Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value

PatternsFacebook has an incredible audience, 950 million strong and counting. This audience is immensely attractive to Brands and Marketers around the world. We've seen explosive growth in brand pages, types of advertising and other fun ways to monetize this audience.

Increased investment in Facebook as an engagement/acquisition channel has translated into requests from CEOs, CMOs and other CxOs about the return on that investment. As Facebook is a very young channel, it is not surprising that everyone's struggling with the answer.

This point was vividly illustrated at a session I attended at a major industry conference.

A Facebook employee (FBe) gave a talk about measuring ROI/Value of Facebook campaigns. FBe's recommendation was (paraphrasing a 35 min talk):

Don't invent new metrics, use online versions of Reach and GRPs to measure success. The value of Facebook in "spreading word of mouth," "getting your brand in front of friends of fans," and "engaging fans with five to seven posts a week on your fan page."

They closed with the Facebook Insights tool (which is quite nice). This blog post is about the above recommendations, and their merit. But first let's punch up the value you'll get from this post.

In the second part of the talk a large client joined FBe on stage to make the case for Facebook campaigns.

Here's a summary of the case study presented:

1. Client posted a video of a soon to be released product on their Facebook brand page. It is a lovely emotional video (really was!).

2. That video got a magnificent number of Likes.

3. Client also runs Facebook Promoted Ads for that post. Gets more Likes.

4. ROI? It was huge. The new product became the number one selling product in the company's history in that country.

5. Facebook works.

The case study seemed to contain a rookie mistake.

I can see the correlation, but the conclusion implies a causality that may or may not be there ("the product sales exceeded all internal projections!").

correlation xkcd

There are two valuable lessons we can learn from the above story.

Lesson 1:

Correlations don't imply causality.

Completely ignore the question of whether Facebook works (assume we are taking about Ren Ren or Google+). Focus on the fact that this was the launch of a powerful new new product via a continent-wide rebranding campaign using massive online and offline media buys.

A push on Facebook was a part of that effort.

So to imply the ROI in Step 4 is sub-optimal.

From the data presented, there is no way to tell if the Facebook campaign worked or not. Even if there were millions of Likes on the post with the deeply emotional video about the new product.

Lesson 2:

It would have been easy to identify causality, even if it was weak causality.

The Client could still do massive media buys (TV! Radio! Newspapers! Google!) in all countries in the continent. But they could also only make a major push with Facebook in country X.

Then, they could look at sales in all the countries including country X and a couple of other countries (Y, Z, A) that are similar to country X in terms of type of population, existing brand awareness, market penetration, competitive structures. This is a massive continent with lots of countries, should not be hard to do.

From that analysis, they could identify the incremental sales in country X compared to Y, Z and A. Attribute it all to the Facebook campaigns.

Compute ROI: (cost of Facebook campaigns + salary of people running campaigns + agency creative costs) vs. profit from incremental product sales.

Based on results of value identified for Facebook, optimize their advertising mix strategy for future product launches.

My recommendation above is the simplest way to attempt this. To rigorously prove value we could all work together to create purer controlled experiments.

It is always so cool to run marketing campaigns in large homogenous markets (like Europe, Asia, or large chunks of the US). It is possible to get good test and control groups (type of population, existing brand awareness, market penetration, competitive structures) for our experiments. Then we can treat every campaign as an opportunity to identify causality between the money spent on advertising and the product sales achieved.

It goes without saying, this is exactly how I would prove causality if I was running social media campaigns on Twitter, Ren Ren or vKontakte.

Attending this presentation inspired me to write this blog post. The case study presented raised tough questions.

Why is it so hard to measure the value of Facebook? How can we do better? Why don't more CMOs spend millions of dollars of budget on Facebook, like they might do on AOL and Bing and Yandex?

The long flight home helped me arrive at two conclusions: We (CxOs, Marketers, Analysts) don't really understand what is unique about Facebook. (This makes me really sad.) Because we don't understand the uniqueness, we fall back on profoundly sub-optimal old world metrics like Reach or Online GRP equivalents.

We can do much better. Let's together try to fix those two problems.

advertising options on facebook

The Setup/Broad Context.

Since we are interested in identifying the ROI/Economic Value of Facebook efforts, we'll assume that we are a for-profit entity who makes by selling our products and services or we are a non-profit who would like to spread the word and raise donations.

In both cases we are using Facebook to improve our bottom-line.

My hope is to start by correcting one of the foundational flaws about how we think about Marketing/Measurement and Facebook, then clearly identify two things we have to do to prove Facebook's ROI, dive really deep and identify specific ways to measure each effort we undertake on Facebook and close with a handy measurement summary along with my personal crazy social media lessons.

Our sections are:

I would love for you to read the post in the above order. You're welcome to read a section or two, as time permits, and then come back and read the next section and so on and so forth. I did not want to take short cuts, I did not want to rush through critical concepts, hence the post is long. But if you read it, I promise, you'll see Facebook marketing, advertising and analytics in a completely new light.

Excited? Let's go!

Facebook Advertising/Marketing ROI Challenge: You're Thinking Wrong

I wanted to come up with a way to visualize the unique challenge Facebook faces when it comes to proving ROI.

I don't think it is simply a metrics/measurement problem. Metrics are a problem. But that is not all there is to it.

It is a "what you actually do with it" problem.

In almost all other types of advertising today our purpose is simple. When you run a search ad on Baidu (or display ad on AOL or participate in AdSense or…), the objective of your advertising is (holy grail time now…): find the right person, at the right time, target them with the right message ("I beg you, please come to my site!") and get them off the advertising channel and onto your site.

You've deployed five, six or 15 web analytics tools on your website/mobile app. You can measure like crazy what happens when that advertising results in a visit.

For all other advertising, except Facebook, your "let's prove the ROI of this channel" process looks like this…

traditional advertising analtyics focus

To understand advertising effectiveness you'll spend some time measuring CPMs, CPCs and, every other Wednesday, CPAs. If you are new to analytics, maybe you obsess about the wrong thing (impressions). That is ok.

But you spend almost all your time measuring bounce rates and page views and time on site and all that other ok stuff. As you mature you start measuring things that really matter, macro and micro conversion rates, economic value, visitor loyalty. All the things that directly tie to the bottom-line of your company, which you can tie to Net Income driven by digital.

As you go from maturity to true wisdom, you add multi-channel analytics and prove the value of digital on your offline existence (catalogs, store purchases, call centers, etc.). And then beyond, to measuring your Net Promoter Score (or the latest flavor of the month customer centric metric), etc.

You can see how it is trivial to show the value of your Bing and Baidu and AOL and Yahoo! and AdWords ads. And if you want to go beyond trivial effort, you can show offline and non-line impact.

But all this changes when it comes to Facebook.

At the most macro level we don't participate on Facebook to get people to come to our digital existence. We participate on Facebook to engage with people via our brand pages, and those people just stay with us on Facebook. Maybe some of them remember our brand name and our products (Lord knows we are pimping ourselves aggressively on those brand pages) when it is time for them to make a purchase.

Yes, you can also buy display advertising on Facebook to drive people to your site. But most of the advertising that Facebook suggests you do on Facebook is to help you get more people to Like your Facebook brand page/posts, or to break the limits placed on you by EdgeRank and reach people who already like you.

Here's a good example. Facebook is suggesting that I run an ad for my brand page using a reply I'd written in a post (a little weird to run an ad on a reply to someone else, but you can see how you could run an ad for your brand page):

fan page ads

You can click on Get More Likes button and proceed into Facebook's advertising system to get more likes by setting up an ad/sponsored story:

sponsored sotry ad facebook

Introduce my brand to a big audience, 164 mil in the US per Facebook (though consider this number as "general guidance" and not reality), or be more targeted with my ad (and money) and target a smaller, more relevant audience by their demographics, interest categories and other dials that Facebook empowers me to leverage.

Another ad format you can use is the Promoted Posts format. I can post something on my brand page and then leverage Facebook's massive audience to get them to see my awesome post and get more of them to engage with the post (and my brand). Here's what that ad product, and set up, looks like:

promoted posts ads

For fifty bucks I can reach 14k to 26k people (based on my ad targeting options). Hopefully some of the people who already like my brand page will come to read the post and engage with me (helping me bust through the limits placed on my reach by Facebook EdgeRank), and (fingers crossed) perhaps some of their friends will see my post and Like the post or Like my brand page and maybe visit it again in the future.

By creating a Facebook brand page for your company and spending money on Facebook Advertising, as with the two ad options above, you are using your Facebook investment to:

1. Earn Likes

2. Engage an audience temporarily and, if you are good at social, engage at least a subset on a more regular basis

This is a very different from what you were doing with Bing and AOL and all the other digital advertising platforms.

You are not rushing the audience to your digital existence.

You are spending money on Facebook for an opportunity to build an audience on Facebook for an opportunity to engage them awesomely (by not pimping yourself constantly!) for an opportunity for this audience to 1. love you and recommend you to their friends and 2. to remember to buy your products/services when they might need them.

As a deep lover of true utility marketing, I believe in the value of doing this. I believe in the value of building an audience, rather than renting it.

But it is absolutely critical that you understand that when you engage in any discussion about the value of being on Facebook, and spending money on Sponsored Stories or Promoted Posts, the picture (what are you actually trying to do) has completely changed. Understanding and painting this different picture is even more critical when you talk about Facebook ROI with your executives.

For Facebook, the "let's prove the ROI of this channel" process looks like this…

facebook advertising analytics focus

Because we are trying to build an audience on Facebook, it is unsurprising that we will spend almost all of our focus and attention on what is happening on Facebook. We will measure Likes and Friends of Friends and Total Reach (more on all these potentially sub-optimal metrics later). For our Facebook ads we will measure CPC and Social CTR and Gender and all that good stuff.

We have our business URL on our brand page (you do, don't you?), and some people will click on that URL and come to our website (desktop or mobile). A good business analyst will measure how many clicks came through from Facebook, and she/he will also measure the conversion rate, revenue, etc., from those clicks.

But since your original purpose was to create an owned engaged audience on Facebook, rather than primarily driving direct revenue via constantly "pimping of coupons, offers," it should come as no shock to anyone that the conversion rates, revenue and bottom-line metrics from Facebook will be pretty small from the brand page efforts, from the Sponsored Stories, from the Promoted Posts. Because (sorry I'm repeating myself) that was not the point. Having a conversion business impact was not the point. And people who've tried to make it the primary point have failed miserably on Facebook.

Do please note the emphasis above is on the primary purpose of being on Facebook. By doing the right thing – utility marketing – on Facebook, by adding value to the audience you've gathered around your Facebook watering hole, you will cause visits to your website, some of your Facebook audience will make purchases (online and offline), and others still will love your brand and recommend it to others (which will cause other purchases). We note it in the below image, and we will cover exactly how to measure that in this post. But know that that is a secondary outcome. If you execute only for this secondary outcome on Facebook, you will likely achieve less than optimal success.

facebook and traditional advertising difference map

It is very, very important to:

1. Understand this

2. Get a shared understanding with your management team of why you are on Facebook

3. Then think about how to measure ROI

All of the above will ensure that some of the, sorry, abject silliness and insane journalistic stories written about Facebook's lack of ROI will die.

There is one exception to all of the above.

Facebook and Direct Response/Traditional Advertising

There are some ad formats on Facebook where you are simply advertising on Facebook just as you might using DoubleClick or Yahoo! or Google Display Network. There is an audience out there — 950 million strong!. Let's show them ads, let's get them to come to our site.

Cut out the whole "let's send them to our brand page or get them to like a post and maybe in the future they'll buy something, maybe."

A good example of this is the kind of ad you can run to drive people to your website:

advertise on facebook drive to your site

The challenge to overcome, as it often is with display advertising, is that people are on Facebook to Friend and share pictures and engage with Sarah Palin (and your business). The ads are tangential, at best, to these purposes and hence the click-through rates are pretty low. People end up developing banner blindness (which happens on all display channels).

But it is an option.

Another option is the new (at least to me, see below) Facebook Offers ad product:

facebook offers

This is traditional advertising: Create an offer. Show it to people. Drive them to your online or offline existence.

For both of these ad formats you can forget about what Facebook is really good at. Forget about audience building. Forget about engagement. Forget about utility marketing. Forget about that big aqua colored box in the above "FB is different" graphic.

Focus just on the big orange box.

You can measure CTR, CPC, Bounce Rates (yes even in the real world :), Time on Site, Conversion Rate, Average Order Value.

And present these to your Senior Leaders to judge success. Easy peasy.

But, as I said, this is not what makes Facebook unique.

Let's go measure the ROI/Value of Facebook on our business doing what Facebook is really good at.

Facebook's Business Value: Two Critical Elements

To convince CMOs and CEOs that Facebook delivers value, you need to prove two things.

1. The activity you generate on Facebook is valuable.

In some cases this is easy, because the CxO does not quite understand the ecosystem and is happy to allocate some budget to Facebook because everyone's doing it. It's a start, but you won't get very far.

