Benefits of the New Facebook Ad Reports

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The hot news right now is the update to Facebook’s ads reporting tool. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this was also on the minds of my readers.

The Featured Question

The featured question this week comes from Lenny Goh:

What do you feel are the advantages of the new FB ad reports over the old one?

Most marketers didn’t even know there was a Facebook ads reporting tool to update. I rarely touched it. It was clunky, difficult to use and didn’t provide particularly enlightening information.

The new tool, however? Pretty awesome.

Edit Columns

Facebook Ads Reporting Edit Columns

The biggest reason the new reports are so useful is the ability to edit columns.

Editing columns means you can choose from a long list of items to compare between ads and campaigns.

This sounds very simple. And really, it is. But the difference maker here is that the information you can compare is extremely useful.

View Actual Performance

Facebook Ad Reports Cost Per Action

In the recent past, you may have promoted a post that was optimized for engagement. As a result, Facebook would have shown you Cost Per Engagement.

But what if you wanted to compare other important performance metrics between such ads? You would have had to do it manually.

But now, Facebook gives you a long list of “Cost Per [Action]” metrics to compare. So even if your ad was optimized for Engagement, you can compare things like Cost Per Page Like, Cost Per Link Click, Cost Per Share and other things that resulted from that ad.

Compare by Demographic

Facebook Ad Reports Demographic

Now it gets fun!

Within a single ad, you can compare the performance based on the people it was shown to. Your ad may be more efficient among men or women; among 25-34 year-olds; or among people in the United Kingdom.

You can see these things within the new Facebook ad reports!

Compare Performance by Placement

Facebook Ad Reports Placement

Does your ad perform better on mobile or desktop News Feed? Are you throwing money away on the sidebar?

You won’t know this for sure without getting some hard results. By choosing Placement when editing columns, you can very easily determine what is leading to results!

Less Split Testing

Since you can get all of this information from one ad now, you no longer need to split test as much as you once did. No need to create ad variations based on placement. No need to create ad variations based on target gender, age or location.

Instead, create one ad and run the Facebook ad reports to determine what works best. Once you figure that out, stop the original ad and then run optimized ads based on your findings.

Of course, this doesn’t completely eliminate the need for split testing. You’ll still need to create ad variations based on copy and imagery, where applicable.

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  • D. da Silva

    Hey Jon, great article. Do you know why the these numbers are different? Is it because of privicy settings of some users? (image)

    • Jon Loomer

      I can only speculate, but my guess is that one is for the originally message and the other includes activity on the post from other shares.

      • D. da Silva

        hmm.. I just hope that it counts for the overall engagement/edgerank ;) Thanks and let us know on your vlogs if you find the answer. I’ll be watching


        • Erlend Haukland Ryvold

          Jon is right. It says so in the text in the upper right corner: “Actions on these shares are not shown in the post preview on the left.”

  • Guest

    Hey Jon, great article. Do you know why the these numbers are different? Is it because of privicy settings of some users? (image)

  • David Urmann

    Hi Jon, a question on this.. If you are letting Facebook optimize your campaign for conversions then does any benefit exist for excluding certain age groups / gender? It seems like Facebook would figure this out as part of the optimization process and not serve ads to those segments.

    • Jon Loomer

      Good question, David. Up to you. Depends on how much you trust Facebook, here. But if these reports tell you that one age group is 3X as expensive as another (and the sample size is reasonable), that’s probably evidence enough to adjust.

      All that said, I rarely find enough data to adjust based on age or gender. Placement is often where big differences are found, and Facebook won’t optimize automatically for that.