Whether you’ve launched your first or fiftieth Facebook Ad campaign, the do-or-die metrics that define your success remain the same.
Let’s start with the facts. Facebook is an insanely targeted form of advertising. If you really know your customers, you can use Facebook to engage them and compel them to action.
It’s also one of the cheapest forms of advertising out there. You can literally spend just $5 and reach a targeted audience of 1,000.
But as with other digital marketing tactics, the ONLY way to ensure you are getting the true benefits of Facebook is to measure the right metrics.
No matter how amazing your campaign seems to be performing right now, you need to monitor these essential metrics and KPIs to inform your future strategy and get the best return on investment.
Dive in and discover the Facebook KPIs to steer your Facebook advertising campaigns, and how to decode some of those stats to produce better results every time.
The First Rule of Facebook Ad Metrics
Don’t get fixated on the vanity metrics. Sure they’re essential numbers to consider in any social media marketing strategy.
However, they only truly matter in the context of your overall objectives, so don’t let them drive your campaign direction.
When we talk about vanity metrics, we’re talking about Likes and Reach.
First, let’s talk about LIKES.
Okay, you might have thousands of people like your campaign. But that doesn’t mean they are converting.
And if the goal of your campaign is to acquire customers, then likes mean nothing and your campaign has tanked.
But as a side note, having some likes on your posts can add simple social proof that builds on the credibility you already have.
The other vanity metric is REACH.
Again, reach doesn’t really mean anything. Your campaign can reach thousands of people, but if they’re not converting, what’s the point?
If you’re generating millions in video views, but no one converts, what’s the point?
For example, Buffer ran ads at $5 and achieved a reach of over 7,000. BUT their click-through rate was only 0.95%.
We’re not saying you should disregard reach completely. If you aren’t reaching enough people, maybe your ad isn’t even being delivered. So, low reach could be a signal of other issues.
There is one way reach can be helpful. Let’s say you’re trying to A/B test different Facebook ads. You need to have enough reach and produce enough results for it to be a conclusive experiment.
So, what metrics should you pay attention to?
Let’s dive in….
Facebook Ad Metrics You Need To Drive Campaign Success
1. Return on ad spend (ROAS)
Without a doubt, ROAS is the most important metric to measure with Facebook campaigns.
ROAS is pretty much the online advertising equivalent of return on investment (ROI).
It’s the one metric that measures your Facebook advertising success and tells you whether your digital marketing dollars are delivering positive revenue results, or if you’re just sinking budget.
Here’s how to calculate ROAS:
Take the total revenue generated from your Facebook ads (your return) and divide it by your total ad spend.
Let’s say you spent $5,000 dollars in a month on Facebook ads and they generated $20,000 in new sales. That’s a 4X ROAS.
Before you can measure ROAS, you need to set up a Facebook tracking pixel on your site. This will track conversions linked to your ads, so you can see exactly how your ads are performing and the impact of your Facebook advertising on your sales and revenue.
For example, if you’re an eCommerce site owner using Facebook ads to increase product sales, you need the eCommerce event actions set up: add to cart, initiate checkout, and purchase.
So, when someone clicks on your Facebook ad and adds a product to their cart, that triggers the Facebook Pixel to report the action that has taken place.
As another example, if you’re a service-based business, you could track conversions according to how many people visit the “thank you page”, after completing an enquiry form.
Read our Facebook Pixel guide for detailed steps on how to set it up.
2. Number of sales and cost per sale
This is also known as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).
If you’re trying to sell products, you simply need to measure the total number of sales you make. Then, you can divide this by the amount you’ve spent on Facebook ads to find out the cost per sale.
The cost per sale metric tells you how much you’re paying for each sale. Let’s say you’ve spent $5,000 on Facebook ads and had 100 people click on the ad and buy something, your cost per conversion would be $50.
What’s acceptable for a cost per sale?
You might run an eCommerce site that sells products for $200, so a cost per sale of $50 is a good result.
But if your products only cost $10, a cost per sale of $50 means you need to optimize your Facebook ad campaigns to lower the cost.
How can you lower your cost per sale? Use A/B testing to experiment with ad copy, messaging and headlines. See which combinations deliver the lowest cost-per-sale.
Also, make sure your ads have a high relevancy score.
3. Number of leads and cost per lead
It’s not all about the sales. If you have a service business or your product is a high-value purchase, the goal of your Facebook ad campaigns is to drive leads in the first instance.
So, you need to measure the number of leads and cost per lead in order to measure the success of your lead generation efforts.
4. Number of ad clicks and pageviews
We’ve put these metrics together for a reason – you need to look at them both to get a good idea of how your campaign is performing.
