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Facebook Advertising Metrics

Earlier we discussed basic strategy and campaign setup for Facebook advertising and today we'll provide an overview of the types of data available to the Facebook advertiser.  Facebook has several unique metrics which we strongly encourage you to scrutinize just as thoroughly as more established ones like cost per click and click through rate.  Here’s a quick review of the new performance-related numbers you should be crunching. If you’re running ads that direct users to your Fan Page, they have the option to Like your page on the ad itself. This in-line Like is called an Action.  If the user sees or clicks through your ad and subsequently clicks Like on your Fan Page itself, that is called a Conversion.  Conversions are counted up to 28 days after seeing/clicking the ad.  Additionally, Conversions contain Actions, so Conversions represent the total amount of Likes generated by your ads. In our experience, we’ve found that Likes can come cheaper in certain verticals.  If growing your user base and building loyal Fans is your goal, you might want to hone in on Cost-Per-Like as the target metric for your Facebook Advertising campaigns. Once you’ve started accruing Likes, your ads can start appearing with what Facebook refers to as “social context.” Chances are you’ve noticed this before.  “Social context” is when a Facebook user sees an ad for a Fan Page that his or her friend has Liked.  When this ad is displayed with social context, a little blurb accompanies the Like button, saying “John Smith likes this.”
Example Ad Without Social Context

Example Ad Without Social Context

Example Ad with Social Context

Example Ad with Social Context

Any time your ad is shown with this blurb, Facebook calls it a Social Impression.  Any time that ad is clicked, that’s called a Social Click.  The Social Percentage shows you how often your ad is shown with social context.  Of course, dividing social clicks by social impressions yields Social CTR, which you’d assume would be higher than your standard CTR.  After all, your friends Like it – so should you! Here’s where it gets interesting.  Because you’ve used Facebook’s targeting options to narrow the scope of your ads in each campaign, you’re only going to be displaying ads to a small percentage of users on Facebook.  Since those Facebook users are on the site a lot (it’s the second-highest trafficked site on the web!), they will see your ad multiple times. That’s why Facebook includes metrics for Reach (formerly Unique Impressions), Unique Clicks, and Unique CTR. That’s also why Facebook recommends keeping your ad copy fresh and updating it regularly.  If you’re showing the same image and ad copy of Nike shoes to women on the East coast between 18-23 who are currently in college and list “cross country running” in their interests, they’re probably not going to keep clicking on your ad.  Varying your messaging and images will help you maximize CTR and prevent ads from going stale and taking up dead space on the page. In looking at sample data in aggregate from our clients, the above notion clearly holds true – while Reach comprises around 33% of total impressions, Unique Clicks comprise about 98% of total clicks.  All the more reason to make sure your landing page (whether on your Fan Page or your external web site) is an appealing one – you may only have one shot with that user! By adjusting your Connections targeting options and viewing Facebook’s Estimated Reach figures, you can get a read on the number of users who are “Fans” vs. users who are “Connected” to your brand.  If a user is Connected, he or she is either a Fan or has a friend who is a Fan.  By targeting ads to Connected users that are not fans, you can see how many users are just one degree removed from being a fan.  This is a potentially valuable segment of the Facebook audience and one that you may choose to target aggressively.  In upcoming posts, we’ll delve into the analysis of all of these metrics including how to value these existing and potential Fans, as well as more advanced Facebook advertising strategies.
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