From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:
With its IPO quiet period shackles off, Facebook has been pumping out the case studies and numbers, hoping to counter the constant drumbeat of stories about how its ads don’t work. It’s releasing a few more today, a couple of them focused in particular on how paid ads can supplement the free pages that some brands like GM believe are all they need on the social network. They also indicate that Facebook ads can help drive actual sales, not just a higher propensity to consider a brand or a purchase.
These numbers are from Facebook, so judge them in that light. But they’re also from the brands themselves, which are often wary of releasing data like this that might help competitors. So they’re worth paying attention to.
Videogame giant Electronic Arts had built up a Facebook fan base of 1.5 million by last October, when it was readying the launch of Battlefield 3. At that point, EA spent $2.75 million on Sponsored Stories, which are ads that highlight people’s Likes and comments on a brand to their Facebook friends. In this case, the ads led people directly to online ordering sites.
The result: EA reckons the ads resulted in an additional $12.1 million in game sales. So for each dollar EA spent on Facebook ads, it generated $4.38 in additional revenues. …