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It’s now 2019 and the world of social marketing is full of possibility! New ads formats to test, new audiences to target, and along with all of this — new builds to upload.

While each digital marketer may have a preferred method for building, there tends to be a dark area around how to ensure efficient QA perfection on your fresh build before setting the ads live. If “poking around in the UI” and individually clicking into ads to check tracking are your current MO, let me introduce you to this fool-proof mechanism:

Pivot tables.

That’s right! Your ol’ partner in data-manipulation is capable of more than just analysis; it’s also got your back when it comes to sorting out naming conventions, tracking, and story IDs. Follow along with this simple guide to flawless launch prep and cut your current Facebook QA time in half.

Step 1 – Export Selected New Ads

Download applicable data for pivot table

Navigate to a display of your new ads in the UI and select, or filter for your new ads and select. With your ads selected, click the “Export” symbol near the top of the table and export “Selected” (as seen below).

Exporting selected ads from the Facebook UI.

Step 2 – Create Pivot Table

Open your Facebook Export sheet and create a pivot table

After downloading and opening your export sheet, just “select all” on the current raw data tab and navigate to create a new pivot table. I prefer to host pivot tables on separate tabs from my raw data – consider this a small “choose your own adventure” moment, though.

Creating a pivot table from the downloaded Facebook export.

Step 3 – Use Your Pivot Table to QA Different Variables

Layer Variables in the “Rows” section to QA for matching conventions

Once your pivot table has loaded, begin selecting various aspects of your ads or ad sets that should correlate. Quick checks I like to start with are Ad Set Name/Ad Name and Story ID/Ad Name. Note that the order in which you stack your variables can make a large difference in how the information is displayed in the pivot table. If your pivot table is displaying in single rows for a common factor, try switching the order of your variables in the “Rows” section to use the common factor first. See below for examples and more common QA checks.

Pivot table format for confirming that Story IDs are applied correctly to posts. A Story ID with only one ad name under its header could indicate a unique ad or an ad where the intended story ID was not applied.

 

Pivot table format for confirming that tracking URLs  are applied correctly to posts. This one takes a bit more attention to detail but it’s easier than running through the export sheet in its original format.

Here’s to a 2019 where account team members don’t lose sleep over QA accuracy.

*Toasts champagne to Excel and efficiency*