Measuring Facebook Ad Performance (For Beginners)

Facebook Ad Performance Header

It can be a little overwhelming when you first start working on the Ads Manager platform. So, you’ve created your first campaign. But there’s SO many different metrics to look at. Which metrics should you be looking at for measuring Facebook ad performance? What changes should I be making to improve performance? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!?

Don’t stress! It’s difficult for EVERYONE to get their head around at first. Confidence in measuring performance comes with experience. But hopefully this post will help you get started!

Step 1: Set Your KPIs

First things first when it comes to measuring performance is to think about the marketing objective – which is set at the campaign level – and set KPIs (key performance indicators) that align to this. There are 3 areas that your objectives fall under in ads manager; awareness, consideration & conversion. I’ve outlined the KPIs you should generally focus on for each area below.

Awareness

  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • CPM (cost per thousand impressions)

Consideration

  • Link clicks
  • CPC (look at cost per link click rather than cost per click)
  • CTR (again, link click through rate)
  • Engagement rate (you can work this out by dividing post engagements by reach)

Conversion

  • Purchases
  • Revenue
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS i.e revenue divided by spend)
  • Conversion Rate (you can work this out by dividing clicks by purchases)

As paid social is so important for new customer acquisition, I would also recommend looking at the following:

  • New Customer Purchases
  • New Customer % (Total new customer purchases divided by total purchases)

Step 2: Create A Report

You’ve set your KPIs for each campaign now – so you need to ensure you are tracking performance for each one. Create a spreadsheet to measure performance and keep track of each KPI.

We recommend doing a weekly report every Monday to keep track of the past 7 days’ data and look at how performance has changed WoW (and MoM). Measuring performance on a weekly basis will help keep you close to performance before you get more granular and begin to make actions.

You also need to keep in mind that performance fluctuates from day-to-day within Facebook. So just because your campaign had ONE bad day doesn’t mean you should turn it off! This is why I find it useful to keep track of performance in weekly reports, to ensure your campaigns have gathered enough data before you can make any decisions.

Step 3: Getting More Granular

On a more granular level, you need to be tracking how ads and ad sets perform in Facebook Ads Manager. When you set up campaigns, you should always test different audiences and variations of creative, copy and headlines for your ads. I recommend having 3-5 ads in each ad set, and 1-3 ad sets in each campaign.

Once your campaign has enough data (at least 7 days), you will see which variations work best. Turn off those that are underperforming. Ensure you are looking at the KPIs that align to your campaign objective as I outlined above and use these KPIs to make decisions in the account!

For example, if you have 3 ads live in a conversion campaign with the following ROAS:

(1) 2.4

(2) 1.5

(3) 0.4

Which ad should you turn off? The answer should be ad (3). This is the ad with the lowest return, and turning this off will allow your budget to be optimised towards the others with a higher ROAS.

You might be thinking – should I be turning off ad (2) as well, so that all the budget will be spent on ad (1)? When making a decision like this, look at the number of purchases. If ad (2) has the highest number of purchases in the ad set, then I wouldn’t turn it off as this will likely hurt overall performance. It’s also bad practice to only have 1 ad running in an ad set alone.

(TIP: Customise your columns in Facebook to give you a cleaner view of KPIs when looking at performance of ads)

Step 4: Improving Performance

After turning off the worst performing ads, you need to think about next steps and how you can drive growth in your account. The top tip I would have here is to TEST!

You should continue to test new creative, copy and ad types. Test new audiences to scale your creative, different optimisations at ad set level to find what performs best, a new landing page to see if this improves conversion rate. There are so many different aspects you can test within Facebook! By testing you can find what works best for your performance, and utilise this to inform future campaigns and drive future growth.

Step 5: Have Confidence!

Finally – have confidence in yourself! Overtime, you will become more familiar with what the numbers mean and what works best in your account. No one expects you to become an expert overnight. Just keep going, believe in yourself and you’ll be a paid social whizz before you know it!

Kelly Birnie
Hey, I'm Kelly! I'm currently working as a Senior Paid Media Executive at a global e-commerce company, working in the health & wellness division. I have been working here since I graduated from Lancaster University in 2018, where I studied Business Economics and gained initial industry experience at a leading beauty company. I am obsessed with all things beauty and wellness, and although still quite early in my career, I am very excited to grow in this industry and share the knowledge I have!