A Guide to Using Facebook’s Reports Tool
Published: October 24, 2012
Author: Dan Wilkerson
Facebook does a great job of making ads and ad units easy to understand and purchase for small business owners. The Ads Manager takes what could be complicated processes to understand and simplifies them into a question-and-answer format. This, of course, also leads to oversimplification, which means a lot of powerful features and understanding lie outside the scope of typical small business owners. One of those features is advanced Ad Reports.
Advanced Ad Reports live in the Reports tab on the left-hand menu bar of the Ads Manager interface. You can get also run a campaign performance report from within the Ads Manager interface by clicking the ‘Report’ button when looking at your top-level campaign metrics. However, this report doesn’t allow any customization and only shows the campaign performance statistics.
To see more advanced reports, you have to start by clicking the Reports tab on the left-hand menu bar in the Ads Manager. That will take you to an interface where you can select the campaigns or ads you are interested in. This selection system can become as granular as you need – you can choose to see different campaigns side by side or individual ads from separate campaigns side by side. This is great for things like year-over-year comparisons of holiday campaigns.
Additionally, you can select multiple report types to get different insights into your ads. For example, the Demographics report is a great way to see what age groups and locations are giving you the highest CTR. You can take these numbers to inform your decision-making process when targeting your next set of ads, or test different combinations and see if the higher CTR you’re getting on Facebook is turning into higher revenue on your e-commerce site.
Another useful report is the Actions by Impression Time report, which shows you actions that users took after viewing or clicking on your ads related to your page, broken down by the amount of time it took them to perform those actions. This can be useful for measuring peripheral benefits to ads after you’ve completed your spend. It can also offer some insight into how many users converted for a Facebook action as an indirect result of your ad.
The other reports you can view here include Inline Interactions and News Feed. These reports show you detailed information about ad performance. The Inline Interactions report contains figures about impressions, click types, and video plays that occurred as a direct consequence of your ads. This report can be super-helpful for figuring out if your ads are accomplishing the goals you’ve set out for them, since Facebook’s top-level performance reporting tends to ball everything into more digestible lumps like ‘Clicks.’ The News Feed report offers similar data as it pertains to ads that show up in the News Feed, as well as offering some interesting ad-specific statistics like News Feed placement. Watch for these to become more important as News Feed ads mature and studies begin to draw increased efficiencies around higher-placed ads.
What other insights have you gained from these reports? Let us know in the comments!
– Dan Wilkerson