover one of the factors that usually stays undisclosed.

I personally have been running ads for years and not knowing there was something so important that had affected my advertising activity so much.

It’s about the comment section.

Do comments under your advertising posts help you produce the best bang for your buck?

There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by putting $1,000 of ad dollars down on the table and letting the Facebook A/B testing tool find it out.

We decided to test the hypothesis that nobody actually reads comments under the ads.
In this experiment, we decided to test “Bad comments” against “No comments” ad groups. To make the results meaningful for the $1,000 of ad spend, we decided to include only one ad per ad group.

  • With Bad Comments, we’ve selected an ad post where we deleted all positive comments and kept only negative ones. The advertising post (the Dark post) was quite old and had around 50 negative comments.
  • We obtained the “No comments” group by copying the Bad comments group without transferring reactions, comments and shares made before.

In this way we had two identical ad groups with the same targeting, ads and optimisation options. The final setup was made with the Facebook split test feature, where we chose creatives as the testing variables.

The settings were:

  • Budget: $150 a day, campaign budget optimisation, Highest value or lowest cost bid strategy
  • Countries: USA
  • Language: English
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Total budget: $1,000
  • Optimization strategy: App installs

HypothesisWe hypothesised that nobody reads comments before clicking on ads. Going further we assumed that comments (doesn’t matter good or bad) could have a positive impact on the ad. It could get higher relevance rankings, which in turn could result in a lower CPM and cost per click and therefore more installs.

Our prediction was that Bad Comments (Version A) group would give a lower cost per install (CPI) than No Comments (Version B), because nobody actually reads the comments.

Bad Comments ad had a lot of shares and likes, which would have to make it more attractive for the Facebook Algorithm. Bad comments would have the potential to show up more often with lower CPM, so it would be able to make a bigger number of installs with the same campaign budget.

What we couldn’t predict was the expected difference in CPI, so in this experiment we wanted to investigate exactly how much more expensive No Comment ad could be.
ResultsHere are the overall results of the campaign:

In the result table, we can see that the No comments campaign won the test and produced 341 installs at $1.46, however, the CPM for campaigns were nearly identical.

Turning our attention to the difference in CPI and the level of confidence of 83% that the No Comments ad was better.

The most important fact is that the CPM for each of the versions is identical. The ads were similar for the Facebook Algorithm, the amount of engagement on each ad did not make any difference in deliverability.

Our hypothesis that nobody read comments was not confirmed.

The result indicates that comments make a real difference and are of critical importance to users. Looks like customers read comments before clicking on ads and bad comments give the impression of a product before visiting a landing page.
ConclusionThe main conclusion is comments matter. Facebook users read comments and when comments are not pleasant, it results in a higher cost per conversion. While the first touch point with your customers is Facebook Ads, the second is the comment section under the ad.

We used to make ads as engaging as possible and now we have to communicate with our customers through comments to keep their loyalty.

This is why it’s important to dedicate resources and develop a strategy to deal with negative and encourage positive comments.

  • Facebook comments have a significant impact on advertising activities. People read comments before installing and probably purchasing.
  • It is better to start a new campaign without transferring comments, likes, and shares if you are not confident in your posts.
  • Social proofs matter only if you have a good reputation, you don’t have anything to hide and your customers love you.
  • The negative impact of bad comments is much stronger for your potential customers than the positive signals to the Facebook algorithm.
  • A comments section is a perfect place to communicate with your audience, and you should be dynamic if you want to improve the advertising results.

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