Research in the Power of Like series demonstrates brands’ opportunity to reach a valuable audience by engaging their fans in order to reach friends of fans. The use of earned media to reach and influence consumers has been well documented, but little research has been focused on how paid media (ads) can be used to extend the audience for socially-enabled brand
content beyond those who can be reached organically or virally.
Facebook’s advertising platform has been built to leverage the power of social endorsement at scale. Social ad units afford brands the opportunity to take content shared with fans (and friends of fans) and amplify the content’s reach dramatically. The goal of this paper is to help quantify this effect as well as profile the audience reached through ads.