The number of clicks tells you the number of times someone has clicked on your Facebook ad. The more clicks you get, the more likely it is that people are interested in your offer. They want to find out more.
Here’s the thing – they don’t have to click through to your website.
An ad click means any action someone takes within your ad. Even if they just expand the ad to read more.
What do you do with this metric?
First, compare your ad clicks to your conversion rate. If your clicks are high, but you’re not converting visitors, work on optimizing your landing page.
Then look at the cost of your ad clicks for different ads. Are some ads generating a lower cost per click than others? Use these insights to optimize your ad campaigns.
5. Overall cost per result of each campaign
The Cost per Result metric is the average cost of your ad based on the result you want.
You could define the result as a sale, download, lead generation, or another specific business goal.
Here’s how you calculate the metric:
Cost Per Result = Total Amount Spent / Total Number Of Results
In the example below, the Cost per Result is £0.39.
Image credit: Moz
Compare your Cost per Result on a campaign by campaign basis, so you can see which campaigns are performing best.
If you see that the Cost per Result suddenly soars, you can quickly do something about it.
Are you spending a considerable budget on Facebook ads? We’re talking about thousands per month. If so, this metric is for you.
Frequency is the average number of times each person saw your ad, on average.
So, a frequency of 3 means that, on average, each individual who has seen your Facebook ad has seen it three times.
Why does it matter?
The more times someone sees your ad, the better awareness and recall they have. Then, the more likely they are to click on your Facebook ad or take another action, like click on your search ad or display ad.
For a branding campaign, you want to aim for a high frequency to drive recall.
But there’s another side to frequency you need to be aware of.
For a lead generation or eCommerce campaign, a lower frequency is actually better.
Research by Adspresso found that a frequency of 9 increases cost per click by up to 160%.
In other words, if someone has seen your ad nine times, they would have clicked already or really have no desire to click.
Image credit: Adespresso
So, it’s time to change up your creative to prevent ad fatigue. You might also optimize your targeting to exclude people who have already seen your ad and are getting annoyed.
You can actually use Facebook ad automation to manage your campaign when your frequency starts to rise.
7. Cost Per Click (CPC) and Click Through Rate (CTR)
You’re probably already familiar with these two metrics.
Cost per Click tells you how much you pay when someone clicks on your Facebook ad.
Cost Per Click = Advertising Cost / Total Number Of Clicks
CTR measures the percentage of times people saw your ad and click on it.
Click Through Rate = Total Number Of Clicks/ Total Number of Impressions (how many times people saw your ad) x 100.
With Facebook, there are two types of CTR. Go to Facebook Ads Manager and you’ll see two CTR columns:
CTR (All): Measures all clicks within the ad.
CTR (Links): Measures only clicks on links within the ad.
You’re aiming for a high CTR.
If people are seeing your ad but not clicking, it means they’re not interested in what you have to offer. So, either your targeting is wrong, your message is wrong or your call to action isn’t driving people to click.
But don’t assume that a high CTR means your ad campaign is perfect. People might be clicking through on your ad but not converting – so you need to consider CTR alongside your number of leads and sales.
You should be looking at both CPC and CTR metrics together, as they provide a general indicator of your campaigns’ appeal.
8. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate tells you what percentage of people who click on your ad go on to make a purchase or become a lead.
The conversion rate is one of the top metrics you need to track. After all, the whole point of your ads is to convert as many people as possible – whatever that conversion might be to your business.
Before you can measure conversions (and convert anyone), you need to set your conversion event.
Create separate ads for each goal, and work out where they fit into the Facebook marketing funnel. Then, focus on tailoring ads to each stage of the funnel so it nurtures and converts.
Conversions could be sales, like for this ad:
Or downloads, like for this ad:
Only by measuring your conversion rate can you work on increasing it.
That might mean tailoring your offer to provide giveaways or free trials, or optimising your landing page for conversions.
Remember, to always A/B test your ads to see what settings and creatives get the best conversion rates.
Over to You
Want to get the best return on your Facebook ad investment? You must measure these do-or-die metrics. But more importantly, you need to take the analytics and turn them into insights to optimize your campaigns.
The first step for every ad campaign is to figure out what you want your ads to accomplish, then use your metrics to provide the answers.
See every ad campaign as an opportunity to learn more about your audience, what works and what doesn’t.
This approach isn’t just for Facebook ads – it applies to every part of your digital marketing strategy.
Measuring and analysing the right key performance metrics helps you craft a killer Digital Marketing Game Plan every time.
Find out how by downloading your free Digital Marketing Game Plan now.