A global survey undertaken by an independent digital marketing agency, Greenlight, reveals 30 percent of people 'strongly distrust' Facebook with their personal data, whilst 44 percent say they would ‘never’ click on Facebook sponsored ads, all of which indicate Facebook's advertising programme has an upward struggle. Greenlight’s global “Search & Social Survey (2011-2012)” asked 500 people – from students, law enforcement professionals, medical staff, accountants, lawyers to the unemployed, how they engage with online advertising, search engines, and social networks, in order to gain insight into how consumers engage with marketers today, and to formulate views on what the future might hold. 

As expected, 50 percent of respondents to Greenlight’s survey said they use Facebook for social engagement, sharing photos, and catching up with friends and family. Facebook ranked as the third most popular website (after Google and YouTube) when asked 'How regularly do you use the following websites/services?'. It ranked second when asked 'Which of the following do you use on your mobile phone?', with roughly 30 percent of those surveyed saying they use Facebook on their mobiles and tablets.

Zuckerberg promises mobile monetization

Is he happy with the clicks?

When asked 'Do you click on advertisements or sponsored listings in Facebook', just 3 percent of respondents answered with regularly and 10 percent often. 44 percent answered never. Of course, that last percentage of people is worrisome for advertisers as well as Facebook. Hannah Kimuyu, Director of paid media at Greenlight says, “Although 44% say they would 'never' click on advertisements or sponsored listings in Facebook, it is interesting to see that those who do find the targeting effective and engaging.

Facebook has spent the last 12 months developing its advertising programme, slowly moving from offering just branded advertising (Fan Acquisitions) to becoming a serious direct acquisition channel. What seems to be the most popular and effective ad format is the Sponsored Story. The format delivers on average, a 32 percent decrease in cost per acquisitions (sales) and an increase in CTR (engagement). As reported almost a week ago, Facebook is testing a new feature called 'Highlighted Posts'. The feature, in essence, opens up a new revenue stream for Facebook as brands can pay the social network to amplify their status updates and posts. Brands are most likely to take advantage of this feature, as well as people selling their stuff and bands promoting their gigs. 

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