The prove value scope here is: Likes. Brand Awareness/Word of Mouth. Engagement. Or to use my metrics: Conversation Rate. Amplification Rate. Applause Rate.

This helps you sell the value of Facebook to your business as a new owned platform you've created. Frame it as that.

[And it will not hurt to add that when CxOs fund Print, TV, Billboards: 1. It is extremely unclear how to measure success and 2. Unlike what happens on Facebook, there is ZERO engagement/longer term value delivered, you are, at best, renting an audience.]

An additional prove value scope can also be: Cost savings.

The number of PR people you can now fire because your Facebook page is such an awesome PR platform – not. The reduction in customer service costs – no more phone calls! The reduced TV ads you have to run. Et cetera. Harder to prove, but if you try you can.

This helps you sell the value of Facebook to those execs who are a little suspicious of this whole social thing, and that it can actually save some money. So, tie it to the bottom-line.

So far, for most companies, it is very hard to show the value of Facebook all by itself (from Brand, Likes etc., and cost savings) — mostly because the execs can't make the leap required to see the longer term potential.

2. The activity you generate on Facebook delivers business value, online or offline, and helps produce profits.

The prove value scope here is: Visitors to your website. Revenue per Facebook-referred visitor (staying with last click attribution for now). Number of qualified leads. Total number of donations. Number of downloads of our latest mobile app from Facebook visitors. Amount of Cereal/Soda/Pizza/Phones/Shirts sold at Walmart/Target/Sainsburys/Watsons because of Facebook.

I would go out on a limb and say that there is no CxO in the world who would not understand the value of Facebook if you can show any of the above. Even if they don't understand the short or long term potential of the social web revolution.

When you set out to prove value of Facebook, your job is to understand that the reasons for investing in Facebook are very different from the reasons for investing in Bing or Baidu or AOL, and your job is to prove the two things listed above (value of activity on Facebook, value of activity on Facebook on your business).

Proving the Value/ROI of Investment in Facebook.

Let's take off our clothes and jump into the cold unforgiving data waters and talk metrics.

If you strip everything away, as designed, Facebook is a quest for Likes. It is what you are asked to hunt for at every turn by Facebook and Social Media Gurus. Yet in the end, Likes matter lesser than less. What matters is:

1. Do all those Likes cause any activity of value on your Facebook presence?

2. (Most importantly) Do all these Likes cause activity of value to your actual business (beyond your Facebook presence)?

For each Facebook effort, we are going to look at #1 or #2 or both depending on what we are trying to accomplish.

Facebook Brand Pages

Without brand pages you can't do anything on Facebook. Create a brand page. If you are looking for inspiration … my absolute favorite small business example is Seventh Generation. I can't think of even one other business that understands its Facebook audience as well as they do. I can't think of anyone else that delivers the perfect balance of pimping (very little) and life value to the audience. If you want a big business example, BMW is a good one. Most big companies stink on Facebook because they don't understand what Seventh Generation does. Or maybe big companies are incapable of being selfless (focus on the fan and not themselves) or authentic.

What can you measure to show value: Do. Not. Measure. Likes.

I will personally hate you.

Too strong?

Declaring success based on measuring Likes in aggregate is like declaring success after getting a lot of Visits to your site. SO WHAT? Likes are actually lamer. Because once I press Like I might never come back, never read anything you write, never ever engage with you, not even remember you exist.

Total Likes show potential audience. But nothing more. Don't be lame and measure Total Likes.

[We are going to deploy the measurement of Likes at a tactical level in this post to gain a oh here's a small way to understand value perspective. But not, ever, in aggregate.]

You want to answer the "so what question," so you have to look beyond the obvious. You want to know what is happening after you created the brand page, and some people liked it.

Here's what Facebook provides you with:

facebook insights summary

Likes tells you potential audience (nothing else). Friends of Fans gives the size of your second level network (almost 100% useless). People Talking About This is a compound metric – they are usually non-insightful – that kinda of sorta tells you that one of seven things might have happened, but not which ones (kind of interesting, but not in this form). Weekly Total Reach shows the impressions of your Facebook ad/post/things (kind of interesting – think TV GRPs). Total Subscribers is what it says, for your page (not sure if this is anything).

Nothing here to answer the "so what" question.

There is some more data you can get on Facebook if you scroll to the post level view:

facebook insights post details

Reach, meh. Engaged Users sounds really interesting as it purports to show actual real human interactions (FB definition: "Engaged Users is the number of people who have clicked anywhere on your post."). TAT is meh because it is a compound metric. Virality also sounds really interesting (FB definition: "Virality is the number of people who have created a story from your post as a percentage of the number of people who have seen it. This is a great indicator of the kind of posts your audience responds to.") [Update: As Jeff and Daniel have pointed out in comments below, both Engaged Users and Virality, interesting as they sound, are sourced from our Reach and TAT metrics! We will address this below.]

The reason most executives don't perceive the value of Facebook is because of how Facebook has defined success. From the "sexy names" of the metric it is very hard to figure out what they are actually measuring, and, most importantly, none of the provided metrics seem to answer the "so what" question at all. This really hurts Facebook.

I believe metrics should measure only one thing to ensure everyone knows exactly what is being measured (hence no compound metrics). They should go beyond measure "impressions," they should measure "clicks." In other words, they should measure outcomes.

Here are three metrics I like, for all social channels (from my best social media metrics post):

1. Conversation Rate: # of Audience Comments (or Replies) Per Post

2. Amplification Rate: # of Shares Per Facebook Post

3. Applause Rate: # of Likes Per Facebook Post

These three clean metrics answer these questions clearly: When we post on Facebook does anyone actually engage with us via typing on their keyboards and adding to the discussion? When we post on Facebook does anyone amplify our contribution so that it is seen by people who don't know about us? When we post on Facebook, which content is loved by our followers/fans/friends (so that we can kill the loser stuff)?

The data for all three is in the metrics Facebook provides. Unfortunately it is blended and hard to get to recognize/analyze.

Take for example Talking About You. Here's the official definition: The number of unique people who have created a story about your Page during your selected date range. A story is created when someone: Likes your Page; Likes, comments on, or shares your Page post; Answers a question you've asked; Responds to your event; Mentions your Page; Tags your Page in a photo; Checks into or recommends your Place.

I dare you to analyze which one of those things is happening more or less, or working better or worse, when you see 699 in your report.

So keep things clean.

For your Facebook brand page at an aggregate level, measure Conversation, Amplification and Applause.

You can use any tool you want to measure this; I use TrueSocialMetrics

true social metrics

You'll measure the trends over time and you'll be able to show your management team that you have a trillion Likes, you have managed to have a conversation with 5 people on average per post (not "People Talking About" of 699), your post has been shared x times each and you are going to focus on high-applause posts. [Rather than being an end in themselves, Likes here are 1. active and 2. used to identify high-value content via user behavior.]

Sweet, right? You know the "so what," it is clean, you know what to fix, and you know whether those aggregate Likes are adding up to specific engagement.

Time to dive deeper.

At an individual post level, if you are using the data in Facebook Insights, measure Engaged Users and Virality to optimize your Facebook brand page engagement/value.

facebook insights post details focus

These two lovely metrics from Facebook empower you with diagnostic capabilities to understand why your Conversation, Amplification and Applause Rates might not be where you want them to be, and to figure out which Facebook brand page contributions are better or worse.

Clearly, looking at the above data, I should do more of what I did on Sept 17th!

If you step away from Facebook Insights then you can do better, at a Post level, and measure the metrics that really matter. Facebook kindly provides a Export Data button in its Insights reports. Click it. From Select Data Type choose Post Level Data.

In the spreadsheet look for the tab called "Lifetime Post Stories by act…" If you squish the columns you'll find something delicious, columns titled "like," "share," and "comment." Now you have the capability to measure the exact same metrics we use at Page level, but now you can do so at a Post level.

Facebook Page Level Engagement Metrics

This helps us achieve a clear line of site between measuring Page and Post level value delivered by us, and what kind of engagement we are getting in exchange. Over time as you look at these metrics you'll know 1. what posts are perceived to be of value 2. what type of posts people help you spread around more and 3. what type of posts drive conversations (!).

Simple metrics help you focus on what's important and answer the "so what" question for your Facebook brand page:

Conversation | Amplification | Applause | At a Page and Post level

How can you magically report all of them together? I don't know. But I'm happy you can't data puke and you have to go find this data and look at it. That promotes analysis. :)

Important Note 1: In this section we've measured the active engagement that is created from your brand page. Not everyone who reads your content will actively engage with it. Some might choose to passively engage with it. They come. They read. They do nothing with you on Facebook. This does not mean they're visiting your page, or just reading the content was valueless. They might have been impressed, they might buy your products. We just don't know. They are the classic unknown unknowns. If you want to learn more about this passive engagement, and how hairy this can actually get, please ready my good friend Thomas Baekdal's wonderful post: Facebook Insights: Debunking Friends of Fans.

Important Note 2: Your Facebook brand page, in addition to the above engagement, will produce some sales, even if you don't try. :) How do you measure that? Please see the Analytics custom report in the FB (Display) Ads section below. That is how!

Facebook Promoted Posts

With Promoted Posts you are simply trying to 1. Bust out of the Facebook EdgeRank limitations to reach more people who already like you and/or 2. Reach the friends of the people who already Like you (think Amplification).

You pay money. You get more exposure. You can get more Likes for the post (directly in the news feed). You can get more Shares. You can get more Comments on your post. Maybe you can get more Likes on your brand page.

So what can you measure?

First go into your Facebook Ads Reports, then Facebook Campaigns, click on Reports, choose Advertising Performance as the Type, and select your promoted posts.

You have a raft of metrics available. Focus on Clicks, CPC and Budget. How much did you spend and what did you get for it? (This is easier if you go into Facebook Campaigns and click on the pencil next to the campaign and give cleaner names to your promoted posts campaigns.)

Then drill down to look at each individual promoted post’s performance.

When your promotion is complete, you can see Budget Spent and Paid Reach. Compare and contrast across posts.

You can also see activity: Page Post Likes, Comments on Page Posts, Link Clicks and Video Plays (both if relevant). And you can compare it across posts you have Promoted…

facebook promoted posts results comparison

You can get contextual information on Paid Reach. Just hover over People Reached and you'll see your Organic (constrained by EdgeRank), Viral (Shares by others) and Paid…

facebook promoted posts results

The number you are looking for is 221 (Paid). You'll notice the numbers above do not add up to 440, that is simply because some people might have seen the post via multiple methods (so I got it first just organically, EdgeRank did not limit it, and then I saw it again when you paid for it).

You can see another cool visual by hovering on the percentage number:

facebook promoted posts results2

It shows you how many impressions of your Promoted Posts were shown in people's news feeds. It is cute.

From the data Facebook provides for Promoted posts if you prioritize these metrics, it will help you optimally determine impact of your spend in terms of value added to your Facebook brand page:

Budget | Paid Reach | "$ per Incremental Reach" (Budget/Paid Reach) | Incremental Likes | Comments

You are able to show how much money you spent, the cost of reaching an additional audience, the results in terms of engagement (incremental likes and comments).

In terms of optimization, at the very minimum focus on $ per Incremental Reach. Experiment with Facebook targeting options and over time reduce $ per IR while delivering incremental Likes and Comments at the same or higher level.

While you are able to show some value added to your Facebook brand page, the challenge with Promoted Posts is that the "so what" is extremely unclear.

So more people saw my post, some of them even liked and commented on it. So what? The connection between you writing a post to you promoting it to possibly getting a new audience to them engaging to them going to your site/physical store to them buying something is fragile. I was going to say unclear, but let's stick with fragile.

You can frame it as "we are making our Facebook brand page more valuable by getting an incremental audience." And tie it to the stuff we did above for brand pages, to create an owned audience on Facebook.

Request for Facebook: Clustering & Segmentation

What would be ideal is to maybe pull all the new Likes collected via Promoted Posts to be identifiable in a unique way (just like conversions we got from Bing or Email marketing). Likes we might not have received if we had not spent money on Facebook advertising.

Then over time we could measure these people (segmentation!) to see if they were of value. Did these people, we acquired at a cost, have a higher Conversation Rate or Amplification Rate or Applause Rate?

If they don't have higher rates, or even the same rates, then we are acquiring a sub optimal audience and we should stop spending money on Facebook. Or they have the same or higher rates, let's give Facebook unlimited budget.

Facebook Sponsored Stories

Here is the simplest explanation of sponsored stories from Facebook's help page:

"If someone likes your Page they are saying they are interested in being connected to you and it can be interpreted as an endorsement of your brand or service. People may see when their friends like your Page, but because there is a lot of activity in news feed, they may miss it. When you create sponsored stories, you’re increasing the number of people who will learn about you through the actions of their friends."

Interpretation? When people like you or talk about your brand, you can take that, package it into an endorsement and show it to other people. I write a post about Cafepress being great. You can pay to get that packaged into an ad that will be shown to my friend.

facebook sponsored stories

What is the purpose? Earn more Likes, be introduced to a potentially new audience.

