Despite the immense popularity of Facebook among consumers, some marketers still question the network’s effectiveness as an ad platform. "The question which Facebook and many of the social media sites ask is: 'What are we getting for our dollars?'" Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing at Kia Motors Corp.'s North American division, tells The Wall Street Journal.
In the face of such concerns, the automaker still plans to increase its ad spending on the site. Yet, Sprague admits that he isn’t entirely sure how many Facebook users see Kia ads, “and does that ultimately lead to a new vehicle sale?" As WSJ notes, “The concerns from Kia and other advertisers underscore the difficulties of measuring results of nascent-forms of social-media advertising.” By contrast, Google and Yahoo specialize in display and search ads, which are highly measurable, and, albeit after years of fear and confusion, have been quite familiar to most marketers.
“Facebook also offers image and text-based ads, but it pushes new methods that haven't been fully tested,” WSJ adds. Meanwhile, the concerns are taking on new significance as bankers and prospective investors decide how to value Facebook for an initial public offering planned for May 18.