The click through rate for links posted to the news feed by Facebook Pages with over 100,000 fans is 0.14%, or 1 click per 715 impressions according to a new study shared with us by analytics provider EdgeRank Checker. Pages receive 0.00093 clicks per fan, or roughly 1 click per 1000 fans. These figures should give marketers an idea of how many Facebook fans they’ll need to accumulate to drive significant traffic to external websites, a core way of deriving return on investment from the social network.
Facebook only started providing link click metrics to Page admins at the beginning of October. Until then, marketers had to use links with tracking tags or URL shorteners that can reduce CTR in order to determine the referral traffic their Page posts were driving.
For comparison, links posted by Pages have nearly 3x the CTR of Facebook ads which average 0.05% CTR, and they top online display ads which average a 0.1% CTR according to Webtrends.
Facebook Pages can be a useful marketing channel for brands, especially those that organically accrue Likes from passionate customers such as entertainment, consumer packaged goods, fashion, and automotive companies. To drive significant referral traffic, though, most brands have to invest in advertising in order to beef up the fan counts of their Pages.
Most major brands have at least 100,000 fans, and Posts by Pages with few fans have a much higher CTR as you can see in the graph below. Therefore, I excluded them to avoid skewing the data. For all Pages with over 1,000 fans, including those with few fans, link posts still only have a 0.35% CTR, 1 click per 280 impressions, 0.00236 clicks per per fan, and 1 click per 424 fans.
EdgeRank Checker’s data is based on 84,000 link posts by over 5,500 Pages in October. The study also looked at which days of the week were the best for Pages to post on. It found that posts on Wednesday receive the most clicks and shares, while posts on Friday receive the fewest.
If they spend the time and money, brands like Porche, Netflix, and Old Navy can drive around 2,000 qualified clicks a day for free. Facebook Pages can’t completely replace the need for paid advertising, but they can become an important component of a savvy online marketing strategy.