Best metrics to show value?

Budget | Paid Reach | "$ per Incremental Reach" (Budget/Paid Reach) | Incremental Likes | Comments (or your preference for engagement).

Aggregate impact on your Facebook brand page? Hard to identify.

We can't identify the long term impact of spending money on Sponsored Stories (helpful pdf) because of the same challenge above, no clustering/segmentation is possible.

Cafepress could get a million new Likes because they sponsored a story about a post I'd written about them, but there is no way for Cafepress to know if the audience they acquired (my friends/fans) are worth anything in the short or the long term. It is extremely difficult to know if the million new Likes delivered a valuable audience, increased engagement on the Facebook brand page, or, over the long term, this audience placed more orders on Cafepress.com.

Simple controlled experiments could possibly help us get a slightly enhanced understanding of the impact.

If other variables can be controlled, you can run sponsored stories a bunch of times (weeks, a month) and measure your overall Conversation, Amplification, Applause rates and your individual post Engagement and Virality. Then for the next month, don't do any sponsored stories. Repeat the same measurement. See if sponsored stories add any value.

This assumes you can keep the posting quality the same, and you don't have any extraneous circumstances were you are suddenly showered by a massive number of Likes due to an external campaign.

Like I said, hard to identify. But that does not mean you can't try.

Business bottom-line impact of sponsored stories? Unclear. See relevant section above in promoted posts.

facebook occams razor adFacebook (Display) Ads

I'm using the word display simply to clarify that these ads will be very similar to those that might run on any other ad platform, and the purpose would be the same (get people to our mobile/desktop websites).

You can see one such ad on the right. I'm targeting 14 million people who are in the US (again the 14m is "general guidance," you'll rarely come even remotely close), who are in a relationship, married or engaged :), who are in tech or business categories. My ad, unsurprisingly, extols the glory of my blog and promises riches and fame, as all ads should.

(Is it not cute that my ad says: You like Avinash Kaushik. :)

How do we measure success?

To measure real success you HAVE TO make sure that all your ads are tagged with campaign parameters. The url in my ad is not:


It is:

www.kaushik.net/avinash?utm_source=social-media&utm_medium=Facebook& utm_campaign=thomasb

Without this you are going to cry later. A lot.

If you use SiteCatalyst or WebTrends or CoreMetrics, use their campaign parameters.

Ok, how do we measure success?

Facebook will give you a raft of metrics. From Facebook's collection I'm fond of these: Click-thru Rate, Social Click-thru Rate (to see if socially annotated ads are better), Cost Per Click.

You can't really do CPA with Facebook, else I would have it there (for CxOs FB should consider doing conversion tracking). I'm not a fan of impressions, so I ignore things like CPM, etc.

Time to do the analysis that actually matters to your executives, measuring outcomes!

If you'd used campaign tracking parameters then it is trivial to create a simple custom report that would show you the deep view of Facebook campaign performance…

facebook campaign performance

Can you show the impact of your Facebook Advertising on your business bottom-line?

Yes! Yes, sweet nectar of a lotus, yes!

You can measure the number of people that showed up. You can measure if they were new or you already knew them. You can measure their micro and macro conversions, and how much money you made per visit.

Bonus: You can compare the performance across your Google+ and Twitter campaigns, and smile because you, dear reader, are doing very well on Facebook in terms of outcomes (now just find more relevant people to show ads to in that 950 million pile on FB!).

Unlike AdWords you can't merge your Facebook advertising data with your onsite analytics data in Google Analytics. You'll have to do that manually. But in the final summary you'll measure your Facebook (Display) Ads using a report that shows:

Click-thru Rate | Social Click-thru Rate | Cost per Click | Visits | Unique Visitors | New Visits | Micro Conversions | Macro Conversions | Per Visit Goal Value

You can replace the last one with Revenue or Average Order Value if you are hard core ecommerce.

Facebook Advertising's Offline Impact

This part is super complicated for Facebook because of everything you learned in the second part of this post. But we all know that this is a challenge that all digital advertising faces. We have to prove the value of Google and AOL and Yandex and everything else on our big business offline existence.

In case of Facebook, as outlined at the start in the story of Brand S, controlled experiments are our BFF.

Here's how this will unfold inside your company:

Question from CEO: Can I drive people to buy more Pepsi at Wal-Mart by running a bunch of Promoted Posts, Sponsored Stories AND Facebook Display Ads.

You: Hmm… I don't know. Wait, let me check Occam's Razor.

Few minutes pass.

You: Yes we can! I'm going to pick 25 cities in the US. I'll bombard users in those cities with Facebook Ads. They'll come to our brand page, love it, and comment on it and we'll reply to them, talk about new Pepsi Min, etc. Then after two weeks I'll get my sales data for the Wal-Marts in my 25 cities and compare the sales for Pepsi Min, and see if there is a statistically significant lift in sales when compared to other cities I did not bombard with Facebook ads.

CEO: OMG, you are so clever. Go do that. And come back and tell me Facebook works!

It is a little harder than that. You do need people (/one person) inside your company with skills in the Scientific Method, Design of Experiments and Statistical Analysis. And you'll need cooperation from your offline existence (Wal-Mart in this case).

But it is doable, if you really want to prove the value of Facebook.

In addition to the above scenario, you can use Primary Market Research to isolate the impact of your active Facebook participation in creating incremental lift in your likelihood to recommend our brand or Net Promoter Score, or in your brand perception, or a strong signal in brand recall studies, or… other qualitative metrics.

You would need a large enough study and a large enough number of people who Like you on Facebook and a smart researcher.

But it is doable, if you are committed.

The bottom-line, a bit more severe for Facebook than for Bing or Yahoo! or other digital platforms, is that Facebook is going to have to prove this type of an impact in the long run because of this…

facebook and traditional advertising difference map

When we are on Facebook we are trying to create that big aqua box, our own owned audience. For a small part of that we will show the orange impact. For most of it we are going to have to work hard and prove that an owned audience is monetizable and delivers business value. It is straightforward with Facebook (Display) Ads, but they do poorly. So for all other stuff, because the aqua is big and not the orange, we are going to have to solve this problem.

If we don't, we will have a hard time showing long-term sustained value from Facebook (or Twitter or the Google+ website).

Facebook prove the value to me Summary

This is an incredibly complex space, and there are so many insights and recommendations. It is hard to summarize all that into one handy dandy view. But I'll be remiss if I do not give it a try.

Here's a simple view of what it takes to measure the return on investment and business value of Facebook:

facebook marketing advertising roi measurement metrics map

Click on the image for a higher resolution version.

I hope you find the summary to be of value. If you use other metrics, or find flaws above, please share them via comments.

Closing Thoughts: Two Crazy Social Media Lessons

1. Don't have a social strategy: create products and services that compel social activity.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that the Facebook engagement you create, the amount of traffic you can get from Facebook (to your online or offline presence) will rarely match the engagement, reach and outcomes that people who love your products will create for you.

So yes, focus on having a great Facebook presence and buy ads on Facebook, but remember to make your products and services so amazing that people can't help talk about them on Facebook. The impact of this organic (free!) activity will blow your mind.

Ultimately social is not just about how social your company is. It is about how many social ripples your products/services create.

Don't believe me? Just ask Apple. :)

2. Social media success does not guarantee business success.

Dippin' Dots crossed five million Facebook Fans a couple of days before they filed for bankruptcy in Nov 2011. (They were recently rescued from bankruptcy, no not by their Facebook fans. :)).

Pepsi is one of the most active social media participants, including on Facebook. Yet year over year they've continued to lose market share to Coke.

The examples are numerous.

In the end, business success (amazing products and services) can be hugely amplified by social media. Social media success can rarely make up for core problems with your business / business strategy / products and services.

Please keep these two humble lessons in mind.

I'm a big huge insane fan of this amazing evolution in how we influence people. I can't wait for the era of non-contextually shouting on TV/Radio/Magazines to die. I can't wait for irrelevant badly targeted interruptive advertising to die. Our ability to reach the right person at the right moment with the right message is turbocharged by a combination of social and mobile. That makes me so happy. I'm deeply excited about utility marketing, again powered by social and mobile.

I hope you see this post as a pragmatic way to look at optimal Facebook participation, and a real world practical guide to measuring the value of Facebook to your company. If you use the recommendations in this post to show reality today, learn your lessons, go back and optimize your Facebook strategy and drive more business value, you'll accelerate your company's ability to move from the past (shout marketing) to the future (conversation marketing).

Insights and recommendations in this post apply almost 100% to Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and the next social network the press deems the new "Facebook killer!"

Thank you for reading.

As always, it is your turn now.

Do you get asked to prove Facebook's value? What strategies do you use that have worked for your company/agency? Have you figured out a clever way to measure impact of Facebook on your digital existence or your real world existence? Anything short of controlled experiments? Are you as wary of Likes and Impressions as I am? Oh and do you think I should abandon my pollyannaish world view and just give in to metrics like Reach and Online GRPs to get more budgets shifted to digital?

I welcome your critique, brilliant ideas, wry observations, and delightful comments.

Thank you.


  1. 2

    Fantastic post Avinash!

    I'm a early adopter of social marketing for my clients, and yet I found this post illuminating. I thought I'd mastered this space but it is clear that I'm just getting started.

    The most valuable part of the post are the colorful pictures explaining the differences in the types of marketing. The summary at the end is directly going into my future presentations – with credit to you.

    Have you thought about charging for your posts? (:

    • 3

      Excellent Facebook guide.

      I think i should give the facebook advertising a second chance.

      Greetings from Germany! :-)

    • 4
      Ridley Scott says

      I appreciate the addendum critiquing your own site.

      You are right about Facebook being overly intrusive. I feel so familiar with the layout of the site that I focus on my desired content and have banner blindness for the side ads.

  2. 5

    Hi Avinash –

    This is the by far the best article on Facebook Ad Analytics.

    All the people trying to figure out Facebook Marketing ROI need to read this!

    Thank you very much for the awesome (as usual) post.


  3. 6


    Great read, I was waiting for you to tackle the FB ROI issue, and you delivered in fine style. I wholeheartedly agree with you regarding the obscurity of some of FB's native insight metrics. Having several variables lumped into one label makes attributing any results miserable, especially when compared to working in a different platform like GA which allows for a much more tailored approach to segmentation.

    I would like to pose a question though. Lots of businesses are afraid to fully take the plunge and routinely devote a meaningful portion of their ad spend to FB activities, but they might be interested in remaining actively involved on FB with their followers to, as you say, build a permanent audience. What would you consider to be the best way to qualify and quantify promoting goodwill towards your brand on FB as a valuable social/business practice? There has to be a nicer way to justify these efforts rather than just saying "If they genuinely like us and what we do on FB, they might be more likely to buy our products/use our services".

    I know it's important for people to feel good about our brand, and I know how valuable it is for people to be seen feeling good about our brand, but how can one communicate that value in a business relevant context to executives who may not be as "with" social initiatives?

    Apologies if this question is unclear…

    • 7

      Stephen: Very good question, thank you.

      At some point it has to come down to money, for all for-profit entities. You are not trying to do charity on Facebook (or Google+, Twitter, Ren Ren etc).

      How we connect it to money is the question.

      Companies spend lots of money generating goodwill towards the brand using non-Facebook efforts. For our Facebook efforts we can use the same quantifiable metrics as the non-FB efforts. In the post (in the measuring impact offline) section I reference using Primary Research, Surveys, and Brand Influence Factors studies. These are often good, over a long period of time, quantifying the impact of marketing channels. We can do the same for Facebook.

      It will be hard to do use this to convince executives who, as you say, are not "with" it. While waiting for the options above to gather enough signal and clearly show value of FB in creating a brand halo, we show some short term economic value from FB. For that last part see section 4 on how to show economic value in this post: Best Social Media Metrics.


      • 8

        Thanks a bunch for the reply, Avinash. You've really helped me develop the proper framework for evaluating these decisions.

      • 9
        Jingcong Zhao says

        I completely understand what you're saying, it's important to justify the business impact of social media for executives to feel ok about making the investment in social. I want to add a bit to your point.

        When a customer talks about your brand on Facebook (say shares a link from your brand), he or she isn't just spreading goodwill about your brand. He is amplifying your brand message when his share is seen by other people on Facebook. The amplification may be driving visitors to your brand's site and some of these visitors are becoming new customers or taking other actions (as Avinash calls "Microconversions') your brand cares about. The sharing is absolutely resulting in economic value.

        To measure the economic value of your social channels, you can use a combination of social networks analytics and Google Analytics, but it's not easy. I am happy to walk you through this if you like.

        My company, Inside Soci.al has created a tool to solve this very problem. Our analytics tool can show you the economic value of an "earned" share (when a customer likes your brand and talks about you organically), and how a share leads to other actions (i.e. a site visit) and conversions (i.e. sales). This way, you'll know what's being shared, who's sharing and what channels are driving the most shares and best conversions (i.e. sales, email signup, app download, etc).

