Metrics: “Math” for Marketing

(A necessary evil; unless you like math)

Metrics; a marketing student’s fear because it implies math. But alas, poor Yorick, it must be discussed! Metrics are integral to the advertising process. It’s all the data that tells you (and your boss/client!) that your ad campaign worked. Metrics means to measure and that’s all you’re doing, measuring the quality of your ad. Metrics that can be measured are reach, likes, follows, etc. Luckily, most social media platforms make metrics really easy to track. So, let’s jump into understanding metrics.

Note: All the references to where specific metric trackers/information is located on Facebook is reflective of how it is in January 2020. This may change in the future!

You can find Facebook’s ad metrics under the “Facebook Ad Dashboard” -> “Manage Your Ads” (Adams, 2019). You can look at metrics for your entire account, per campaign, per ad sets, and per a specific ad. These are good to know because; in example, if your campaign did poorly, you can see which ad was the weak link in the set.

Pro Tip: When looking at metrics on Facebook, make sure to look at the date range (upper right corner)! (Adams, 2019) 

Steph’s Tip: Instagram’s metrics can be found in two places. The first: in the upper right corner are three lines, click this and go to “Insights”. This will show you the metrics for your entire Instagram page. The second location is per post. Just click “View Insights” to see the insights for that specific post.

One benefit of Facebook’s ad metric system is that they’re specific. You can see active hours, locations, etc. for your ad (Adams, 2019). From this you can get insights like “no one cared about our ad from 2pm to 4pm” so next time you won’t advertise during that period. You can customize the data columns you see as well. This way, you’re only looking at things you care about (As my boss always says “work smart, not hard”).      

Facebook’s “Creative Reporting” section is very cool. It’s essentially a table of all your creatives (the picture part of the ad) and tells you how they did. This is good to know because you can learn from your audience this way. In example, if no one clicked on the ad without a call to action button, make sure to add one next time!

Pro Tip: Just play around with the Ads Manager for a while. I’ll be real with you; the Ad Manager may look crazy and hard to understand. Luckily Facebook; and most social media platforms, make everything intuitive for the user (you!). So just click around and get hands-on experience with it!

Reports are essentially Excel spreadsheets without having to hand-input the data. They take all your data  (metrics) and make it easier to use for business-purposes (ex. using filters to see only campaigns that are 200 impressions or more). Facebook has an in-app “Excel spreadsheets”-esc report creator you can use instead of Excel. This option’s great because Facebook has a share feature (send anyone the link) so you don’t need Dropbox or to upload a large email file to share this report. You can always throw the Facebook report into Excel though if you want to do Excel-specific commands.

Remember: An ad being shown is different than an ad being seen (Adams, 2019)! An ad being seen is reach and an ad being shown is impressions.

Pro Tip: Look at the reach vs impressions when considering your target audience! If your impressions are very high but your reach is low, your target audience may be too wide (Adams, 2019).

Common Question: “Which metric matters the most?”  

Answer: Whichever one fits your objectives most! If your objective was to get click-throughs to your site, it’s key to look at the click-through metric. The other ones are also important, but for a place to start, always look at the one that tells you about your goal.

Also, always look at your billing (“Amount Spent”). This is because companies care about money. To be effective, you need to find a correlation between your results and the amount of money you spent. If your goal was to get a high click-through rate and you got zero, but you spent $10,000 on it? Heads will roll. To find the exact amount you’ve been charged, go to your account billing. This data can also be exported easily if you need to send it somewhere (ex. the accounting dept.). Lastly, much like your regular bank statement, make sure you’re checking you’ve been charged properly!

The Takeaway

Metrics are key because they summarize the benefits of your ad campaign. This is especially good data to show your boss! It’s important you understand what it means though. ALWAYS make sure to look at the data and try to pull key insights like your TA’s active hours. Pay extra attention to the metrics that relate to your advertising goal. Lastly, always make sure you’re being billed properly!

Personally, I like the reminder to check billing after each campaign. I’m one of those people who would also forget to check if I don’t see it right away. Facebook’s current layout has it that payments/billing are on a separate page. This could result in Facebook (or any social media) overcharging you or have you paying billions for a campaign that’s ineffective. Remember, marketing campaigns are run for a reason and that reason’s usually to make sales! If your inputs (costs) end up higher than your outputs (sales), what’s the point? So overall, check your bank statements, but always consider what your costs are in relation to its effectiveness!

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Adams, M. (2019, October 2). Advertising on Facebook. Retrieved from Linkedin Learning:

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