Facebook Rolling Out Major Update to Ad Analytics With Audience Funnels and Conversion Data

Some Facebook users are now seeing several changes to Facebook’s advertising analytics tool in what appears to be the start of the roll-out of a major update. The changes to the Ad Manager include the addition of data on ad reach and average frequency (number of times a user has seen the same ad); a funnel showing targets, reached, and social reach; and a line graph of clicks and social actions generated by an ad.

Facebook appears to be refocusing the tool on new, social key performance indicators such as post-impression conversions in the form of Page Likes and app installs, and moving away from older online advertising metrics such as CPM, which isn’t even readily shown in the updated tool.

Those to whom the update has been rolled out are offered a tour of the new features and the option to download the “Guide to the New Facebook Ads Manager” when they first visit their ads manager. It explains the new data columns in the campaigns view including:

  • Reach – the number of unique individuals who viewed an ad
  • Frequency – the average number of times a single person viewed an ad
  • Social Reach – the absolute number of people who saw the ad with social context (names or pictures of friends who connected with the ad’s destination)
  • Connections – social actions taken by users within 24 hours of seeing an ad, including Page Likes, application installs, and Event RSVPs

A new “Audience” funnel shows how many users were within the ad’s targeting parameters, how many saw the ad, and how many saw it with social context within the last 28 days. This, as well as the frequency data, helps advertisers determine if an ad has exhausted its targets and either needs its creative rotated or its targeting switched to prevent the same ad from being shown too many times to the same user.

A “Response” line graph displays the clicks and connections produced by the ad campaign in the last 28 days. This can help advertisers determine if they’re paying for clicks from the right users. A large gap between clicks and connections shows the campaign isn’t performing well, even if clicks or click through rates are high.

In-line ad management allows advertisers to see an ad’s creative, targeting, and individual performance from the campaign view. Some data fields that appear to have been removed from the tool include cost per thousand impressions (CPM), and daily CTR. Facebook has also removed the “actions” and “action rate” columns which measured actions taken from directly within an ad, and replaced them with “Connections” which measure post-impression converison.

The update answer several requests from advertisers, including the ability to see ad frequency and conversions. Highlighting social actions triggered by ads will show the strength of Facebook’s social ad units including Sponsored Stories. By moving away from data common in search and display advertising tools, Facebook is improving the social advertising analytics experience while driving home that fact that this is a radically different advertising platform than what’s available anywhere else on the internet.

To learn Facebook advertising strategies, including how to use Facebook’s new Sponsored Stories social ad unit that the new Ads Manager was designed to track, visit the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s comprehensive guide to marketing and advertising through Facebook.

[Thanks to Dan Birdwhistell for the tip and screenshots]