        Thank you,

    • 10

      One caveat I feel is that of sentiment. We do not know if people are conversing positively or negatively.

      Similarly, when people amplify- they can write blah about you.

      • 11

        Neha: We absolutely want to know how people "feel" when they converse with us, or when they amplify our conversations.

        The challenge is that sentiment analysis (despite much process, and amazing breakthrough claims by vendors) remains a challenge. It will be solved one day (if only language was not so complex!). But for now we can't do it at scale accurately.

        We do have options though. I'd covered some qualitative analysis options in this blog post: Social Media Analytics: Quantitative & Qualitative Metrics

        One option outlined was to do psychological / personality analysis of the conversations (yours or others). This is an exercise less in trying to guess sentiment and more of categorizing the words to certain category.

        A recent tool I was playing with for Facebook is Zeebly. Among other things it creates the two sets of analyses you see below.

        Facebook Psychological Personality Analysis

        This gives you a peek into the quality of the conversation. This is for the Facebook brand, but you can see how something like this could be done for people conversing with you, amplifying you etc etc.

        There are other interesting ideas out there as well. Someone just needs to build that into a tool that will be easy for us to use! :)


  4. 12
    Kimberley Chou says

    At our agency we are not obsessed with Likes, we try to identify the engagement we create for our clients. But my lesson from your meaty post is that we are barely scratching the surface of that is possible.

    My updated client report for promoted ads and sponsored stories will focus on the metrics you recommend in this post. I can't wait to look at our facebook campaigns using this new perspective.

    I want to underscore Jonghee's note, this is by far the best post on fb analysis. Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights with all of us!

  5. 13
    Chemelle Evans says

    This is one of the most comprehensive, helpful, and illuminating discussions I have ever heard regarding Facebook ROI measurement.

    I'm wondering why my digital agency has never mentioned the majority of this?

    Thank you for the enlightenment!

  6. 14

    Great article, Avinash. This article makes it to the hallowed category of articles that make you re-read it with your social dashboards in front of you.

    I think one of the major challenges is that the value of a brand page stems from engaging an audience. So, a budget or effort has to be given to creating that audience before ever seeing its value. Just like with any branding effort, it simply has a longer, more complex conversion funnel than a direct response channel.

    I've always treated social like a version of lead generation. The value isn't in the like, follow, subscribe, its in what happens afterwards. My issue is in lead generation, I can segment the data to determine which are the most valuable leads. In social, you have to just deal with the data in aggregate. I would love to see segmentation available that mimics the targeting I have available. Could you imagine if you couldn't see keyword performance in PPC? Bone chilling.

    I don't know if it will ever become a reality, but a view through metric or like-through type metric (made up, hopefully you can infer the intended meaning) would be my dream scenario. Something that says this is how they engaged with your page, then they came to your site.

    • 15

      Dave: Pretty darn complicated, right?

      I concur with you on the process. Have a page. Contribute great content. Build an audience. Now that you have experience, deploy Promoted Posts, then perhaps Sponsored Stories (if people are talking about you), now dip your toe into Offers (if it applies in your case), now move into standard FB display, first measure impact on the site, graduate to measuring impact offline.

      I recommend that evolutionary path. You get smarter with each step, and you get more specific measurement of value as you go down the path. You don't have to do it all in serial, and you can skip steps. I lay it out as a serial path to break things into discreet chunks and to ensure you take the next step, or jump, if you feel you are good at the current one.


  7. 16
    Ozlem Ergun says

    An amazing blog post as always. I am working at a not for profit UK organisation in Turkey and we've made use of FB ads quite a few times. The agencies we are working with also use it. As you say we try to focus on engagement and virality which I believe too is the conversation we need to have with the fans.

    We also ask our agency to create FB apps for us with clear outcome target of driving traffic to the Educational/English websites we have and measure our performance through the referrals to the actual websites, not by how many likes we get on the FB page.

    It is even harder to see the conversion when you are not selling something but trying to raise awareness about your brand and create an impact with your online presence only.

    Always a pleasure to read your ideas. Thank you :) 

  8. 17

    Hi Avinash,

    As always, it is a wonderful article and a definitely must read for everyone thinking seriously about using Facebook as an extension for their businesses.

    Love the nuances in it!

  9. 18

    I loved this post. Especially the fact that you tried to touch down on the realities rather than going typical with the, "all is well and great with social media".

    The key take aways from this post, to me, is that..

    – ROI on FB or social media for that matter, is different from your traditional ways or marketing or ROI measurement.
    – The metrics to collecting data is exclusive to FB and requires different direction.

    At the end of the day, business cannot be mutually exclusive from social media presence and any budget spend on social media has to be justified.

    So ROI would definitely be a priority but a clever way to put it would be, what is your ROI for keeping away from social media than being on social media.

    One of the things that I've noticed from my experience is that people try to tie up FB engagement to other marketing efforts and count it the same way, with the same metrics. I beg to differ here.

    Engagement on FB is like being able to see how many people watched your TV show, what they are talking amongst them, do they like it or not, etc. It is a whole lot of metrics altogether.

    Impressions and views does not being any value to the table, but figuring out if you are hitting the right spots within your target segment does.

    I love the way FB lets you reach your target audience with all sorts of exclusions and fine tunings within your TA. This wasn't even a possibility EVER, even with the "most sophisticated" platform, Google AdWords.

    This is the area I would focus instead od spend or clicks or impressions.

    If I were Coke or Pepsi, what age group engages more with me, what gender like me more – Are they in alignment with my marketing message? Was it the actual intent?

    I'd even go ahead and take that one step ahead to take feedback right from the audience engagement data back to the marketing team. "Listen..product X is supposed to reach age group 20 – 30, but apparently, its age group 15-20 who are more interested in it? You might want to reconsider the branding message."

    These kind of insights were never available from TV, Print or even Web analytics and can only be picked up from engagement platforms like FB. In fact, only FB. I'm so overwhelmed with knowing what it can teach a product or a company.

    (My comment might sound unstructured – sorry I was so over whelmed by this post, I'm all over the place! Thanks Avinash.)

    • 19

      Mani: I'm as big a lover of social media as you can find, and yet, to answer your question, I believe that it is still optional for many big brands. Shouting on TV still works. Meeting demand generated on Bing still works. So you can still make money and do zero social media. But I strongly believe that it won't be optional for long. Most valuable marketing will shift, slowly over time, to utility marketing.

      Analyzing the audience that is actively engaging with you on Facebook is of value. Currently it is hard to know the demographics of people who actively engage with you. In Facebook Insights it only shows you demographics of those who you reach – but that almost valueless (I don't care if I reach your people, I want to know that I'm engaging with old grandmas!).

      But there is a lot more beyond demographics you can get from Facebook, so you can start there but then consider evolving to the metrics recommended in the post.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective!


      • 20

        I agree with you. Its interesting how different entities see ROI on Social Media differently. For ex: consumer and enterprise brands.

        Insightful post.

        Thanks for the reply Avinash.

  10. 21
    Jeff Widman says

    Great article Avinash–several points I hadn't thought about (and my full-time job is thinking about Facebook ROI/analytics).

    For those who don't know what EdgeRank is, start here: edgerank.net

    If you want your FB analytics data in a more palatable format than Insights, there's a good comparison of different industry vendors here: adamsherk.com/social-media/useful-facebook-analytics-tools

    Jeff – Cofounder PageLever Facebook Analytics

  11. 22

    Hi Avinash,

    Great post.

    Facebook analytics tend to be confusing, and this conceptual map really helps. One can really tell you've put a lot of thinking into it.

    Thanks for that and for sharing! Greetings from Chile :)

  12. 23


    My favorite point of all, and one that is so often overlooked, is to think of your Facebook page as a second owned destination. It's like the younger, cooler, more real-time version of your website.

    When you think about it like that, it helps put a lot of other issues in proper context.

  13. 24

    Hi Avinash,

    The best (and certainly most detailed) post I've read on Facebook measurement and the value of the channel. Simply superb. So thanks for that.

    One question though.

    I'm sure you've already taken a look at the extra data you can get about the audience from the excel beyond what Facebook shows as Insights. Did you see any value to this? It's on my to-do list to wade through it all (as there is a lot of data) and define what's useful and what's rubbish.

    I haven't had a chance yet to go through it but would like to be able for instance to tie demographic data to post Virality for instance. Just wondered if you saw whether things like that were possible yet?


    • 25

      Steve: There is a lot more data that we are able to download via the Export Data functionality (xls).

      At a post level there is a lot more data, including metrics you don't see in Insights like:

      Negative Feedback Users: The number of people who have given negative feedback to your Page, by type. (Unique Users)


      The spreadsheets are very much in a data puking stage, a lot of data about a bunch of dimensions by daily, weekly and (I don't know why) 28 days. The data needs a really good consultant to build the truly insightful front end. Perhaps someone at Quru? :)

      With regards to demographic, the spreadsheet does have Reach Demographics (which we have in Facebook Insights) and, this is helpful (and not in FB Insights), Demographics People Talking About Page. But we don't get any primary keys to do cross-tabs. For example demographics of people talking about our brand by country or language or, this would be useful, on different platforms (mobile, desktop etc).

      But still, it is more detail than in Insights.

      I also find the Page Consumption tabs to be particularly helpful.

      At a post level I'm afraid the export data is unimpressive and limited. Demographics, countries, languages etc are not there. And other stuff you might want. I'm sure over time FB will add that as well. I'm less concerned about aggregate (page) data and a lot more interested in what we are doing on our page that is causing valuable activity, connections and outcomes with our Likers.


  14. 26

    Great post, and love the ways you approach these problems. I would like to challenge you on a couple points, however.

    You aren't enthused by either the Reach or TAT at the post level and instead push Engaged Users and Virality. Engaged Users is actually a roll up of TAT that also includes people who have just clicked on the post but not completed another action that would lead to a story being shared with friends. So if your criticism of TAT is that it is too broad (I don't think it is), Engaged Users is actually more broad. And Virality is merely TAT divided by Reach; I would argue that if Virality is important (and I think it is), then understanding the Reach of a post with high Virality is as important.

    At the most basic level, getting fans to interact with your content so that it is shared is fundamental to being successful on Facebook. I love the TAT metric because it does roll up all of that sharing activity (again, liking, commenting, etc, ALL result in a story being posted/shared) into one metric that allows you to see how your messaging is being spread.

    • 27

      Jeff: Thank you for challenging!

      Ideally at a post level we could measure Conversation, Amplification and Applause Rate separately. For the moment we don't have a tool that will do it cleanly – TrueSocialMetrics only does it at an aggregate level.

      So for post level analysis we have to compromise.

      Here's Facebook's definition of Virality: "The number of people who have created a story from your post as a percentage of the number of people who have seen it. This is a great indicator of the kind of posts your audience responds to."

      That seems nice and clean. It seems easy to answer the question: What did people do? Created a story. Ok let's figure out what causes people to do that. (In a almost direct way Virality shows Amplification Rate at a post level.)

      Here's Facebook's definition of Engaged Users: "The number of people who have clicked anywhere on your post."

      A good proxy, narrower than TAT (?), to understand proactive engagement (rather than the "trust us" your Reached so people read/it was great/did something).

      Both Virality and Engaged Users are reusing TAT components data, but for now my assumption was that it is what we'll may hay from. :)

      TAT has a very wide number of things in it making it a unrecognizable mush. Over time Facebook might help us decompose that overall number into individual contributing components (like they are doing with Promoted Ads). That would empower understanding of what actually happened and then action to optimize.


      • 28
        Daniel Thull says


        I'm not sure I understand why you prefer Engaged Users over TAT. I always thought Engaged Users was a super-set of TAT, including also people who clicked on videos, links etc. but didn't "create a story". This would mean that it's even more of an "unrecognizable mush", right?

        In my company we're using a metric called "adjusted TAT" to measure how many people positively/socially interacted with our content at page level. For this we subtract new Likes over a period from that period's TAT number. The great advantage over Engaged Users is that you can get this metric also for your competitor pages. :)


        • 29

          Daniel: Please see my reply to Jeff above, it has some more context about why I ended up with Engaged Users metric for Post level and am not recommending it for Page level. In a nutshell it is because we don't have a choice at Post level but we do at Page level.

          I love the proposal of using "Adjusted TAT," and absolutely love that you can measure for competitors. :)

          The challenge is what to use per post from Facebook Insights. Perhaps we should abandon that thought and jump to using the Excel exports from Insights, where, as I mentioned to Steve in the above comment, we have more options.

          We can move away from Engaged Users and Virality and shift to the using the manually downloaded data.

          Here's the tab in the spreadsheet from Facebook: "Lifetime Post Stories by act…" and how we can compute the exact same metrics we care about at the Page level, but now get them at a Post level…

          Facebook Page Level Engagement Metrics

          That should allow us to standardize on the best metrics, and move away from the mush completely by not relying just on the FB front end.

          Does that sound like a good way forward?

