The Hidden Facebook Advertising ROI Metrics

By Pete Hall     |     March 15, 2011

*Note – this post is a follow up on my previous blog post, 5 Ways Facebook Could Improve Its Ad Platform.

My last post was about how Facebook could improve its advertising platform, so with this post I wanted to help you identify and understand a few “hidden” vital metrics in your Facebook advertising. Assume in this post that you are running ads that are encouraging Facebook users to Like your brand page.

While the new Campaign Dashboard is useful from a budget perspective, it doesn’t show any actual campaign performance metrics. From the dashboard, let’s go ahead and click the “Full Report” button, which is a quick way to see lifetime campaign performance metrics. You’re probably all too familiar with this button as it is the fastest way to see performance data. Check out what this Full Report pulls:

Ok, there’s everything you need, right? Spend, Clicks, CTR, Actions, Action rate, CPC … Let’s take a step back for a second and define what an Action is:

So Actions are Likes, assuming you aren’t advertising an event or an app. Hence its importance from an ROI perspective. But Actions don’t tell the entire story my friends.

This is Where it Gets Good

From this Full Report, click “Generate Another Report” at the top and create another Advertising Performance report using whatever segmenting you want. Notice what this report pulls that was absent from the previous Full Report:

What’s this I see? uCTR? Conversions? Unique impressions and clicks? Cost per Conversion? These additional metrics could be useful, no? The unique metrics give you the actual number of people who saw or clicked your ad, compared to the generic Clicks/Impressions metrics which don’t account for the same person seeing or clicking an ad multiple times. Unique does.  As for this fancy new Conversion metric, take a look:

And there you have it. Conversions are Actions, except they take into account someone who might click on your ad, come back (within 28 days) and then Like your page. Seems to me like this is important, especially considering that this is how conversions work for Google AdWords and most other pay-per-click platforms.

It’s up to you to determine whether Actions or Conversions are more accurate for coming up with a cost-per-fan number for your Facebook advertising campaign. For my money, I’d go with Conversions. After all, the ad they clicked on eventually caused them to come back at some point and Like your page, right?


About Pete Hall

Mixing old school search marketing with new school social media. Fan of beer, soccer and injuring myself. Forever rooting on the Hoosiers.

One Comment

  • Jon says:

    Does anyone know if Actions/Conversions are available on the new Sponsored Stories ad units from Facebook?

    I know that Facebook can be fickle about which ads track Actions/Conversions (for example, the ad has to use the Page’s name as the headline for tracking to work).

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