Facebook information for marketers

Social Media Marketing – 3 Facebook Changes Affecting Your Metrics

The social media space is constantly changing, and as marketing managers we need to adapt. A lot has changed with how Facebook tracks its metrics in 2015, so we’ve summarized the 3 most important points that would impact you as a Facebook Page admin. These changes directly affect your monthly reports, so it’s important that you have a crystal clear understanding of what your Facebook metrics are actually reporting.

Page Likes are more meaningful

I’m sure many social media managers received a shock in March when their Facebook Page likes took a hit. On March 5th, Facebook announced that they would start removing Page Likes from memorialized and voluntarily deactivated Facebook accounts. This means that your Facebook Page probably took a hit in total likes, ranging from a couple hundred to over a thousand.

On the surface, losing any amount of Facebook Likes may not seem like a good thing. But in reality, this change comes as a blessing in disguise. As we mentioned in our previous article, not all marketing metrics are equal. In our history of working with Facebook campaigns, we’ve found that engagement is the most powerful tool in building your brand. By clearing out your Facebook Likes of inactive accounts, your posts benefit from the following:

  • No inflated numbers; less dead weight, more accuracy. You’ll know exactly how many people actively follow your page.
  • Higher quality of reporting through more accurate engagement numbers. This affects your advertising campaigns.
  • greater conversion rate due to a decrease in low-engagers.

The impact of your Facebook Page likes will depend on your industry. For example, the entertainment industry ties Facebook Likes directly to the popularity of the page. But for the majority of businesses, your total amount of Likes is but a secondary metric used to gauge the reach of your brand. Don’t be disheartened if you’ve lost a few page followers, but keep tabs on your conversion metrics. If your engagement rate begins to drop, that is a sign that your campaign needs an update.

Post Reach is more accurate

Facebook changed its definition of an “impression” mid-February by shifting away from “served” impressions (ads that appear on a page, regardless if the viewer saw it) and switching to “viewed” impressions (ads that are actually viewed by its intended audience). The result of this change is that the cost per reach (CPM) of your Facebook campaign will begin to skyrocket. Don’t fret just yet! This does not mean that your posts are performing poorly; it merely means that your metrics are now more accurate.  Your campaign will now be affected by the following:

  • Higher costs due to an increase cost-per-view
  • Improved conversion rate due to “lower” reach

The bottom line of this change is that your Facebook campaign costs will increase, but the effectiveness of your ads in reaching your intended audience should improve. Should you not see this improvement, your campaign may need an update in its Relevance Score

Relevance Score is easily accessible

If you’ve been actively monitoring your Facebook ad campaigns, you’ll have noticed by now that your ads have been assigned a “relevance score”. This change was implement mid-February, and helps advertisers with the following:

  • Lowering the cost of an ad campaign by increasing the relevance
  • Allow for A/B testing before an ad even becomes active
  • Improve the conversion rate of existing campaigns

So how does one actually improve an ad’s relevance score? Unlike with Google AdWords, Facebook Ads do not determine relevance based on matching content between your ad and its landing page. Instead, this score is determined through user engagement and feedback from your viewers. If they view your ad and/or click on the creative, your ad will have earned a higher relevance score. Likewise, a hidden or reported ad will hurt its relevance score overall. Fear not if your campaign focuses purely on reach over conversion; Facebook has stated that relevance score has a smaller impact on brand awareness campaigns that optimize for reach.

Your marketing metrics create the core “nervous system” of your strategic campaign. You need to know what you’re actually measuring before you report your ROI. If your only metric is driving reach rather than engagement, you could be losing a lot of money and gaining a lot of grey hairs from Facebook’s latest changes. Clearly define your metrics and strategic goals, or you’ll waste a lot of time, effort and resources.

So there you have it. If you’re wondering why your Facebook metrics have been fluctuating in 2015, here are 3 possible explanations. If your Facebook Likes took a toll, it’s because Facebook removed inactive accounts. If your post engagement costs are skyrocketing, keep in mind that your conversion rate should increase as well.

If you have any questions on these changes, contact our agency and we’ll be happy to discuss ways to improve your business’ social media presence.

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