3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Facebook Analytics

July 19, 2016

You hear it constantly when brand communicators discuss social media, particularly Facebook:  “It’s all pay-to-play. Don’t kid yourself.” We asked Melissa Wisehart, director, social and digital strategy, Moore Communications Group, to give us tips about how to get the most out of  analytics and creating paid ads.

PR News: We know you can speak for hours about Facebook analytics. And we’d listen. But for time’s sake, what are three things communicators should know about Facebook analytics?

Melissa Wisehart: Yes, I could talk about Facebook analytics for hours—and I have!  The three basic tips I recommend:

    1. Use the Facebook ad pixel (correctly!). The data leveraged here not only helps inform the advertiser on how its ads are performing once a user leaves Facebook and comes to the advertiser’s website, but it also passes data back to Facebook.  It then uses that data to see how well your ads are performing and utilizes pixel conversion fires to indicate whether or not the ad was successful for the user. That’s important, because better performing ads will yield a lower media cost and better performance within the exchange.
    2. Use the correct ad objective. Certain objective types unlock additional tracking capabilities, creative formats and calls to action. For example, a mobile app ad objective will allow a mobile app install without leaving the Facebook interface—skyrocketing conversion rate—through SDK integration.  Facebook Dynamic Ads allows you to dynamically change the content of the ad, and completely change the look and feel of the ad. It also aids in ease of reporting for the advertiser.
    3. Start with lots of different ad types, as in 50 or more different ads, depending on your budget. Facebook has fantastic multivariate testing built directly into the platform.  Start with lots of different ad variables, and Facebook will test all of your creative at once and, most important, automatically optimize toward the best-performing creative.
Moore Communications Group, director - social/digital strategy, Melissa Wisehart

Melissa Wisehart, director – social/digital strategy, Moore Communications Group

PR News: One of your topics during the Big 4 Social Media Summit will be setting the right goals in the beginning, and measuring them throughout a campaign. What insights do you have on avoiding setting goals that need to be pulled later?

Wisehart: I often find that metrics set on social media are communications goals and don’t necessarily tie to overall business objectives. That’s why 60% of marketers state that convincing leadership of the ROI of social media is their #1 challenge. Make sure your goals make sense for the channel and company as a whole, not just a social platform. For example, if you are looking to drive sales, increased “likes” or “engagement” on social media doesn’t complete the goal. It may very well help increase brand awareness, but you need to go a step further. Set the goal of increasing sales, and then build a plan that layers on several different tactics to help get you there.

PR News: We’re intrigued by the idea of building an ad from the ground up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What’s the basic idea behind this?

Wisehart: There is incredible sophistication available through the native ads interface in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  With all of the tracking capabilities, first- and third-party data integrations, data types, etc., it’s pretty easy to become overwhelmed with all of the options and to know which advertising objective and settings are right for your campaigns. At the session we’ll walk through each of the ad objectives, buying types and targeting capabilities. This will give attendees hands-on experience and will allow each to walk away and launch their next social ad campaign like a pro.

PR News: A lot of us talk about tailoring content for each platform and optimizing it. What are three tips to make what sounds like a lot of work a bit easier?

Wisehart: 1. Leverage the same content asset but tweak it for each platform. For example, you could talk about the same amazing blog post on three platforms, where the blog content is the heaviest lift. But just tweak the message on each social network—like short and sweet on Twitter with lots of hashtags, a similar message with awesome image on Instagram and a Link Page Post on Facebook.

2. Build out a content asset library, and help that fulfill your content calendar by continuing to go back to the well of your best performing content.

3. Maximize your content assets on the right platforms. Some people think that one tweet or one Facebook post is enough for a white paper, a blog post, etc.  But you can get so much more mileage out of your content. For example, one blog post could be promoted on Twitter three times in the first day after it’s published, 10 times the first week, 60 times the first month, etc. I recommend that you space it out a little further on Facebook, however.  For example, post the same blog post just once every month or so, depending on your audience.

Follow Melissa Wisehart: @m_wisehart

Follow Seth Arenstein: @skarenstein

By: Seth Arenstein, PR News

At The Social Shake-Up