New Orleans pizzeria experiments with Facebook ads

May 18, 2012

Prior to Facebook's $100 billion-plus IPO, New Orleans' Pizza Delicious tried out the social media site's ad buying effectiveness. NPR covered the shop's success with Facebook advertising earlier this week, and reported that owners Michael Friedman and Greg Augarten are still trying to gauge the level of success from the campaign.

The team initially tried to target friends of those who already "liked" Pizza Delicious' page, but that yielded more than 220,000 users in the New Orleans area, and they wanted something narrower.

They then reached out to those with New York-specific "likes" – since they sell New York-style pizza – and whittled down the reach to 15,000 users. However, the pizza shop received no leads from the ad. Friedman said Facebook doesn't make money until people click on the ad, and if nobody clicks on the ad, it's turned off.

The owners then targeted 30,000 people in New Orleans who "liked" Italian food. This approach worked better, as Pizza Delicious received 20 times the number of fans it normally gets in two days. The ad appeared more than 700,000 times.

Their Facebook ad campaign cost the owners $240, which averages about $1 for each new fan.

Friedman said they're still waiting to see if that amount is worth the effort, basing it on whether or not those new fans actually translate into new business.

The NPR story said social advertising is too new to be proven, tested or studied, so the benefits are murky at this point. Earlier this week, GM pulled its ads from Facebook, claiming the campaign hadn't generated enough new business. Other companies, including Ben and Jerry's, claim they have gotten a big return from having a Facebook ad presence.

Read more about social media initiatives.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Independent Operation, Marketing / Branding / Promotion, Online / Mobile / Social, Operations Management, Trends / Statistics

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