          In the spreadsheet, at a Post level, Facebook is also providing "Consumers" and "People who have liked your Page and engaged with your post" metrics. I'm intrigued by them. Will think harder about what they are actually measuring and if they are of any value.



  15. 30

    Avinash, I think this is the longest blog post I have ever read in my life! It took me two days to read it thoroughly.

    I have been reading Brian Carter’s “The Like Economy”. Brian was a speaker at MozCon in 2011. He spoke before you. I think you and Brian are saying a lot of the same things. Build “your” audience and market to them and conversions from Facebook are not as fast as Google. Facebook should be looked at as a long term marketing strategy.

    Anyway, there are many of things I want to comment on, but I have clients to take care of so I’ll need to keep it a little short.

    Do you get asked to prove Facebook's value?
    Nope. The only thing my clients care about is if there is more money in their bank accounts. Adwords and Bing Ads are our only sources of paid advertising. One thing I have told my clients is that we need to diversify from being so dependent on search engines. They don't care about Facebook.

    Are you as wary of Likes and Impressions as I am?
    I think Likes can show credibility. If there is a site that go to and they have a Facebook icon, I will visit their Facebook page. If they have little to no posts, then I think they aren’t a good company or that they are spam. I look for credibility signals like BBB, Chamber of Commerce memberships, Facebook or Twitter activity.

    • 31

      Francisco: Thanks for sharing your perspective, much appreciated.

      I'm sad that your clients are not caring about Facebook. As I'd replied to Mani in the comments, I think for some companies social media might be optional for now but I strongly believe companies should seriously start investing now in learning, experimenting and slowly over time mastering the channels.

      Regarding Likes… I think you are saying that it is less that you like Likes, rather you base your judgement on how the company is participating in social channels. I think that is a wise way to think about it.

      Seeing that someone has 1 million likes certainly attracts your attention, just like seeing a red Ferrari would. But then you sit inside and you realize it is a junky old Lada inside. Then you hate the "car" even more. :)


      • 32

        Social media marketing is not only about brand recognition though.

        Google now factors social media use into its ranking of web pages, counting links from Facebook, Twitter, and others in their inbound link count for a website. This means that social media is now also an important branch of a complete SEO strategy, making it of paramount importance that businesses engage fully in social media marketing.

        I've been using socialbakers, hootsuite and socialkik to increase my followers and fans.

  16. 33
    Jonathan ODonnell says

    Thanks A,

    Killer post as always. Just had a consult call with client and pulled info for the DMM and am literally in the midst of deving a "Social Strategy" for them, and thinking, they don't need a social strategy, they need a passion strategy…

    IMO on Facebook Ads; Businesses do a very poor job "speaking" to the humans on the other end of their ads. Some of the worst psycho/demo graphic based ads I have ever seen (or is that a reflection on me, ha!). Poor graphics and inaccurate messaging (too watered down, I feel) So I don't think it's all Facebook, marketers need to take a bit of the blame on that…


    • 34

      Jonathan: I agree with you 100%. It is not just Facebook. We absolutely have to take the blame, Marketers/People with Budgets.

      And it is not only on Facebook, just checkout the ads on Yahoo! properties or AOL or (heaven forbid) any ABC property. Most of the time you want to rush into the warm soothing embrace of AdBlock. :)


  17. 35

    Great Post!

    There is just one concern i have: how can it be, that the largest of all the data collectors facebook is lacking of ideas on how to get money from all this?

    They are totally stuck and are nothing like totally overwhelmingly rich. Compared to the data they obsess…

    • 36

      Mischa: I don't think Facebook sucks. For one thing they would not be as big!

      I'd tweeted this yesterday: "Might seem shocking but usually there is zero correlation between the amount of data available and its value. #bigdatapromises"


      So Facebook has a lot of data, but a lot of other factors go into that data proving to be of value. Facebook has shown a great ability to evolve and deliver value. I'm sure that that is what we are going to see on the data front.


  18. 37

    Fantastic blog post, as usual.

    As a matter of fact, I did went down the 'Engaged Users & Virality' path for my client, however the at the Page Level, I used a combinaton for what you had described as Conversation, Amplification and Applaud.

    The manner in which you laid it down as well as putting the future perspectives in place, was brilliant.


  19. 38

    Fantastic article, super in-depth and a great read for anyone considering Facebook advert ROI!

  20. 39
    Kenny Fabre says


    Facebook is big, and I been Facebook advertising for a while now, and I see what you are talking about.

    But I'm very lucky to be having a good experience with my Facebook ads ROI.

    I think it all comes down to your niche market, how the ad is written and how targeted your ads are.

    I love the tips in this post.

  21. 40

    Hello Avinash,

    This post is nothing less than a mini-Facebook Marketing course in itself ! Keep up the great work!


  22. 41

    Hey Avinash,

    I saw you mentioned having trouble getting the Applause (Likes), Conversations (Comments), Amplification (Shares), Virality, and Engaged Users metrics from Facebook in one place outside of that paid tool you mentioned – fortunately, I've spent the past bazillion hours digging around in those metrics and knew where they all were.

    I created an Excel sheet that you just have to copy and paste your Page Post data into to get those numbers pulled out for you. It's not as pretty, but it's free and you can further manipulate the data to create graphs or correlations if you need. I wrote a post about it and included a download link on FBPPC – here's a link:


    Thanks for the inspiring post! Loved it.


  23. 42

    Face book is a great place to market a business and good for quality back links.

  24. 43

    This is a great post Avinash.

    Funny enough, this morning (London time) I had a client meeting to discuss social media strategies especially, Facebook. Although, I have quite a bit of experience and have been a consultant for many businesses for many years, one continues to pick up some golden 'nuggets' along the way. And hence, after reading this post I thought… I should have read it before my meeting!

  25. 44

    One of the biggest problems with fb is that everyone can do it. So in my experience, many companies get their receptionist to run their posts with a "just put something up every couple of days or so… you've got a camera on your phone, right?"

    So she does.

    And a few months later they reach the conclusion that … yeah, facebook's great for the kids, but it just doesn't work for our business.

    But then, when you approach them with a full on proposal to manage their fb presence, they think you're out of your mind.

    It reminds me of how our Photoshop image editing skills were undermined when everyone suddenly got Paint as a free application on their PC – half a day of studio time for retouching?? But you do it on the computer…….

    • 45

      Steve: There is certainly some truth to it.

      A lot of businesses don't understand utility marketing, they don't understand what makes the social web revolution unique, they shout rather than have conversations, they constantly run polls or produce silly apps. Then they are shocked: "OMG Facebook stinks!"

      No. You stink!

      Facebook is a tool, and like any other tools, it is up to you to decide what you'll create with that tool.


    • 46

      Steve, you are so right! I'm sure people share the same sentiments the world over!!

      But, I try and make my clients understand where the value is and the motivation of creative content which puts a spin on things and they go hmmm… they start seeing a new way of thinking!

  26. 47

    Great post.

    The addition of the experiment tools to the FB ad and reporting tools would be great.

    A couple of copyedits ..just to show I paid attention:
    maturiry –> maturity
    not mean their visiting your page, –> they're

  27. 48

    Great post. Thanks for putting the time in to write it. I'm 3/4 of the way in and ha e an observation regarding testing methodology when measuring sale impact offline.

    Since Facebook introduced ads on mobile (which they need to refine significantly) you would need to opt out of targeting mobile devices (from what I can tell fb targets mobile devices based on home town – I'm in UAE, on desktop I get relevant ads on mobile I get ads for Vodafone and tmobile neither of which exist here).

    The trouble there is:

    1. You can select only opt out of mobile through power editor
    2. You can only target by device for promoted posts and sponsored stories. Any ads taking traffic to an app or url cannot be targeted by device.

    With more people accessing through mobile I wonder what impact that has.

    One other thing is – most user interactions happen in stream (from the news feed) including likes, shares and comments. Do you think that is at all important on terns of recall or impact? Consider most people won't see your actual business Page…

    • 49

      Harvey: I'm afraid I don't know precisely how Facebook is doing its mobile targeting. But most ad platforms are able to know very precisely where you are, so it is unusual that any platform would just use your hometown to target ads at you.

      On the device targeting, Facebook is moving pretty aggressively to evolve the options available to advertising. I would not be surprised to see new choices show up all the time.


  28. 50

    Thanks Dear, very good post.

  29. 51

    Great post, really addresses the need for the industry to buck up it's ideas and work together when thinking about how to measure the impact of less DR-centric tools.

    Couple of questions/comments if that is cool?

    1. Facebook has included ads on mobile. from what i can gather the method fb is using to identify location on a mobile device is based on your hometown (i'm based in UAE and when i browse from a mobile i see ads for vodafone/t-mobile even though neither are present here – havent changed my hometown…). Given that mobile devices are becoming the default method of accessing social networks you would have to exclude them from your targeting (until the method for identifying location improves). That means cutting out a significant audience…

    2. In order to only target desktop you would have to exclude mobile devices but this can only be done for promoted posts and sponsored stories. Any flyer ads (using an external URL or app) can not target by device…

    Basically fb need to sort out their device targeting options but as advertisers we need to be aware of the shortcomings.

    Also, most interaction on facebook are inline interactions (happen from the newsfeed). does anyone also think that is a potentially bad thing?


  30. 52

    It took me all week to get through this, Avinash, but now it's my go-to resource for Facebook marketing.

    Thanks for the knowledge as always!

  31. 53

    I think the post is very solid. I think attitudes of CxOs will change once marketers start treating Facebook like the branding platform it is (versus looking for one-click conversions), and I see social as the replacement to traditional offline marketing (newspapers/magazines/TV).

    I do think your final thought #2 was well stated: that social media success does not always lead to business success, but I the examples you give aren't good examples of that.

    You spent the whole article making the point that the number of fans you have does not represent social media success and then used Dippin Dots number of fans to show that they were "successful on social media" before they went bankrupt. The example would be stronger if you mentioned they were successfully driving engagement on the platform (if they actually were) and then went bankrupt.

    As far as Pepsi being successful on social media, I would say Coke is more successful on social, so I think that your example actually proves that social success is helping Coke continue to steal market share from Pepsi. I see that example as contradicting to your point.

    Overall, I think your article is strong, I just disagree with that one point. :)

  32. 54

    Dear Avinash:

    First of all, thank you for the time you invest in generating such awesome and carefully thought content. It took me a couple of days to read through it all but it was worth every minute. :)

    I'd just like to add a thought: Don't you think there are other interesting metrics that we as marketers can/should report, that are not available by automatic generation and we have to take note of them manually?

    I'll explain myself: I like to keep track of how many customer service requests I follow through in one of my clients' Facebook timelines. Meaning, if a customer contacts us to get help in an inquiry, sometimes I answer right away the requested info or if not, I channel it to the appropriate department and see that it gets followed through. Each one of these instances gets into my report, as I believe they are customer requests that are being dealt without using a phone call, for example.

    Thanks and best regards from Cancun, Mexico. :)


    • 55

      Camilo: Of course. Absolutely. Yes!


      Some of the items we cover in the last part of this post are unavailable directly from Facebook or Google Analytics or Webtrends. We have to calculate them ourselves.

      The example you share of customer service requests is also a great example that falls into that bucket.


  33. 56

    Hi Avinash, just wanted to compliment you on this post. Nicely long and insightful! Clicked over to you best social media metrics and wanted to follow up on this part under this blog post.

    I'm wondering what your take is on your Conversation, Amplification, Applause metrics regarding the trend that everyone is using (more and more) money to get more likes,shares and comments. Wouldn't the metrics be biased or give a wrong impression?

    I know, you can see how much your paid reach is per post, but you cannot (easily) see how many likes, comments or shares you got per post. It could be possible to check ouy your fb ad account and look up what kind of actions your ads produced, though this would be a very time consuming thing to do. Especially when having more then one client. Ideal option would be an admin function where you can on/off paid versus organic engagement..

    So long story short, would love to know your take on your current social media metrics and the trend of spending more and more money to raise those numbers..



    • 57

      Berend: Let's say you – and I know you are not doing this – spend a lot of money to buy Likes, Shares and Comments.

      Likes we already know are useless. So there's that. :)

      Shares (that you buy) might increase Amplification in the near term, but what are they accomplishing? You manipulate the metric, but does it add any long term value (or even short term) if people who see those shares are irrelevant? We care about Amplification because if you share something I write then you are taking your personal brand value, adding it to me and sending it along to others. This does not happen when you buy Shares.

      Comments (that you buy from fake people) are highly unlikely to be liked by others or even be on topic. That garbage on your page might make you look worse. So you'll stop quickly!

      We all solve for the business and not for the data. People who do the latter will fail. That should take care of that problem.

      To your latter point, there is more data available via Facebook Insights/Ads Reports Export feature. But you are right, it is a little more painful. Facebook is a very agile company, they will no doubt fix this problem.


      • 58

        Hi Avinash,

        Thanks for your quick reply. Just to clarify. When i was talking about spending more money, i was talking about promoted posts, page post ads, etc. Buying likes, or shares from dodgy companies is something marketers did back in 2005, when having more likers was the most important. I hope nowadays, marketers are more investing in engagement or their ROI.

