The Good, the Bad or the Indifferent?

Zuckerberg at FMC 2012

Right now it is nigh on impossible to give a fair reflection of your Facebook Advertising efforts to your clients. On the one hand, some are expecting Facebook to deliver ROI dollars in a comparable way to Google PPC, and on the other some are perceiving the value in focusing on acquiring new Likes or App installs.  And some people are spending money without really analysing anything other than the reach and impression volume or sometimes the interaction on the Page. This dilemma has come about partially because Facebook has given us a wealth of riches in terms of ad formats, reporting metrics and ways to link advertising and brand experiences via the social graph. Indeed, after yesterday’s Facebook Marketing Conference (FMC) the proliferation of data and tools us marketers have at our disposal has increased yet again.

The Onslaught of Facebook Data

With all these options comes an inherent amount of complexity. Some marketers and clients won’t be comfortable analysing and truly understanding all this data, and will blindly decide to measure only one KPI — such as Cost per Acquisition, Cost per Fan, Cost per Click etc etc.

Facebook Ad Formats – Credit: Nielsen

These marketers risk being left behind because they’ll be unable to get their clients to commit the right budget to Facebook Advertising, and therefore unable to get the full benefit of the channel.

Managing & Measuring Facebook KPIs

To get better manage all this data, I advise that you use a type of Balanced Score Card to report to your clients a mixture of traditional hard financial KPIs (CPA and ROI) and these new social metrics: Likes, Wants, Buys, Watches, Listens, etc., people talking about your brand, viral activity, and the more intangible KPIs based on the value of impressions, brand uplift and purchase intent.

Facebook KPI Scorecard

With the increased focus emerging from FMC about using stories to tell a brand story, and crafting them in such a way as to have the brand’s friends and fans pick up the baton and in turn spread your story further, the viral nature of Facebook is going to be increasingly important in both activity and measurement. Not to mention the growing understanding that Facebook (just like traditional online display) provides a definitive post impression benefit. Comscore has been doing some great work in this area, looking at how paid social media advertising can generate earned social media content. Similarly, Nielsen’s BrandLift partnership with Facebook is doing an invaluable service of showing to brands the possibly less obvious benefits of Facebook advertising, taking it beyond direct response and into longer term metrics such as awareness and purchase intent. The client campaigns that we (at Rocketer) conduct and have analysed by Nielsen certainly benefit from the added layers of richness about the ultimate impact of the work we do. Regardless of the size of your budget, structuring your results expectations (and those of your clients) in this manner from the outset will get your head into the right place to understand and deliver the true value of Facebook advertising. Why not take my score card concept and put a few of your recent campaigns through their paces? Did you achieve a healthy viral uplift that wasn’t reported or quantified for the client? Did the client request ‘Likes’ but instead receive a boost in People talking about their brand? And what about post campaign, post Facebook results? We (at Rocketer) are delivering strong PPC uplift for example where we’re tracking and attributing the success of Facebook advertising activity on later paid search results, often weeks after the initial campaign has ended, but we would never have been able to show this value to our clients unless we had identified and incorporated it as a metric before we commenced the campaign. Do let us know what you discover in this new world of measurement – and the other metrics you’re rolling in to your work.



Dan is the Director of Operations at Rocketer. Dan was Rocketer’s first employee and part of the team that developed its market leading advertising solution for Yahoo’s Search Submit Pro product. Dan was also part of the team that built into an award winning ecommerce platform. Dan’s mission in life is to marry a technical advertising solution with first class service. His favourite feature of the Acquisio platform is the client extranet that lets client login to view pre-set graphs and reports set by the agency updated in real time.

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