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Understanding Facebook Analytics

Social media is continuing to grow as one of the most powerful platforms for marketing, and any digital marketer who wants to be a success needs to be on top of the changing trends and emerging tools available in social media.

However, even among all the social media platforms there is one that reigns supreme: Facebook. With over 2 billion users, Facebook is the perfect medium for reaching a large audience with engaging content and ads.

As easy as it is to use Facebook for marketing thanks to the many analytical tools available, in order to get the most out of Facebook, you have to understand the back end of Facebook and their analytics. In this blog, I’ll go over all of the terms you need to know, how to read them, and how to use them to your benefit.

Facebook Analytics Tutorial

1. What Are They?

There are a few key terms that you should be aware of when you’re looking through your analytics. These terms and numbers will let you know how your posts and ads are performing, to help you determine whether your posts are working or not. Here are the most important metrics you should pay attention to in Facebook Analytics:
  • CTR: This is the Click-Through Rate. It is the percentage of times people saw your ad and performed a click (all).
  • CTRL: This is the Click-Through Rate (Link). It is the percentage of times people saw your ad and performed a link click.
  • CPC: This is the Cost per Click. It is the average cost of each link click. The metric is calculated as the total amount spent divided by clicks (all).
  • CPM: This is the Cost per 1,000. It is the average cost for 1,000 impressions.
  • Impressions: The number of times your ads were on screen.
  • Reach: The number of people who saw your ads at least once. Reach is different from impressions, which may include multiple views of your ads by the same people.
  • Frequency: The average number of times each person saw your ad.
  • ROAS: This is the Return on Ad Spend. The metric is calculated as website purchases conversion value divided by total amount spent on ads. This DOES NOT include cost of operations, fixed costs, software expenses, etc.
  • Conversions: Conversions are customer-completed actions, like purchases or adding to a cart on a website.
  • Leads: This is the number of lead events as tracked by the conversion tracking pixel on your website, attributed to your ads.
  • Registration: This metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by website registrations (conversion tracking pixel).

2. How to Read Them

Reading your Facebook Analytics starts with creating an ad campaign through your Facebook Ads Manager tool, and this is where you will need to return after your ad has gone live in order to view your data. Each of the metrics is given in numerical form, and it is a good practice to have certain goals for each metric depending on the type of campaign you are running.

The Ads Manager tool displays the metrics in an easy to read chart, where you will easily be able to compare data between campaigns as well.

3. What Results Do You Want

Though there are some categories that we refer to as ‘vanity metrics’—ones that simply show good numbers but won’t necessarily help your campaign in the long-run, these key areas are more than simple numbers. They are measurements of how successful your campaign is, and whether it is engaging your audience in the way you want it to.

Though some numbers will be more important than others depending on the campaign you are running—for example, if you’re running a simple brand awareness campaign, then impressions will be much more important than in other kinds of campaigns—there is a bit of a baseline for determining whether your campaign was a success.

These are the typical results that you want to see with your analytical data:

  • CTRL: Above 1%
  • CPC: Depends on the industry and competition locally/nationally. Research the competition and learn what their CPC is.
  • CPM: Also depends on the industry and amount of competition
  • ROAS: You want to be above 1%. Anything below means you’re losing money on your ads.


4. When to Scale Your Ads?

Once your ad has gone live and the data has started to roll in, your job isn’t done yet. There is a delicate line to walk when it comes to scaling your ad budget, and that includes knowing when to turn your ads off.

Ideally, you want to scale your budget for when the campaign becomes profitable. You will be able to gauge profitability from a combination of a positive ROAS and a positive ROI. It’s always ideal to start your campaign small, check out the results, and then scale out the successful ones so that you aren’t spending money on unsuccessful ads.

After the first 3 days you’ll want to assess your ads and determine if it is worth scaling it. To scale your ad, you’ll want to optimize your targeting and/or ad sets and begin to focus more on the audiences that were more engaged, i.e. those that had more conversions.

5. Ad Run Time

However, knowing how long you should run your ads before turning them off is a bit trickier than simply checking out the ROAS and ROI. You don’t want to turn off a campaign before you have enough information about it to determine its success.

I recommend running your ads for AT LEAST 3 days. This is generally enough time for you to collect data on the ads that will help you going forward. If you don’t have any conversions coming from your ads within the first three days, then they should be considered a loser. Don’t get too hard on yourself about it though, because even a loser can give you good information on what to do differently going forward.

If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook Analytics, then head over to Facebook’s Glossary of Ad Terms and explore other aspects of Facebook’s Advertiser Help Center, which features guides and how-tos about their various tools, and keep your eye on new advertising features that will help your campaigns soar.

Cereal Entrepreneur offers an online Facebook Marketing/Ads Course that will go even more in depth into everything you need to know about running campaigns on Facebook. You can also check out our blog for weekly content to help you achieve success as a digital marketer or business owner, and follow us on YouTubeFacebook, and Instagram.

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