How To Calculate The Cost Per Fan On Facebook Ad Campaigns

Want to figure out how much exactly you are spending per fan within Facebook’s advertising system? While the regular reports don’t help, Facebook has the number buried under their advanced reports area. This guide will show you how to figure out your exact cost per fan, if you are looking to boost your fan base on Facebook with your ad campaigns.

Step 1: Load Up The Facebook Ad Manager

The first step to calculating your cost per fan is to visit the Facebook ad manager and click on the reports link as pictured in the image on the right. If you haven’t been playing with the reports area yet, you probably haven’t been spending much time optimizing your Facebook ads. This area is one of the most important area for performance advertisers.

Step 2: Run The Conversions Reports

There are a number of reports that are valuable in terms of being able to calculate your cost per fan. The first important report is the “Advertising Performance” report. You can select this directly from the ad reports page. Select the report that you’d like to run. Ultimately it should look something like the settings in the image below.

By entering the settings as displayed above you will see how each ad performed and it will generate a report like the one pictured below. If you are looking to track the cost per fan, you should be paying attention to two important columns: “conversions” and “cost per conversion”, both of which are highlighted in the image below (click for larger image).

While the image above demonstrates some more expensive fans, various ads will yield different results. If you happen to be running ads that promote your Facebook Page or Facebook Application, you’ll want to run this report regularly to determine how your ads are performing and to discover those ads that are most effective. You’ll also want to kill any ads that aren’t performing well as they’ll eat up your daily budget quickly. At this point you’ve actually completed the calculation however there’s another report which yields some interesting details.

Tracking When Users Converted

There are two other reports which display more detail about your “conversions”, which are those users who clicked through or clicked on an ad and became a fan. The Conversion by Conversion Time report, “shows the number of conversions organized by the time of the conversion event categorized by the length of time between a user’s view or click on a Facebook Ad and the conversion”. In other words, you’ll be able to see how long after a person became a fan after being displayed an ad.

Conversion Type Report Screenshot

In the image below (which you can enlarge by clicking on it), you’ll notice a “SKU” column. For companies using Facebook’s conversion tracker for external sites, this is where you would place you internal SKU. However Facebook has three SKUs that they use for reporting the types of actions new fans take.

  1. like_page – This means the application or Page was liked organically on, not inline on the ad.
  2. like_page_inline – This means the application or Page was liked inline in the ad itself.
  3. like_page_connect – This means that the application or Page was liked from a source not on itself.

Ultimately these details aren’t all that important however it will let you get more details about how Facebook calculated a conversion. For example, one of the ads in the image above had all of the fans generated between 8 and 28 days after first seeing the ad. This means the ad was essentially ineffective at driving immediate conversions. It also could mean that the conversion came from other sources. For example, they could have ended up on and then become a fan. This would theoretically still be included in this as at some point they were exposed to one of our advertisements on Facebook.


Ultimately you should be playing close attention to these reports if you are looking to drive fans to your Facebook Page. Ignoring these reports will kill the effectiveness of any of your ad campaigns.

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