APR. 21, 2021
Pexels / Tobias Dziuba
Facebook is an incredibly powerful platform for brands and advertisers, allowing you to track all sorts of metrics – so many metrics, in fact, that it can get overwhelming. All of that data is useless if you don’t know what you need to pay attention to and how to decipher what you’re seeing.
In this article, we’re going to cover the most important Facebook metrics to watch, including those for video and ad content.
What Are Facebook KPIs?
Facebook’s KPIs – which stands for “key performance indicators” – measure the performance of the content you post, whether that’s an organic post or a Facebook Ad. Essentially, KPIs tell you how well your content is performing, and they can also clue you into where you need to make improvements. Furthermore, every time a user sees or interacts with the content you post, Facebook gathers data about it, which can help you narrow down your target audience.
FYI, KPIs and metrics are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually have specific differences. For our purposes, we’re referring to KPIs and metrics by the definition outlined above. If you want to explore more about each term, check out this article.
The Most Important Facebook Metrics for 2021
The most important Facebook Ad metrics to track depend on your specific business and goals. However, we’re going to cover the main ones we think you should consider.
- Engagement: The number of times users take action on something you post, like leaving a comment or sharing the post. (Engagement is important because it means that people like what you post. Also, Facebook favors popular posts, so the more engagement yours gets, the more Facebook will show it.)
- Page Likes: The number of people who “like” your page and want to see your content in their feed. (While thought of as a vanity metric by some, you should see your page likes growing with time – this is an indication that your audience is growing, too.)
- Reach: How many people see your Facebook content, whether that’s organic or paid.
- Referral Traffic: How many visitors your website gets from Facebook. For example, if a user clicks a link in your profile or post, that data is included in the referral traffic metric.
Most of this data can be found in your Facebook insights, and there are also third-party tools that you can use to track and analyze this information. For example, you’ll need something like Google Analytics to measure referral traffic.
Video Metrics to Pay Attention To
If videos are part of your Facebook marketing strategy, you’ll want to keep a close eye on these two metrics:
- Video Engagement: This engagement metric is similar to the one defined above, but on top of actions like comments, likes and shares, you’ll also see how many times your video was clicked to play (not auto-played).
- Video Retention: How much of your video users are watching. If you’re spending time creating a 5-minute video but users are only staying tuned in for 45 seconds, you either have to cut the length down or create a more compelling video.
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Facebook Ad Metrics to Pay Attention To
Facebook Ad metrics are in a category of their own, and there’s a lot of data to work with here. To start, give these metrics more than a passing glance:
- Ad Frequency: How many times people see one of your ads. This one is tricky – you want people to see your ads more than once for them to be as effective as possible, but too much exposure can lead to ad fatigue. A good rule of thumb is that users should see your ad up to two times per week, but not more frequently. This is also a good case for A/B testing because users will be exposed to the same information without seeing the exact same ad over and over.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of people who view your ad and then click (through) to your landing page. If the CTR is too low (like under .9%, the industry average), it means that people don’t feel compelled to take action when they view your ad.
- Cost per Action (CPA): With CPA, you can find out how much you pay per action, like when a user downloads your app or subscribes to your email list. WordStream reports that the average CPA is $18.68, so your data should be around that number.
- Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM) / Cost per Click (CPC): With CPM, you’re charged per thousand impressions; with CPC, you’re charged whenever someone clicks an ad. CPC is the more common option of the two, and according to WordStream, the average is $1.72 – so if you’re paying much more than that, your ad isn’t optimized enough.
“Cost per…” metrics refer to how you’re charged for Facebook Ads, and they can be more important than how much you spend on ads overall because they tell you how efficiently you’re spending.
P.S. We have a bunch of articles about Facebook Ads and metrics, like this one about Facebook Ad retargeting for e-commerce and this one that covers the difference between reach and impressions more thoroughly.
Before you plan out the next phase of your digital strategy, consider the data you collected from Facebook metrics. Also, limit how many metrics you focus on at one time. Pick two or three that matter the most to you and dig deep into them. When you feel you’ve optimized your content as much as possible, move on to another. Data is going to be continually collected, so you can always tap into other metrics sometime in the future.