        Bottom line was that by spending a lot of money on facebook advertising, your Conversation, Amplification, Applause metrics can look great, though it doesn't say if your spending 10k per month, or nothing… So imo, there should be a organic / paid version of your formula?

  34. 59

    I've only read part I and I already have one comment. To me earning like is a wrong objective and metrics. Here is why:

    I have looked at many fan bases of large brands (millions) and my diagnostic is that most brands don't build an audience on Facebook but just get a collection of likes, disconnected with their marketing strategy, segmentation and values. This to me is the core of the absence of value/benefits.

    The phenomenon you describe only works if the brand collects a large number of relevant fans and only them, eve better if this collection is an "eco-system" where people trust each other.

    Let's say you're a brand that sell Luxury Cosmetic in the US. Any like from kids in Malaysia or Germany destroy the value of the fan page. Messages coming from "out of market" people will just be noise to the legitimate fans, and incentive for them to disengage.

    On top of that, you got huge spamming in Facebook. I was recently with a brand manager from a top brand, with 300K fans for one page of its current product and his larger fan base came from Cairo.. although he only sells in US and UK.

    So, the problem does not come from Facebook itsef (although they could do a lot to make it easier influencers to engage and for brands to control/segment their fan base) but from the usage that brands do of Facebook.


  35. 60

    Amazing post as always.

    One thing I'd add is I always ask brands to put campaign tracking codes on all urls plus unique identifier (Campaign) per link shared on social network. At the end of the day/week/month, we can always compare visits, quality of visits (dwell time, bounce rate, PV/Visits etc) per medium (Facebook Page/ Sponsored stories/ Twitter etc) and conversion rates.

    This dashboard seems to tie all the loose ends together and provides us with the insights to further optimise our resources/investment and strategy on a regular basis. We are often surprised by the results.

    Sometimes it can be a bit disheartening to find that despite strong sense of community, Facebook might not be the best contributor to traffic and conversion (e.g. newsletters). But having the data in our face forces us to confront the efficacy of the channels instead of investing with just blind faith or herd instincts.

    The key challenge we have is on having a clean dashboard on such! Still a long way to go for us.

    • 61

      Cathy: Your advice to your clients is totally on the money. We should code all the links, we should track what happens on our site (business outcomes).

      Your experience with Facebook not driving as much traffic or conversions is not uncommon. (It is likely you see the same performance from Twitter or G+, though often from Twitter you see higher Visits.) That's because of the purpose I'd outlined in the post. We are on Facebook primarily to create an owned audience, which we can monetize to a small extent regularly but also an audience we can, hopefully, monetize more in terms of 1. new product launches etc and 2. getting the word out to others because our our Facebook awesomeness.

      And you get a giant hug from me for writing this: "Having the data in our face forces us to confront the efficacy of the channels instead of investing with just blind faith or herd instincts."

      Well said!


      • 62

        Thanks for the giant hug – sometimes you can feel quite alone being so insistent on tracking!

        On the point of social media as an audience development tool; you are absolutely spot on re: Facebook as an owned audience platform. However traditional publishers are facing the challenge of portals-turned-content-producers (e.g. Youtube's recent $200million investment in beefing up original content for Youtube).

        Sometimes it feels like we're working really hard to improve our engagement metrics on social media while strengthening these social media platform at the expense of our independence.

        But then you can abviously argue the audience shift is inevitable; if you can't fight them, join them. That's probably a conversation best saved for some other time!

  36. 63
    Benjamin says

    Dear Avinash,

    First of all great post! I really loved it and a lot of people in our company read it!

    There is one part which you didn't address and well no one really mentioned in the questions. I am referring to the negative comments. And with that I am not referring to negative sentiment but to hide clicks, hide all clicks, etc.

    Where likes on posts are equal to applause, in my opinion hide clicks are equal to people yelling BOOH and hide all clicks are people who are not listening to you anymore. Why not use these metrics (which are available in post level stas in Facebook Insights) to create a compound metric. In this metric you can combine the positive minus the negative metrics. This could give a more clearer sense of how your post is performing. Because people who are negative about your post can influence the things they are saying about your company.

    I am really interested in your view on the negative metrics!



    • 64

      Benjamin: I concur with you that it would be of value to take into account how often your audience is doing these actions: hide posts, hide all posts, report as spam and unlike your page. The first one could give good context to Conversation Rate at a post level and the other three give us context from a page level perspective.

      It is hard to ascribe "weight" to some of these things, so I would prefer to report them separately and let that bubble us, say, posts that got more negative clicks than positive clicks or vice a versa. When you do the compounding you might get a mushed up number that does not really reveal the underlying dynamics (and problems).

      The nice thing is that Facebook does provide us this data by date in the export file. We can jump to the Daily Negative Feedback User tab and play with it.


      • 65

        Hi Avinash,

        I agree with you and I believe it gives us more insights if we look at the positives and negatives. And yes compouding is not the way to go eventhough a lot of people do this (including myself).

        I did have one more thought about putting "weight" on certain posts. I'll try to explain in the following example:
        January 1st 2011
        500 fans
        post X on 2nd January receives 50 likes

        January 1st 2012
        50,000 fans
        post X on 3rd January receives 50 likes

        In the example above both posts would be evaluated as good or bad but at least the same. They both have 50 likes but then again in 2011 you had 500 fans which is an applause rate of 1 in 10. In 2012 you have an applause rate of 1 in 1000. So to judge your applause rate you do have to use the number of fans as a "weight". Because if you use the weight the post in 2012 would be rated as really bad and the one in 2011 as positive.



        • 66

          Benjamin: Very good point.

          In calling them Applause Rate my hope was that we would measure it as a percentage of the total number of followers/fans. Some people have adapted it to measure as a percentage of the total engaged fans (however you define it). But using a rate is optimal for exactly the reason you describe.

          When you had mentioned weight I'd misunderstood it to mean that you would assign weights as in "let's value likes more than we would value comments," or things to that effect. I'm not sure that is wise.

          Thanks for clarifying.


  37. 67

    Hey Avinash. Great post! Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Just a question here- loved the way you demystified and simplified the metrics into conversion, amplification and applause. One of the points I want to talk about is brand mentions and the quality/sentiment of the comments coming in.

    If I remember correctly, the talking about this metric also includes the measure of anyone else talking about your brand outside the page as well. If you look at the dashboard Facebook and CNN have up for US elections – it tries to cover this 'talking bout this' metric in terms of brand mentions, but fails to analyze the quality and sentiment of these comments.

    I know , Facebook is not equipped with social listening yet, but this should be part of the overall ROI Model (using third party listening tools). I understand these tools can crawl your own Facebook page. What do you think?

    • 68

      Suchi: Brand mentions, as done wonderfully in this case http://zqi.bo.lt/1uajy , is a bit distinct from what we are trying to do here. But it is a great use of data on Facebook to mine for preferences, trends etc.

      Talking About This is indeed an amalgamation of various different factors. Thanks for adding that thought.

      There are many other scenarios where people are "talking" (and sharing and forwarding and liking) that often are or are not represented in the number we get from Facebook. So we have to be quite careful about what we read into it.

      But as I'd mentioned in an earlier often we get the detailed data from the Export feature, I hope Facebook keeps stuffing more in there for those of us who like to keep digging. :)


  38. 69

    Excellent is too small a word for what you've done here. It's exactly what I've been looking for to help explain to clients why likes are not the ultimate goal.

    Thanks for all the information and great perspective. Looking forward to re-reading it at leisure and taking up your recommendations.

  39. 70

    Sections with anchor links. Kudos Avinash!

    Three additional thoughts (on this idea):

    1) Add a share button next to each. Or at least a tweet this option.

    2) If there were anchor level shares, how do you think search bots / algorithms interpret such things? Does that confuse them? Dilute the juice perhaps?

    3) Now obviously you're the GA master (and I, just a ninja in training trying to learn from the master) but do see a benefit from attaching an Event to such a link?

  40. 71

    Epic post, Avinash. It takes a lot of effort and focus to bring all of these thoughts together, and, as always, you've done a great job. Thank you.

    Throughout the strategies in this post, we are assuming that brands will hit their mark with consistently awesome content. But how do we do that?

    I advise my clients to use the following method: perhaps helpful to your readers here?

    1. Copy into a spreadsheet each FB post
    2. Include columns for same metrics you recommend "Engaged Users" and "Virality".
    3. Then, add one more column: "Content Category".

    (Content category is a pre-defined set of categories that a message belongs to. Options include "competition", "celeb mention", "fill in the blank" "industry commentary", etc. It varies per brand.)

    4. Create a pivot table that shows *average* Engaged Users and Virality per category.

    The end result shows that certain categories have more juice than others. This guides brands to create more content in these categories b/c they know its sticking.

    In a controlled manner, categories can be retired, or merged, or added.

    I've had great success with this on behalf of my clients. The results are often surprising and defy "hunches". Example: Many celeb mentions don't do nearly as well as expected.

    Aaron Zwas

  41. 72

    Wow, this post is a monster!

    Very informative, thanks Avinash.

    I do think inherently certain industries/offers will benefit more from Facebook than others.

  42. 73

    Really enjoyed this article and case study as I recently did a direct comparison with Google Adsense which we shared on the blog.

    It's fascinating trying to compare total demographics and filters of FAcebook to keywords with Google. In our study Facebook though beat the pants of Google for ROI on our product! (This was an ebook)

    Ron Lee

  43. 74

    I'm not religious and you just brought me to church re: Facebook metrics.

    I couldn't (wouldn't?) find the value before. Now I have a better road-map.

    Thank you for this post.

  44. 75


    Incredible post! I still believe that "social media" is social and Google is where people hunt, and buy…

    Anyway your post helps us mortals to rethink social as targeted place where real people are chatting and flattering each other. Now we can start thinking it as specific, very specifically targeted place, another place to show our products and ideas. It’s becoming the right place, not quite sure the right moment…

    I have sent your post to all of our social media team, I believe never read something so serious and scientifically oriented as your post.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Claudio @MD Marketing Digital Argentina

  45. 76

    I used a more traditional way to measure the ROI on Facebook. I included a number of FB metrics in an Econometric (Marketing Mix) Model along with other variables like TV spending and impressions, print advertising, radio advertising, etc. I was surprised to see that actually the dollars spent on Facebook had one of the highest standardized regression coefficients (second only to email circulation). To me using statistical modeling to measure returns on all types of marketing activities (including Facebook marketing) makes sense when you have a complex marketing mix. It also makes sense because only a fraction of the audience exposed to a FB ad or sponsored story would engage actively. All the metrics described by Avinash are engagement metrics. But what about the other 99% who would not engage but might have been impacted by viewing the ad? Statistical modeling offers a way around the problem of not being able to measure the reaction of the 99%.

    • 77

      Nino: Econometric models, along with controlled experiments that I've described in the post, allow us to get cleaner reads on the value of any marketing channel.

      The challenge for us is to ensure that our companies have skills necessary to create the models/execute the experiments, our models account for as many variables as we possibly can (this is so hard to do, especially with digital) and our assumptions are clearly outlined.

      There is no magical answer, but over time a company can get better and better and better. Or as I say in my keynote, be less wrong over time. :)

      Thank you for sharing this valuable advice with our readers.


  46. 78

    I loved this post, but I wonder, why do you consider Facebook an "owned audience"? The ability to communicate with this audience is so limited on facebook. I would consider them owned by facebook, not the brand.

    Would love to hear your logic on this!



    • 79

      Katrina: I have to admit I'd struggled a bit with the best description. As you mention the reality is that in some ways we are "renting" the audience from Facebook. They own the platform, the data, and in some ways the relationship. On top of that Facebook, via EdgeRank, owns which of your "Likers" see your Facebook posts and which "Likers" you have to reach via Promoted Posts and other ad options.


      Renting is a word I use do describe what happens on TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers. That is real renting.

      As we still own the page on Facebook, we own what appears there, we control the conversation with our audience, I'd chosen to emphasize the ownership facet simply to encourage thinking differently about the platform and to encourage a non-pimpy let's add value to the Likers. Because that is how we would treat people in our house, right? We would not just pimp coupons. :)


  47. 80

    Avinash you have really done great deal of research and data collection for this blog post.

    I have never came across such elaborate blog post on Facebook….

  48. 81
    Timothy Haines says

    Literally one of the best posts I've ever seen about Facebook ROI, Marketing Strategy, and Ads.

    I feel like I just want to school on the topics. Great writing, great insights, and great recommendations.

    Thanks for taking the time to put together this awesome resource!

  49. 82
    Bruno Babic says

    Wow! Avinash, this is another fantastic post that you've shared with us.

    Lately I have been trying to make some people "wake up" by encouraging them to start spending their time online more productively and to start thinking of great earning possibilities that the internet is offering us.

    Having said that you and I will surely agree that Facebook is definitely one of the major social networks whose leveraging shouldn't be missed when it comes to applying the modern internet marketing strategies.

