B2C Marketing Analytics for Beginners

Tracking Social Media Marketing Metrics in Facebook

As one of the largest social media networks in the world, Facebook makes up a significant portion of many organizations’ marketing strategy. This lesson will go into the primary metrics for organic and paid marketing on Facebook and will show you where to track them in the analytics tools provided by Facebook.

Organic Posts

Posts on Facebook are similar to posts you can do as an individual. You can put up a message, video, event or story and have it be accessible to your existing network. Whether it actually gets shown to your audience or not is dependent on Facebook’s algorithm. You can pay to “boost” your post to give you a leg up on this algorithm. But this is different from advertising on Facebook in that boosted posts still can only directly reach your existing network. All the metrics we’ll talk about in this organic posts section also apply to boosted posts.

Reach Metrics

In this course we’ve used the term “reach” to be an aggregate of all metrics that refer to audience size. However, in Facebook, the term “reach” is defined as “the number of people who had any posts from your Page enter their screen”. To differentiate between the two uses of the term, when speaking about the Facebook specific definition, we’ll use the term Facebook reach.

There are three primary metric that can be considered reach metrics in Facebook: likes, followers and Facebook reach.

Likes and followers refer to the size of your network that you’ve been building over time. These are people who have shown an interest in your brand and who are eligible to see your posts. Facebook reach refers to how many people actually saw your posts. This could be higher than the size of your network because your network can amplify your audience. When someone likes your post or comments on it, it is then shared with their network. Thus, as in all social networks, the larger your network, the larger the ripple effect.

You can easily track these metrics over time in Facebook Insights on the Followers, Likes and Facebook Reach reports. You can also monitor reach of each of your posts in the Posts, Events, Videos and Stories reports.

Facebook Organic Reach Metrics

Engagement Metrics

The primary engagement actions someone can take on your posts on Facebook are to react to it, comment on it and share it. These, in turn, increase the reach of your post since these actions cause the user’s own network to also be exposed to the post. You can find these metrics trended over time in the Facebook Reach report. Engagement by post is also described in the Posts, Events, Videos and Stories reports, according to the media type of the post.

Impact Metrics

As with all other organic platforms, Facebook does not provide information on the business impact of your post that takes place outside of Facebook. For instance, you won’t find metrics for traffic to your site, conversions and revenue on Facebook Insights. You need to use a website analytics tool, like Google Analytics, to measure these metrics.

Paid Advertising

Reach Metrics

As in organic Facebook, “reach” has a specific meaning in paid ads. It’s “the number of people who saw your ads at least once”. The principle metrics for reach in Facebook paid advertising are reach and frequency.

To see these metrics at the account level, in Ads Manager navigate to Account Overview and the click on the Facebook Reach tab.

Facebook Paid Reach Metrics

Facebook advertising is set up similarly to Adwords with three levels of ad aggregation: campaign, ad set (which is called “ad group” in Adwords) and ads. You can view reach metrics at any level through the appropriate tab by selecting Performance and Clicks from the Columns drop-down menu.

Facebook Paid Reach Campaign Metrics

Engagement Metrics

Some engagement options on paid ads are the same as those on organic posts: reactions, comments, shares and clicks. There are also specific engagement metrics depending on the type of ad – video, carousels, etc…

To view account level engagement metrics navigate to Account Overview and select Post Engagement from the tab drop-down.

Facebook Paid Engagement Metrics

To see these metrics at the campaign, ad set or ad level, navigate to the appropriate tab and select Engagement from the Columns drop-down. You can also select the appropriate engagement type for your media (video engagement, app engagement or carousel engagement).

Impact Metrics

As with most paid advertising platforms, Facebook Ads Manager provides some impact metrics if you have their tracking set up. More details on Facebook’s website tracking here.

If you have the tracking set up, you can see impact metrics like traffic, conversions, purchases and revenue. To view these metrics at the account level, in the Account Overview report, select the impact metric of interest (Website Leads, Website Purchases, etc…) from the drop down.

Depending on your set up, it can be a bit harder to find these metrics at the campaign, ad set and ad level. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the desired tab (Campaign, Ad Set or Ad)
  2. Scroll through the columns drop down. If you have Conversions as an option, select that and you’re done. Otherwise select Customize Report
  3. Scroll to the Conversions metrics in the pop up screen and select the impact metrics of interest
  4. Move the pointer to the right menu and scroll down until you see the “Apply” button and click on it

You can also view your impact metrics through your separate website analytics tool if you have correct campaign tracking in place. You would do this the same as with viewing your impact metrics of any other channel. Note that as we mentioned in a previous lesson, it’s very likely that the impact metrics you see on Facebook platform won’t match the metrics you see on a separate analytics tool.

Ad Targeting Metrics

As with most paid advertising, you’ve likely targeted specific types of users with your Facebook ads – limiting by demographics, interests, affinities, etc… Unfortunately there isn’t a straightforward way in Facebook to view the performance of your individual targeting parameters. If you want to evaluate each type of target, you’d have to separate each into its own ad.

The only exception is that you can look at the reach, amount spent and your optimization metric performance by age and gender. You can view these metrics at the campaign, ad set or ad level.

Conclusion

Facebook provides a lot of information to measure the success of your social marketing initiatives. You can use the Insights tool for organic and boosted posts and Ads Manager for your paid advertising.