In Facebook Advertising, Social Media Marketing

Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising – I wanted to take some time today to review the Facebook advertising campaign one of our clients ran for a four month period and look under the hood at some of the results.

Now, as I have discussed in the past why we don’t do social media marketing, our client was actually working with another agency and asked us to set up the proper traffic and conversion tracking so they could evaluate the effectiveness of the advertising traffic in generating new leads.  The agency that they used charged $2,000 for the four-month campaign.

We decided we needed to measure 4 elements that would likely lead to a conversion, which in this case was either a phone call (with call tracking) or filling out a lead request form on the website.

  • Brand Awareness

    Measure Facebook display ad impressions

  • Ad Engagement

    Measure how many people clicked on the Facebook ad

  • Website Engagement

    What the Facebook visitors did on the website

  • Conversions

    Did the Facebook traffic convert into a lead or sale

The campaign ran from mid-March until late July, so just under 4 months.  The agency had set the geographic target area to Calgary and the surrounding area and specifically targeted the Facebook demographic for males and females between 35-44 years of age.  So, let’s have a look at the results that we saw from our tracking.

Facebook Advertising Metrics

Impressions:  539,987

Reach:  4,060 people

This was an interesting metric.  The campaign ad was shown just over half a million times to this targeted demographic and reached a total of 4,060 individual people.  This means that over the course of the 4-month campaign the average individual saw the ad around 133 times.  That is an incredible amount of times to see an ad on Facebook.

Ad Clicks:  74

CTR:  0.0001%

This metric tells us how engaged people were with the ad that they saw.  The clickthrough rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions, gives us a rate of 0.0001%.  The similar industry average for a display ad campaign on Google would be about 0.33% would give you about 1,782 clicks.  There is no way of sugar coating this, 74 clicks is bad.

Bounce Rate:  93.62%

Avg. Session:  00:00:08

Okay, so the people who saw our ad showed interest by clicking on it.  Now, what did they do when they arrived at the site.  Not much.

94% of the people bounced, meaning they only spent around 8 seconds on the website.   Only 6% of the people went on to visit another page.  Needless to say, this was not very engaging traffic.

Conversions:  0

Conversion Rate:  0%

Given that only 6% of the overall traffic from Facebook seemed to be engaged it’s not overly surprising that hardly anyone converted by either calling or completing the appointment form.

Unfortunately when we perform conversion and metric tracking for our clients that do some social media advertising the results are often the same.   The traffic is hard to get and the conversion results are not what they would hope to see.  Perhaps you’ve experienced the same types of results from either a campaign you’re running or that another agency may be running?

It continues to be our belief that social media ads don’t make sense for some industries and clients that have limited advertising budgets.  When people are on social media they have different mindsets than someone who has entered a search query into the Google search bar.  When people perform a search, they are looking for something specific and if its a service or a product want to book it or buy it right then and there.

Consider the drastically different results that our search advertising campaign generated on Google during the exact same period for the same client.

Google Advertising Metrics

Impressions:  28,467

Sessions:  1,073

With search ads, our goal is not to blanket users with ads they probably don’t pay attention to. Our goal is to put our ads in front of the people at the exact time they are searching for our services.  In this case, our Google search ads showed 80% less often than the Facebook ads.

Ad Clicks:  1,356

CTR:  4.76%

Because our ads only show for search terms and key words that we target we generated 1,356 clicks with an engagement rate of just under 5%.  This is exponentially higher because the ads spoke to the person in their time of need when they wanted to see the ad.

Bounce Rate:  83.88%

Avg. Session:  00:00:49

The bounce rate is much lower but still on the higher side of what we typically like to see for ads, however, our ads are directed at a highly converting single page so someone can convert without having to go to a second page.  In addition the average time on our site that a person who clicked an ad was 49 seconds.  This means they were at least interested in what our client was offering.

Conversions:  171

Conversion Rate:  15.94%

Our conversion rate of close to 16% is highly indicative that the traffic we were getting needed the services that we were advertising.  In fact, 171 people that came from the ads reached out directly to our client.  The conversion rate is the most important metric you need to be tracking.

Facebook Advertising Agencies

One of the most disappointing aspects that our client learned from this experience is that they paid the social media advertising agency but did not get much in return for their $2,000.  Not only did the ads not achieve the results the agency promoted, all they received for their money was a one-page report that showed how ineffective the campaign actually was.

During the four month period there were no contacts made by the agency to the client, nor were there any efforts to actually measure the conversions and traffic the campaign was generating.  It would appear that the agency threw up an ad and tried to get the half a million ad impressions with little to no work for the money the client paid.

Could the ads have done better if the agency gave it more effort?  Perhaps.  Four months is a long time to run the same ad over and over again, especially when no results were coming in.  Also, impressions are not a campaigns measure of success, conversions are.

If you’re currently using a social media agency to run your Facebook advertising campaign and aren’t seeing results you should ask questions as to why and what are they doing to help you track conversions for your advertising spend.

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash
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Social Media Marketing - Factor One - Calgary Alberta