Yesterday I had a call with a hedge fund about Facebook’s mobile ad monetization. I get a couple of these a week, so it’s refreshing to hear what the finance guys think.

The fear earlier this year was that Facebook wasn’t addressing mobile– that they missed the boat by investing in html5 and didn’t have mobile ads yet.


Fast forward to today, and advertisers like us can’t get ENOUGH mobile ad inventory.  We want every single stinkin’ impression at whatever the price.


Yes, it’s that good.


Sure, the CPMs can be as high as $20, but when you have CTRs as high as 7-10%, the cost per click is still *much* lower than newsfeed and especially the regular desktop ads on the right side.


So what does this mean for you?

– For every ad you run, you should create one that has the mobile placement enabled. I suppose you could keep it all mixed together– desktop, newsfeed, and mobile newsfeed. But folks who do this are like the ones who run search and content together on AdWords.

facebook mobile ads


– Your page post ads, especially the ones with a native photo or video link, will be especially awesome.

– Look at the frequency you get here vs. regular newsfeed. It’s going to be less, but that’s good. You can easily burn out frequency on the desktop at 30 or 40 if you’re not looking.

– Look at your effective CPC as well as Cost Per Action. Let me know if you are seeing relatively more actions in mobile than on the desktop.

– If you’re really clever. you’ll multiply your ad by broad category targeting on type of devices to see how iPad owners behave differently than say, iPhone or HTC users.


Back to the monetization question– you’re either the customer or the product being sold. Facebook is collecting so much data about you and making this available to advertisers, whether on the Facebook platform or your site (AdSense-like), that it’s both an advertiser’s paradise and potentially a user nightmare.


Ask yourself this…


If you were Facebook, would you prefer:


A) Doubling your user base overnight; or

B) Same user base, but doubling the amount of information you have per user overnight?


Of course you chose B, since twice as many generic 18+ females in the US is nowhere close to as valuable as knowing intimately what these users are doing and saying — then being able to target them on that.


Mobile isn’t the downfall of Facebook. It’s where they are going to make a KILLING because of folks like us who are learning how to use the gold mine they have just given us access to. Then use optimized CPM to do the work for you.


If you’re a retailer or local business (or maybe an agency with such clients), have you thought fundamentally about how you’re optimizing your ads based on where the users are and what they’re talking about?


Right now, interest targets all cost about the same. It’s like the early days of Google where every keyword was a nickel. What are you doing about this?

I want to know in the comments below!


 Dennis Yu


  1. Todd Kelleher November 27th, 2012

    Thanks Dennis. To clarify you are talking about sponsored/promoted posts and not regular Facebook ads with external URL’s?

  2. Rob Woods November 27th, 2012

    Do you know how Facebook Insights reports Likes from mobile ads and sponsored stories? Are they reported as “Mobile” or “Ads and Sponsored Stories”? Or are these double counted as being both an ad and mobile?

  3. Dennis Yu November 27th, 2012

    Hi Todd.

    Yes, I’m talking about sponsored stories and page post ads in the mobile placement. I don’t think we can run external urls in mobile yet– but correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. Dennis Yu November 27th, 2012

    Hi Rob,

    Facebook reports differently when you look at the ad insights as well as the page insights, as the metrics are different and overlap. Look at the “actions” in your ad reports (specifically for new page likes) and you’ll see fans that you got within a certain timeframe of clicking on the ad. There may be view-through.

    I haven’t seen mobile ad fans separated out, but you can still get that metric if you run a mobile placement only ad. Then any fans from that ad MUST be from mobile.

  5. Ruthann Smith November 29th, 2012

    Hi Dennis.

    Thanks for this article!

    I can’t seem to get my ads/campaings page or any related to it to show the placements option on the bottom. My top and side panels look different as well. How can I get to that page with those options?

    Thanks a mil,

  6. Dennis Yu November 30th, 2012

    Hi Ruthann,

    Perhaps you are not using Power Editor?
    In Power Editor, there is an option for mobile under the newsfeed option.

    Lucky Braids– very nice!
    Shiny, happy horses with your shampoo.


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Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone. He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CBS Evening News and is co-author of Facebook Nation – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities. He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo. He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70 mile ultramarathon. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at, his blog, or on Facebook.