Get to Know Facebook Ads Reporting

Facebook is one of the most popular advertising platforms. Get to know a few of its reporting features here.

Data Standardization Worksheet

This worksheet begins with the standardization of your performance data. We’ll walk you through how to combine these mismatched data sets in a step-by-step process so that every metric is speaking the same, common language. With all of your data standardized, it’s easier to locate the strengths of each platform and hone in on ways to optimize campaign performance.

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Michael Jung, VP of Product Management and Technology, Precision Reach

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Facebook Ads Reporting

Are you running Facebook ads? If not, you should be. Facebook is one of the most popular venues today for advertising, and it’s no surprise. Facebook isn’t just fully saturated through many markets; it also provides more demographic information than virtually any other advertising venue.

On Facebook, you can target people who have sisters who have just had a birthday. You can target families who just had children in a certain zip code. You can target people who are interested in buying a home. And those are just a few examples.

Facebook lets you create ads, boost posts, and promote events. Throughout this, activity is managed through their online platform: Facebook Insights. Within Facebook Insights is the majority of Facebook activity reporting, such as the traffic you’ve acquired, the clicks, and the engagements. Meanwhile, the Facebook Ads Manager shows you everything about your paid ad campaign.

You’ll be able to see exactly how well each FB campaign is doing.

However, for some, this may not be the thorough analytics they desire. You might want to see how often a certain customer has clicked or engaged, or how many times a customer has clicked on your links and made a purchase through your website. These things may not be immediately visible through FB because FB only shows basic marketing information.

If you want more thorough analytics, you can download a Facebook ads reporting template. These usually come in the form of Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheets. There are no built-in ads reporting templates in Facebook Insights, though you can customize your reports based on the data that Facebook provides.

Facebook is a very powerful venue. But you may need to go a step further to get all the marketing data and insights you need.

Facebook Ads Manager

The Facebook Ads Manager is where you can create new ads and see how your existing campaigns are doing. You can perform Facebook ad reports for clients (sometimes multiple clients, if you’re an agency), and you can export the data to send to clients. The Facebook Ads Manager will tell you how much engagement each campaign received as well as how much money you spend.

The Facebook Ads Manager is robust enough that it should be able to tell you anything you need to know about your extant FB marketing campaigns. But in order to tell you anything about your off-platform ads, you need to insert the “Facebook Pixel.” The Facebook Pixel can be used to track activity on your website, so you can see what customers do once they click through from Facebook to your page.

However, the Facebook Ads Manager cannot (even with a “pixel”) tell you what customers do through other venues, such as other social media accounts, or email, or calling. Because of that, you will still likely need a dedicated customer relationship management (CRM) suite or advertising consolidation system.

The Facebook Ads Manager is uniquely well-suited to conducting A/B or split-testing, because you can easily run and compare different campaigns. It also has machine learning-influenced solutions such as “Smart Audience,” so it can determine the people who are most likely to respond to your campaigns — even without you doing a thing.

The Facebook Ads Manager is very good at doing what it does; advertise on Facebook. But it may be less accurate when tied into a completely cohesive system.

Facebook Reports

When looking at Facebook reports, what are some of the most common Facebook ads reporting metrics?

Facebook reports are a lot like other display ads. You would see the cost per click, whether people are clicking, and how many people are seeing your ad. But there are also some things unique to Facebook reports, such as event responses (such as a “maybe” or a “going”), event payments (Facebook can collect pre-payments), likes, follows, and more.

Facebook reports and social media reports can concern themselves with different types of engagement. On a website, you’re mostly interested in commitments. Facebook can focus on commitments. But it can also focus on click-throughs to your website, increasing your follower account, or even just getting someone to message you.

For that reason, when you create a Facebook ad, you generally tell Facebook what your rationale for using the ad is; what is it that you’re really looking for? From there, the Facebook reports are going to be tailored toward your primary drivers.

