Facebook has become much more than a social network, at least for brands. It seems like emphasis is no longer put on building relationships, but rather building numbers through advertising.

The company has introduced several advertising options over the past year, and choosing which route to go — especially for smaller businesses — is often a challenge. In an effort to better understand how advertisers and marketers are running campaigns on Facebook, Upcast Social analyzed the use of open graph actions by three of its clients.

The study, which took place over a two-month period, had some interesting results. Most notably, that Page Like Sponsored Stories were much more effective at driving immediate action — usually Likes, with 95 percent of those happening within 24 hours of members clicking on the ads. Remember, Sponsored Stories highlight actions taken by fans on your Page.

Additionally, the study confirmed that Page Post Ads were “extremely” effective for driving engagement. These ads — which takes content you’ve added to your Page and turns it into an ad — are primarily used to promote Pages and drive engagement. While this in itself isn’t surprising, it does add credibility to the ad unit.

Here’s what Grant Muckle, Upcast Social’s Managing Director, had to say about the study: “Using Facebook action metrics, brands can measure which page posts are getting the most engagement and then amplify the stories created from this engagement using a variety of different page post and Sponsored Story ads.”

As we’ve stated before, we recommend experimenting with new ad formats, and that includes tracking their performance and metrics. This will help you to ensure that the time, money, and energy spent is well worth the return. Additionally, we remind you to not lose sight of what really matters here: the relationship between you and your customers. Be careful not to oversaturate your fans’ News Feeds and sidebars with advertising.

[Via: AllFacebook, Image credit: Adam Fagen]