    So, well done for transparently sharing with us all the best metrics, ROI and business value data that are all important when measuring ouir social media marketing performance through using Facebook brand pages.

  50. 83

    Once again, I'm reminded about the importance of reading your blog.

    This Facebook primer is amazing. You get at the heart of Facebook ads and pinpoint how to properly analyze success. I appreciate this post very much.

    I will need to come back often because it was so rich.


  51. 84

    I love this post.

    The first reason is that it talks about specific ways that ROI can be measured on Facebook, and the second is that it acknowledges that at least an attempt should be made to measure Facebook ROI.

    I get annoyed when people just talk about "having to be on Facebook" without considering what type of return is being derived from the time and money being spent.

  52. 85

    Facebook: Advertising is the fastest way to share any news, or to popularize any business…

    But i did not know the metrics to measure on Ad basics, thank you for writing this post.

  53. 86

    This was absolutely outstanding!

    I have been Facebook bashing for a while, and your post opened up my eyes to the business possibilities if done correctly.

    You could sell this as a stand alone ebook Avinash!


  54. 87

    Wow! Rhat's a great blogpost! really open my mind about how to measure the effectiveness of fb page. Hope i can apply what i've learned from it in a real world. Slow, but sure. Thank you Avinash :D

    About experiment that you said, i'd love to have it, but it's hard to get all of the data. Especially when we are just an agency. most of them, don't want to share their actual revenue.

  55. 88

    Hi Avinash,

    As ever a post packed to the gunnels with both useful theory and great tactics to try out. My only problem was this statement:-

    "It is always so cool to run marketing campaigns in large homogenous markets (like Europe, Asia, or large chunks of the US)."

    Maybe large chunks of the US are homogenous but Europe and Asia contain countries that vary widely in so many important aspects in digital marketing.



    • 89

      Dan: I'm glad you found the post to be of value.

      Perhaps I should have been more clear about how I was thinking of homogeneous. To me launching a new phone or diaper or car in Europe or Asia means that there are markets I can pick that can be similar in some aspects. For the phone I could pick Singapore and Hong Kong. Dramatically different in so many ways, but could easily serve as test and control for launching a smart phone with various digital strategies. Same thing between, say Spain and France. Etc.

      These are different markets on so many ways, but because of their geographical proximity present an awesome possibility in context of experimenting with digital advertising and marketing strategies.


  56. 90
    Nathan Zaru says

    Thanks for the comprehensive post Avinash.

    I've been FB advertising for a while and I see a lot of similarities in our strategies. I used to think Facebook should only be used for direct advertising but in the past year or so the ad products they rolled out have convinced me otherwise. If you want to check it out, here is my write up my direct response FB advertising strategies. zaru.co/3/post/2012/01/finding-customers-with-advanced-facebook-advertising-strategies.html?utm_source=kaushik

  57. 91

    I think Facebook ads giving Great ROI on visual decision making services like Photography, selecting business or conference halls etc….

    But lots ppl giving facebook advt to increase likes.

  58. 92
    Conference Coordinator says

    I think Facebook is one place where the public from day one have used it an escape from realities. A world where corporate greed, brand names and general commercialism have less power. People are doing business with each other as oppose to with the big boys. This is great for us idealists and also the mom n pop businesses that always gave the best customer service.

    Imagine Pepsi being able to answer 1 million questions a day asked directly on places like Facebook? Never going to happen, people expect an answer NOW! but the small business can do that. Yes, maybe I am being optimistic but we must all be aware of the seeds of change and the serious slowing down or high street commercial ideas?

    I love that people struggle to 'monetise' social networks, allowing us that actually give a dam about people not just profits to take care of the actual customers needs.

    Was that a rant?

    • 93

      C C: Much as I would love to agree with your delight in an ideal version (on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter) I'm afraid it is does not reflect reality.

      Brands are already big on Facebook and you can't escape them. Facebook has an array of advertising products to ensure that Brands are never far away from us. Brands already have a lot of power (maybe not enough for them, but they do have it).

      And it has to be that way because Facebook costs money to run. Facebook is a publicly listed company. Unless you are willing to pay them (and I know they don't charge you) some amount of money to have the utopia, they have to go somewhere else to make money. Guess who is going to be there? Brands. :)


  59. 94

    Hi Avinash,

    Great article!
    However I could not see a mention of Facebook "URL Tags"?
    Have you ever used it? Can I add UTM parameters in these?

    Thanks in advance,

    Best regards,


    • 95

      Edouard: In the Display Ads section I did mention using campaign tracking parameters as a way of measuring effectiveness of links from Facebook to your website.

      You can do this for any kind of link from Facebook to your site, display ads or status updates or just shared links.


  60. 96
    Kirsty Band says

    I have now spent the last 2 hours reading through your articles linked to this subject and have thouroughly enjoyed the journey. Having embarked on bringing our social media management in house for the New Zealand arm of a global business, I am keen to step change the way we use social media and in turn show how we can more effectively measure it as we get ourselves digitally fitter.

    A relative new-comer to marketing (6 years out of univeristy), I have an insane passion for all things digital and the involved and passionate conversations that we can have with our consumers in this platform. It is imperative that we push ourselves to get better at altering our mindset to marketing in the digital sphere, it's not a TV or radio ad, nor is it a piece of POS in store. Too often we hide behind number of likes believeing that our posts are of value when all we are doing is talking at the consumers rather than engaging them in our conversation.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts and to sharing some of my own insights and perspectives along the way.

  61. 97

    We are starting to branch out into Facebook and I found the promoted posts to not really engage many people.

    We tend to link to every post, but as an experiment I tried placing content directly on our Facebook page which has been far more effective than anything else we have done.

    I really hope that we manage to reach ever a fraction of what Seventh Generation have done which is an astounding achievement for any company.

  62. 98

    Hi Avinash; I wish I had a brain like yours!! Lol!

  63. 99
    Bijuterias no atacado says

    Hi Kaushik,

    Just been looking at this very scenario, and found your article a useful support guide.


  64. 100

    Killer post as always. Just had a consult call with client and pulled info for the DMM and am literally in the midst of deving a "Social Strategy" for them, and thinking, they don't need a social strategy, they need a passion strategy…

    IMO on Facebook Ads; Businesses do a very poor job "speaking" to the humans on the other end of their ads. Some of the worst psycho/demo graphic based ads I have ever seen (or is that a reflection on me, ha!). Poor graphics and inaccurate messaging (too watered down, I feel) So I don't think it's all Facebook, marketers need to take a bit of the blame on that…


  65. 101
    Priya Kuber says

    I agree with you. Its interesting how different entities see ROI on Social Media differently. For ex: consumer and enterprise brands.

    Insightful post.

    Thanks for the reply Avinash.

  66. 102
    Nathan Brook says

    Great idea. I find this very interesting and up-to-date. So simple message and yet provide a very solid advice.

  67. 103

    I was wondering if there is a way of knowing applause, amplification and conversions by your TG.

    Say you target a certain psycho graphic and demographic (let's say self employed males in tier 2 cities between 30-40) and you want to segment the above metrics by these parameters, to see if you are getting applause, amplification and conversion from the right set up people who make sense for your business?

  68. 105

    Thanks Avinash for this detailed explanation on, What to track & measure for Facebook success?

    Though instruction were right infront of me, but I never cared to click and learn more.

    Now after reading your article, I got a real good understanding to go wtih Facebook and all the promotional strategies used for driving business.


  69. 106

    Hi Avinash, love reading your posts.

    Do you know If you put 2 links to website from Facebook page. Would you get juice from 1 link or both. You are the master.


    • 107

      Justin: SEO is quite complex, and all search engines in the world use, literally, thousands of signals to compute "juice".

      If the link is placed in context, and is favorably inclined with the other thousands of signals used in the algorithm, that it would be of value.


  70. 108
    bhola prasad says

    Hi, avinash , really a great post. you showed us what is the truth, everybody should read this post if they are serious about Facebook ads.

    This post is really complex and i am not sure that i get this concept right. Do you mean –

    1. Facebook is not like other ads channels like google , bing, yahoo, etc . This platform is about engagement with the Audience, providing utility to them .It's a long term strategy to create loyal advocates of your brand.

    2. And if you want to advertise here, fb display ads is better than likes, promoted posts and sponsored stories. And if the outcomes from display ad is good we can keep doing it or find different channels to get more sales.

    • 109

      Bhola: For my latest perspective on the value of seven social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., please see this post:

      ~ How To Suck At Social Media: An Indispensable Guide For Businesses

      The first section on Facebook will answer your questions.

      But briefly, with the passage of time there is less Social (in context of businesses) on Facebook than originally framed by Facebook (or me in this post). It is best, again for businesses, as a paid advertising channel targeting See and Think intent.


  71. 110

    Holy crap, Avinash, that's a lot of great advice.

    I've been using the video feature on Facebook for the past few months and it's been working phenomenally.

    I'm definitely going to have to reread this post about a dozen times.

  72. 111

    HI Avinash,

    Really you did a great job and shared with us an excellent as well as lucrative information about Facebook. Hope it can help out the individuals who want to experience Facebook advertising.

    Thanks for sharing such a fantastic post :)



  73. 112

    In my case Facebook ads have been a dismal failure.

    The incubation period in my industry is at least a year. It takes an extraordinary amount of dollars to first get likes, followers and eventually a client.

    I have gone back to more traditional methods and the results are much better than any Facebook ad I ever ran.

  74. 113


    What a good post!

    Social media it's the right place to sell, for specific and targeted audience

    An important point is to use Facebook as an extension of the business, its very very important to have it.

    Thanks for sharing
    Roberto @Branditix

  75. 114

    Hi Avniash, very interesting article.

    I wonder how you the deal the discrepancies between the reporting tools from Facebook and other web analytic tracking tools?

    How should different sources conversion reports be used?

  76. 116
    Olavia James says

    Thanks for sharing great content.

    It is a really great how you simplify everything about Facebook Ads. Anyone, new or expert, will immediately get a ton of benefit from reading it.

    Thank you.

  77. 117
    Martinelli says

    Page likes were never a measure of success. You have to go down to the post level and determine which ones create meaningful activity for your business. Do not think in terms of episodic content, rather analyse total customer experiences and strive for business outcomes.

    You are building an audience on Facebook (think of it as a watering hole) in the hope of sparking connections and creating relationships that will result in better business transactions (like driving people to your site where you can focus more on conversion, or being recommended by your fans to their friends.)

  78. 118
    Diseño de páginas web says

    I love this post.

    The first reason is that it talks about specific ways that ROI can be measured on Facebook, and the second is that it acknowledges that at least an attempt should be made to measure Facebook ROI.

    I get annoyed when people just talk about "having to be on Facebook" without considering what type of return is being derived from the time and money being spent.

  79. 119

    Many people buy fake Facebook like but they should use Facebook Advertising


  1. […]
    Avinash Kaushik sees Facebook as completely different advertising story compared to other digital advertising channels. Read this interesting story here

  2. […]
    Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value (Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik)

  3. […]
    I just spent some of the morning reading the newest post on Avinash Kaushik’s blog Occam’s Razor. Avinash is the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, and while he doesn’t post frequently, it is always interesting and thought provoking. Today he wrote about how to measure Facebook advertising results and how to prove the value of Facebook to upper management. I won’t lie to you – it’s a LONG post. Avinash doesn’t maintain a blog as much as he writes novellas. I’ll try to summarize his wonderful post today in hopes that you will go to his site to read more.

  4. […]
    Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value, http://www.kaushik.net

  5. […] Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value 1 Upvotes Discuss Flag Submitted 1 min ago Gianluca Fiorelli Analytics kaushik.net Comments […]

  6. […]
    Avinash Kaushik posts “Facebook Advertising/Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value” at Occam’s Razor.

  7. […]
    Un artículo muy completo de Avinash Kaushik sobre las mejores métricas, ROI y business value

  8. […]
    In a recent, lengthy, awesome post, Avinash Kaushik covered a lot of ground in the social space. One particular point that he touched on finding useful metrics to report on the effectiveness of Facebook Pages. Although these metrics are not specific to all Facebook Ads, they can apply to Sponsored Stories or Facebook Page and Post ads, as well as Promoted Posts.

  9. […]
    ¿Hacéis campañas en Facebook y no sabéis si le estáis sacando todo el rendimiento posible? ¿Os preocupa el ROI de dichas acciones? Avinash Kaushik ha escrito un estupendo post donde trata todos estos temas y ofrece información de calidad que os ayudará a crear buenas campañas de anuncios en Facebook y medir su retorno correctamente. Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value

  10. […]
    Avinash Kaushik kicks off our Monday with a very comprehensive look at marketing and advertising on Facebook and ways to measure success or failure: Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value. It’s a bit lengthy, but well worth taking time to read through.

  11. […]
    Avinash Kaushik/Occam's Razor: Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value

  12. […]
    Still mystified by how to measure value from Facebook marketing? Avinash Kaushik shares a comprehensive breakdown of exactly what you should be measuring and how to demonstrate its value to your organization in Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value. A key takeaway – don’t measure Likes! (A side note, Facebook is actively culling Likes from brand pages it believes are fakes, another reason not to focus on the number).

