Natalie McCatty is a content writer for Solutions 8, Arizona’s fastest growing search engine marketing firm offering web design, video production, social media, content creation and more.
If you use Facebook to promote your business, you may be wondering if users are actually seeing your ads. Or you might be wondering what the difference is between clicks and impressions. There are a lot of terms out there that exist to measure the effectiveness of your campaign – but do you really know what they all mean?
1. Clicks (and click-through rates)
This is a pretty easy one. Clicks are how many times a user clicks on your ad. Your click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that tells you the number of clicks your ad received in regards to how many times the ad was seen.
What does all this mean for you? Well for one thing, your campaign may be based off of a cost-per-click model in which you only pay for clicks. It’s also important to understand that clicks are not by any means the be-all-end-all of ad metrics, and they can often be misleading. According to Nielson research, there is only a “0.07% correlation between high click-through rates and sales.” Keeping this in mind, let’s look at some of the other ways to measure ad effectiveness.
2. Social Clicks (and social click-through rates)
Social clicks are like clicks but apply to ads with social context. Social context refers to ads that tell the user how many friends like your page, or are going to your event or joined your group. Social clicks are only used for ads for events, groups or fan pages. Your social CTR is the percentage of social clicks your ad got in relation to the number of impressions.
Ad impressions are the number of times a user views your ad; sometimes it’s referred to as an ‘ad view.’ If you are familiar with website tracking, an impression would be akin to a page view – it’s essentially the number of eyeballs your ad receives. The important thing to remember is that impressions just measure the total number of views and not unique views. So it doesn’t necessarily show you the number of people viewing your ad (which is referred to as ‘unique impressions’) – just the number of times it was viewed.
Impressions are analogous to someone coming across your ad in a magazine, or viewing your ad on TV, or seeing your ad on a billboard. It doesn’t tell you if people are taking action, but it does help to show how you’re doing with brand awareness.
4. Actions (and action rates)
Fortunately, Facebook measures how many users take action after seeing your ad. Depending on what your ad is asking the user to do, the action could be leaving a comment, registering for an event or liking a page. Actions are important, obviously, because it’s probably the end goal of your ad campaign. An action rate is simply the amount of ad viewers who took action, expressed as a percentage.
Advertising on Facebook has become pretty complex, and knowing what each term means is key to understanding how effective your campaign really is. It’s important to track things like clicks and impressions on Facebook and in any other digital advertising campaign for that matter, so you can be sure you’re reaching your campaign goals and spending your advertising dollars wisely.