Because these metrics are unique across social media (such as “follows”), it can be difficult to consolidate that information with more traditional paid advertising. It’s necessary to have an intelligent advertising solution which can identify comparable information; otherwise, the information may simply look random.

Facebook Ads API

Most of the information through Facebook Ads can be accessed through the Facebook Ads API. The Facebook Ads reporting API makes it possible to pull all the information from Facebook reports, combine it with other information, and then use it in an analysis.

Most marketers today aren’t just advertising on Facebook. They’re advertising on a lot of venues at once. They don’t want to (or can’t; they don’t have the time) to look at multiple ads services at once.

By using the Facebook Ads API, all information can be drawn into a single, consolidated dashboard. This dashboard can, at a glance, tell the user exactly what information they need to know about their extant marketing campaigns. If there are any alerts (such as a campaign overspending or poorly performing), the marketer will see immediately without having to track the information down.

And the ads API can be used to consolidate and analyze information in such a way that it’s obvious what impact each individual campaign is having on the others.

But again, this does require advertising intelligence. Otherwise, there’s no easy apples-to-apples comparison that can be made for key metrics against other key metrics.

Facebook Reporting Tool

What other reporting tools are available for Facebook? Facebook Insights provides information regarding how your pages and your groups are doing. The Facebook Ads Manager is the leading Facebook Ads reporting tool. Most marketers are going to be using both freely, to get a better picture of how their performance is on Facebook, and a better picture of their ads overall.

Facebook’s reporting tool is very good at telling people what is happening on Facebook. Through Insights, you can see your top users (people who engage frequently), how they’re engaging, how many engagements you’re getting, how you’re performing over time, and so forth. This is a great way to gauge your inbound marketing on Facebook and how many people you’re engaging.

Meanwhile, the Facebook ads manager reports on your outbound marketing and how many people you’re connecting to via paid advertising. It may tie into your Insights, because an ad campaign can easily improve your traffic. Your Facebook reporting tools will tell you whether your Facebook campaigns are working. You can compare month over month or year over year to see your growth.

But you don’t have all the tools you need in Facebook, which is why the Facebook API exists as well. The Facebook API will give you information in an easily exported format, so you can directly sync other software solutions.

Facebook iOS 14

The Apple iOS release is going to change some things for Facebook Ads. In some ways, it will make Facebook more powerful. Facebook iOS 14 isn’t going to be able to rely on cookies. That’s going to make Google Paid Ads a little difficult. After the iOS 14 release date, many third party ad campaigns won’t work because cookies aren’t going to be innately supported by default.

Companies are not going to be able to track users as effectively after the Facebook iOS 14 update, which means Facebook ads aren’t going to be targeted as closely. But that also means social media is going to become more important. On platform ads are still going to be able to see that a user is, for instance, a female age 15 to 25. But websites may no longer be able to see that information because there will not be advertising cookies.

There will be complications in all areas of advertising soon. It won’t be limited to iOS either. Android devices are also limiting their support of third-party advertising. To get around this, companies are going to need to further diversify their advertising attempts and see what works best for them. The better diversified they are, the less likely they are to be impacted.

Facebook Performance Report

How is Facebook actually performing for advertisers? For 2021, at least, the Facebook performance report looks good. For many businesses, Facebook advertising metrics and benchmarks are some of their highest performing.

Facebook ad spending has been swiftly growing, reaching about $2.26 billion in 2020. That’s up from $281 million in 2015. Many businesses have seen how extraordinarily effective FB ads can be specifically because they can be so well-targeted.

At the same time, Facebook advertising ROI can vary significantly depending on the industry. It can range from 2% to 10%. It depends on how well-targeted demographics can be and how likely they are to engage or commit through Facebook.

If your company isn’t advertising on Facebook, it should probably try; it can be a startlingly effective platform. At the same time, you should keep an eye on your multi-channel approach and ensure that you’re taking all metrics and all platforms into consideration.