  13. […] Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value – Avinash Kaushik […]

  14. […]
    Being the social media expert, I directly highlighted the points on what Bangladeshi companies are doing wrong on Facebook and other social platforms. I presented the Facebook marketing measurement model created by Avinash Kaushik and pointed out the key revolutionary points from his blog.

  15. […]
    Mr. Kaushik thinks big: In his most current blog post he want to do nothing else than re-defining the ROI of Facebook marketing. "We (CxOs, Marketers, Analysts) don't really understand what is unique about Facebook. Because we don't understand the uniqueness, we fall back on profoundly sub-optimal old world metrics like Reach or Online GRP equivalents. We can do much better." https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/

  16. […]
    Google ima drugi pristup u čijem temelju je promatranje posjetitelja kao potencijalnog kupca, bez obzira na njegova demografska, sociološka ili geografska obilježja. Ako 30 godišnja nezaposlena majka iz Zagreba traži iPhone i to isto traži financijski direktor velike korporacije iz Splita, za razliku of Facebooka, koji ih tretira kao odvojene socio-demografske skupine, Google ih tretira kao potencijalne kupce iPhone uređaja. I tako omogućuje oglašivaču slanje poruke potencijalnom kupcu, a ne nekoj demografskoj skupini koju je marketinški odjel proglasio poželjnom skupinom kupaca. Stoga je Google puno efikasniji i ima mjerljivi ROI koji je još uvijek nejasan kod Facebooka.

  17. […]
    Avinsash Kaushik wrote a tremendous, but lengthy, blog post recently on this and many other topics that I urge you to read. He touches on advertising on Facebook, as well. Again, this is not a way for you to drive traffic to your site. You advertise on Facebook to get Facebook users to your Facebook page. It’s all very Facebook-centric. Obviously, Facebook is not the only weapon you need in your marketing arsenal. Having a large, interested, captive audience on Facebook is a great thing. You can deliver as many messages to fans of your page as you want and they don’t cost you anything. But, while those fans might buy your product when a need arises and they might tell others about your product, you need other, more traditional marketing methods to truly impact your bottom line.

  18. […]
    Measure and calculate the value of Facebook content being shown to more of your fans. Remember: Social doesn't just happen, be consistent, give feedback, invest in creating great content, measure/learn and have fun!

  19. […]
    But that was the title of a talk I got roped into delivering a couple of weeks ago at Social Media Week and, although, there are no perfect solutions for measuring Social Media, there are certainly some steps that you can take (Kaushik recently published a magnus opus on the subject, with a particular focus on Facebook which I’d urge you to read). But before diving in, we need to take a step back. The best way to identify the value of something is to measure how it delivers against its objectives. Its peripheral benefits can then be measured following this.

  20. […]
    Avinash Kaushik is Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist and in my opinion one of the most brilliant minds in digital around the world. In his writing and speaking Kaushik has championed the principle of aggregation of marginal gains, and encouraged the pursuit of simplifying perceived complexity in the field of data analytics. Recently he wrote what I consider to be one of the best posts about “How to measure ROI on Facebook” and probably gave Facebook the roadmap to answer the question.

  21. […]
    Gràcies a La iguana ilustrada veiem com és de fàcil enganyar amb els números. Però també hem de veure que si un si fixa és molt fàcil detectar l’error. Amb l’analítica passa el mateix, jo no hi entenc massa però l’Avinash Kaushik sí, i aquí ens demostra com a vegades amb les dades de Facebook volem anar massa ràpid i no veiem les coses del tot clares.

  22. […]
    Facebook Advertising/Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value (Occam’s Razor)

  23. […] Facebook metrics you should pay attention to. […]

  24. […]
    Shattering the Idea of Social Media Strategery
    This is a snippet from a larger post on social media analytics from Avinash Kaushik. Kaushik is a real smart guy, a Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google.

  25. […]
    Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value Occam’s Razor – Learn best ways to create value for your business on Facebook, how to measure online and offline return on investment, and which metrics are most insightful. I honestly haven’t thoroughly read this one (and actually haven’t given focus on Facebook marketing) yet but thought it’s absolutely mega-worthy to share this with you because: You might have missed reading it in the past week; It’s written by the great Avinash Kaushik;

  26. […]
    Wondrous post over at one of the planet’s smartest blogs – Occam’s Razor – by Google’s Avinash Kaushik on how to, and how not to measure social media ROI (incremental profit minus costs incurred). Worth reading – but in a nutshell, Avinash takes Facebook to task for misrepresenting ROI on a Burberry campaign. Brand promotes new product on Facebook. Sales go up. Therefore Facebook marketing works. Not. The error happens in confusing correlation with causation. Take this example. Man takes contraceptive pill. Man does not get pregnant. Therefore pill is effective in preventing male pregnancies. Nope.

  27. […]
    Wondrous post over at one of the planet’s smartest blogs – Occam’s Razor – by Google’s Avinash Kaushik on how to, and how not to measure social media ROI (incremental profit minus costs incurred).

  28. […]
    Avinash Kaushik is the Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google but what makes Avinash, Avinash is how much of his own character comes through and the amount of shear brilliance he shares within every post. A great example is Avinash’s recent post about Facebook that could have been a mini ebook. When you listen to Avinash speak all of that comes through even more.

  29. […]
    社会化媒体的成功并不能保证商业的成功。Dippin’ Dots 在2011年11月破产前,Facebook有超过5百万的粉丝。百事是社会化媒体最活跃的参与者之一,但是市场占有率每况日下。这样子的例子也比比皆是。所以,核心竞争力可以透过社会化媒体来扩散,但在社会化媒体上的成功很难弥补公司在产品/服务和战略上存在的核心问题。
    编译 @bigla

  30. […]
    Lienee syytä huomauttaa, että asia ei suinkaan ole näin yksiselitteinen, sillä myyntiin vaikuttavia asioita on aina enemmän kuin voidaan mitata. Lisäksi on syytä pitää mielessä, että korrelaatio ei aina implikoi kausaliteettia. Tämä tapa on kuitenkin hyvä keino arvioida, onko Facebook-markkinoinnilla mitään merkitystä offline-myyntiin. Jos Facebook-markkinoinnin tarkempi mittaus kiinnostaa, Avinash Kaushik on kirjoittanut aiheesta blogiinsa huomattavan kattavasti.

  31. […]
    If you want to read more about this, please have a look at the full article at Occam’s Razor, the blog of Avinash. There you can also find a very interesting article on Facebook advertising.

  32. […]
    编者语:最近,Google数字营销布道师(Evangelist),《精通Web Analytics 2.0》作者Avinash Kaushik 撰写了一篇关于在Facebook做广告和营销活动的ROI的文章。文章以分析Facebook的广告投放和营销活动效果为主,但我认为Avinash提出了一些思考和衡量标准也值得我们去借鉴和运用到其他类型的社会化媒体中去。并且目前对于社会化媒体ROI并没有固定的衡量标准,大家都在摸索中前进,遂将文章的重要观点与大家分享。

  33. […]
    Although this advice still stands strong, my advise this year is for your company to go social! Now you might be thinking, “Wait. Facebook’s stock markets went down last year. So why are we still putting our cards on social?” Truth be told, majority of marketers do not know how to measure the value Facebook provides. Facebook allows businesses to own an audience though most companies simply rent traffic. Here is a hint: it is not about the likes! Social media is for conversation and sharing.

  34. […]
    1. Si solo pudieses leer un post sobre métricas y ROI en Facebook debería ser este de @avinash

  35. […]
    A causa dell’edgerank è bene fare promoted post per assicurarsi che tutti i fan vedano i nostri contenuti. L’importante poi è misurare cosa quei 10 € hanno portato. Per lui è meglio fare promoted post invece dei Facebook ads (che hanno un CTR molto basso).Qui c’è il post di Avinash con i concetti e le immagini dell’intervento: https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/

  36. […]
    What works on Facebook likely won’t work on Twitter. You need different content for the different networks. Even where the platform is similar e.g. Facebook and Google+ there still tend to be differences in terms of what the audience will respond well to. Experiment to figure out what’s resonating on each channel. Only one in ten posts on social should have commercial intent. More on measurement – https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/ Companies need to be social or quit social!

  37. […]
    1. Si solo pudieses leer un post sobre métricas y ROI en Facebook debería ser este de @avinash

  38. […]
    This week, we had to create an infographic based on one of Avinash Kaushik’s blog posts on analytics. I chose his blog post “Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value” – here is my infographic, created on Piktochart:

  39. […]
    While it has astonishing 950 millions users, Avinash Kaushik sees Facebook as completely different advertising story compared to other digital advertising channels. In his latest blogpost he criticizes Facebook ROI explanation given by a Facebook employee on a recent tech conference and in return gives completely different point of view. Read this interesting story here

  40. […]
    No solo de tweets, posts en blogs y whitepapers vive el hombre. Hay gente que escribe posts que casi podrían rivalizar en riqueza algunos libros, como por ejemplo este de Avinash Kaushik acerca de métricas en Facebook, pero al final son temas o ideas completas pero puntuales o muy específicas. Hay veces que una idea o concepto necesita espacio para desarrollarse y ser explicada en toda su extensión. Y hasta ahora no se inventa nada mejor que un libro en forma para hacer eso. Por supuesto que nada le gana a la experiencia, pero el poder absorber nuevas ideas de manera completa y detallada es esencial.

  41. […]
    最近,Google数字营销布道师(Evangelist),《精通Web Analytics 2.0》作者Avinash Kaushik 撰写了一篇关于在Facebook做广告和营销活动的ROI的文章。文章以分析Facebook的广告投放和营销活动效果为主,但我认为Avinash提出了一些思考和衡量标准也值得我们去借鉴和运用到其他类型的社会化媒体中去。并且目前对于社会化媒体ROI并没有固定的衡量标准,大家都在摸索中前进,遂将文章的重要观点与大家分享。

  42. […]
    It would be a good idea to segment your ads using these different parameters as this allows you to measure and compare the response of different segments. Additionally, time is of importance too. If it’s past 1am in a certain location, there wouldn’t be sense in paying for the purpose of promoting a page there. There are three main parameters that define your audience, but for location, it can be subdivided into even smaller groups such as state/province, city, and ZIP code. While filling in this section, ensure that you check the radio button next to country and then type in “United States” next to the label written “Location”. You can afterwards choose an age bracket and a specific gender.

  43. […]
    Interesting reads on Social Media ROI: https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/ – Covers essentially Facebook, but applies to other social networks as well.

  44. […]
    "When we post on Facebook does anyone actually engage with us via typing on their keyboards and adding to the discussion? When we post on Facebook does anyone amplify our contribution so that it is seen by people who don't know about us? When we post on Facebook, which content is loved by our followers/fans/friends (so that we can kill the loser stuff)?" – Avinash Kaushik, Facebook Advertisng / Marketing

  45. […]
    Besides, if fans and followers amounted to some sort of marketing or business asset, Blackberry, with 3.9 million followers, would be flying instead of knocking on death's door; Dippin' Dots would have announced record profits rather than declaring bankruptcy mere days after collecting its 5 millionth Facebook fan; and Pepsi, one of the top 30 brands in terms of Twitter followers, would be blowing away the market rather than under-performing the S&P500 by 50% since the brand joined Twitter in December 2008.

  46. […]
    Page likes were never a measure of success. You have to go down to the post level and determine which ones create meaningful activity for your business. Do not think in terms of episodic content, rather analyse total customer experiences and strive for business outcomes. You are building an audience on Facebook (think of it as a watering hole) in the hope of sparking connections and creating relationships that will result in better business transactions (like driving people to your site where you can focus more on conversion, or being recommended by your fans to their friends.)

  47. […]
    Kaushik, A. (nodate) Facebook advertising/ marketing: best metrics, ROI, business value. [Online] Available from: https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/

  48. […]
    Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value – This monster of a post is a couple years old, but it’s still well worth a read. In it, Avinash Kaushik compares Facebook advertising to other types of digital advertising and shows us how to think about measuring the ROI of your paid efforts on Facebook.

  49. […]
    Interesting reads on Social Media ROI: https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/ – Covers essentially Facebook, but applies to other social networks as well.

  50. […]
    Value: Create value with posts and other items shared on social media. Do not post just to post or share just so that you have activity that day. Provide a value with your posts that customers can perceive and understand. If there is a value to them, then they will be more willing to click through the post. Value can be created in many ways, but here are some lessons.

  51. […]
    Occam’s Razor. 2012. Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/.

  52. […]
    Increased investment in Facebook as an engagement/acquisition channel has translated into requests from CEOs, CMOs and other CxOs about the return on that investment, says Avinash Kaushik, who interestingly discussed at length about Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value.

  53. […]
    Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value

  54. […]
    Kaushik, A. (2016). Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value. Retrieved from https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/facebook-advertising-marketing-best-metrics-roi-business-value/

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