Political Marketing on Facebook: Obama Spent Nearly $500k on Facebook Ads During the Election

Facebook has devoted a lot of energy to becoming an important part of the political ecosystem in America. It has conducted experiments with media partners like ABC, operated a voter registration drive which signed up 50,000 people, and promoted politicians’ fan pages and virtual gifts throughout election season.

As Facebook has demonstrated its potential to make a difference in the way political influence spreads at the grassroots level to large numbers of people, candidates from the local level to the highest levels have taken notice and spent significant time investing in their Facebook presence and communicating with their Facebook supporters.

The Obama campaign, however, also spent time with the Facebook sales team. A new report from ClickZ analyzing the Obama campaign’s Federal Election Commission filing shows that Obama spent a total of $467,000 on Facebook – $370,000 in September alone. ClickZ says the McCain campaign did not break out individual online ad spending in its FEC reports.

While these numbers are small in light of both Obama’s overall spend on the campaign and Facebook’s estimated $300 million in 2008 revenues, it’s quite likely that Facebook outpaces much other online ad spend in terms of measurable engagement for political marketing campaigns, and likely ranks pretty decently when compared to other political marketing tactics like robo-calling, which is apparently completely ineffective but still sells for $20 CPM.

If Facebook continues to educate the market, it could see bigger pieces of the political spend in upcoming election cycles.

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7 Responses to “Political Marketing on Facebook: Obama Spent Nearly $500k on Facebook Ads During the Election”

  1. Nick Stamoulis says:

    I think Obama’s participation on social websites as a whole helped in him winning the election. His online marketing team played a big role in his overall success.

  2. links for 2008-11-07 - Kevin Bondelli’s Youth Vote Blog says:

    [...] Inside Facebook » Political Marketing on Facebook: Obama Spent Nearly $500k on Facebook Ads During … [...]

  3. Obama 2.0 says:

    [...] Obama gasto $467,000 en publicidad en Facebook. ver nota. [...]

  4. Facebook y Obama: unidos desde la campaña hasta la investidura. | Periodismo Ciudadano says:

    [...] se gastó medio millón de dólares en anuncios en facebook, la gran mayoría en los dos meses finales de campaña y logró acumular [...]

  5. Obama, amigo de Facebook « desnoticias says:

    [...] por mnk en 22 Enero, 2009 Según dice el propio Facebook, Obama se gastó medio millón de dólares en anuncios en esta red social. Y no fue mala inversión… El nuevo presidente tiene unos dos millones y medio de amigos [...]

  6. Obama y las redes sociales en el inicio de su campaña electoral – Periodismo Ciudadano says:

    [...] afinidad que Obama mostró inicialmente con Facebook, (no olvidemos que Obama se gastó medio millón de dólares en anuncios en Facebook en sus comienzos), parece trasladarse ahora hasta otras redes sociales como [...]

  7. Data points for the marketing and PR industry | Sword and the Script says:

    [...] Political breakthrough. The marketing spend for political campaigns in 2008 broke a record with a total of $4.5 billion. By my math, which I hope isn’t fuzzy, it seems President Obama single-handedly accounted for 1 percent of that total on Facebook advertisements alone spending a noteworthy $500k. [...]

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