Contrary to popular belief, advertising has always been part of Facebook. In fact, when the social media giant first got started in 2004, it was generating revenue from “flyers.” These flyers were purchased by small businesses, retail outlets and students who wanted to increase lead generation among specific campuses. Recently, Facebook announced two changes aimed at improving transparency and reporting accuracy within its Facebook Audience Networks (FAN), changes that are ideally-suited to eCommerce, retail and other small and medium-sized businesses.
Why Were Changes Needed?
These changes aim to remove unintentional clicks while improving how advertisers review ad impressions. The upgrade means that companies now have a more transparent view on how users interact with their advertisements. So, what was happening before these changes?
Unintentional Clicks Within the FAN
Before these changes were implemented, Facebook counted all clicks with the FAN. It didn’t matter if the ad was poorly placed or if the ad wasn’t clearly defined as promotional material. This meant that users who unintentionally clicked on an ad were counted as official clicks. To address this obvious discrepancy, Facebook has implemented different delivery models to measure drop-off rates.
Now, users that click on an ad and spend less than two seconds on a given landing page, won’t be counted as clicks and they won’t appear in any advertising report. The direct benefit for advertisers is a reduction in costs per click, and costs overall, which should allow companies to divert marketing funds elsewhere or run additional ad formats within the FAN or other advertising networks.
Upgrade in Ad Impression Reporting
The other change is aimed at giving advertising greater visibility on ad impressions. This allows advertisers to determine their clicks by ad impression, which invariably means companies will be able to better assess their click-through-rates (CTR) on all advertisements within the FAN. This is being accomplished with the introduction of two new Facebook ad metrics. The first is "gross impressions" and the second is "auto-refresh impressions".
- Gross Impressions: Facebook now summarizes grow impressions by both billable and non-billable impressions, thereby giving advertisers a complete view of all the impressions a given advertisement received.
- Auto-Refresh Impressions: For advertisers looking to deep dive into the granularity of their ad impressions, Facebook came up with auto-refresh impressions to see if new ad impressions were the result of a page refresh.
Facebook has stated that it will continue to release additional analytics and tracking metrics in the coming months as it continues along its path of improved transparency and reporting accuracy. For advertisers, it means better cost control, a greater understanding of the success or failure of individual ad units and the ability to stretch marketing budgets among different ad formats and digital strategies.
Be sure to get acclimatized with Facebook's recent changes. Understand these changes and the impact they have on ad impression reporting and billable clicks. Properly managing the Facebook dashboard will allow your company to better manage its advertising spend while also better understanding which ads perform best and why.
If you would like to read more about Facebook and its advertising platform, then download Generating Leads with Facebook Lead Ads.