Facebook Ad Metrics Are Changing – What You Need to Know
Facebook developers work hard to ensure the platform operates effectively for marketers. This results in constant updates to the platform. Regular social media users only see these updates once or twice a year. Social media managers and brand managers, however, must juggle these updates nearly every month. From changing algorithms, updates to targeting, analytics updates or new offerings, Facebook is rarely the same from month to month. We know it’s hard to keep up with, so we’ve detailed the most recent update below:
1. Some metrics are disappearing from your dashboard
Facebook has updated its platform several times over the past few years to provide managers with better metrics for measuring results. With the addition of each new metric, Facebook hasn’t removed any of the older metrics as it often takes brands a few weeks to see the benefits of the changes. With time, the old metrics are no longer relevant. For instance, button clicks. Button clicks are the number of times people clicked on the call-to-action button on any given ad. Over the past several updates other metrics such as link clicks, event responses and offers saved have replaced this metric. In other words, this metric for your ad is redundant. For a full list of the metrics Facebook is removing – and which ones will replace them, click here. If you suddenly see a major change in your social media analytics, it’s likely due to these changes. However, it is important to note these aren’t new metrics. Facebook is simply ridding its platform of useless data. If your analytics report is still using these old metrics, you may want to have a conversation with your social team to be sure they are utilizing the updates– so you and your team can learn with the platform updates rather than react to them.
2. Be prepared for a slight increase and/or decrease in metrics
Facebook also announced that with ads and boosted posts, they will now report on all impressions – not just those you paid for. This means you’ll likely see your impressions increase. This is a good thing – it means more people saw your ad than Facebook previously reported – and you didn’t have to pay for them to see it. However, these impressions likely didn’t result in engagement (we can’t really complain – we’re not paying for them). The increased impressions are appreciated, and the steady engagement is nothing to frown upon. However, if you calculate your engagement rate per impression, you’ll see that percentage decrease. It’s a simple math problem: Number of Engagements / Number of Impressions. When the top number holds steady and the bottom number decreases, your percentage also decreases. Be aware that a slight change in engagement rate does not necessarily mean your ads are performing worse. It could simply be a result of the increased impressions. However, you should talk with your social media team to learn if there’s a better way to measure your ads. As noted above, Facebook constantly updates the ad metrics you can see to analyze their performance. Depending on your goal, engagement rates and impressions may not be the best metrics.
Talk with your social media manager or drop us a note if you’re wondering what this means for your social advertising. Facebook and other platforms update their algorithms and analytics constantly, and we keep up with these updates and are happy to help you understand how to best use each platform to communicate with your audiences.