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Overcome Facebook Metrics Snafu with Analytics Magic

If you are like me, you probably wish you were a wizard. Because if I was a wizard, I could compile a report with a simple accuracy conjuring spell, and my day would better for it. However, I did not get my letter to Hogwarts and so we have to rely on data sources and our own ingenuity.

This can be a bit of a disturbing thought lately considering the continued revelations of inaccuracy in Facebook’s metrics. The end of 2016 was littered with Facebook announcements of data inaccuracies.

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61% of digital marketers rely on Facebook for advertising. The network dominates the social advertising industry. With so many marketers concentrating their social spend in Facebook, do the latest snafus mean that marketers should further diversify their social spend?

In a word, no.

Infographic: Which Social Networks Do Advertisers Rely On? | Statista

All data hiccups aside, Facebook has nearly 2 BILLION users and has a network with an incredibly large reach and demographic set to work with. While the earliest of the data concerns was specific to the average time viewing videos, that doesn’t take away from the fact that video is the best media to use on the platform.

Q: “But, how do you plan to report and measure success if we can’t fully rely on Facebook’s data?”

A: There are deeper funnel metrics we can use to discover how campaigns are performing.

By utilizing campaign tracking codes, we can dive into metrics that show us how our content is performing throughout the conversion funnel on your website. eCommerce marketers are fully familiar with this kind of assessment, however, even in 2016, this concept is new to some business marketers.

For example,  I want to use Facebook to promote the launch of a new line of winter wear for runners, and I have a great video to use for an ad. That video will have a link embedded to take people to the new line, with the goal being a viewer would watch the video, click the link, view the site and make a purchase.

How do I measure the success of this campaign? For starters, we use Facebook’s metrics coupled with website analytics. To view these metrics, you must create a campaign URL.

(In case you need it, Google has a URL builder to help keep you from making mistakes. You can see this tool used in my example below)

My URL for this campaign looks like this:

URL Planner

I would then add this URL to the video and then start my campaign. If a user watches my video, then clicks my link, I can track what they do on my website, and how far down the conversion funnel they go. From there, I can track the visitor through the conversion path and see which campaigns and content pieces are driving preferred behaviors. If I have a high bounce rate on the campaign entry page, I may need to change my ad to set better expectations for the viewer or perhaps I need to adjust something on the entry page itself.


Working through the conversion funnel and reverse engineering the results isn’t magic per se, but getting a proper flow of leads and conversion from top of the funnel to the bottom is certainly one part science and one part, well….magic.


What About Mobile Metrics?

Awesomely enough, the process for mobile campaign tracking is very easy to follow. Google has provided us with detailed instructions for adding analytics to mobile sites, smartphone apps, and web apps allowing us the same level of detail as website campaign tracking.

Wondering how you can simply differentiate which campaigns came from mobile (which would imply users are using the app or the web app) vs. desktop? Google does this automagically in their audience reporting, or you can add “Device Category” as a secondary dimension in your campaign report.

If you don’t think you need to worry about mobile with Facebook, note the following stats:

Facebook holds the top 2 spots for mobile audience reach for smartphone apps in the U.S. with the main Facebook app and the Facebook Messenger app.

So, what’s to come of the Facebook metrics controversy? Change and clarity. Facebook has announced plans to form a Measurement Council to help review and report on updates to measurement. In addition, they will also be working with Nielsen to count views as part of Nielsen’s Digital Content Rating metric. They are also working with 3rd parties for further validation.

In the Meantime

Raidious has a killer team of wizards digital strategists and analysts that can help you make sense of your data, from Facebook or any other Muggle-ran network.


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