Facebook advertising is hyper targeted and as a result is often much more expensive than the Google Content network.  It’s important to have solid reporting in place so you can make sense of which campaigns are winners.

Facebook has gone through substantial growing pains as they develop their ad network.  From reporting errors to actually doing away with website based conversion reporting (it was too much to support)- it’s not your grandma’s ad network!

There are new social actions that can take place on Facebook ads such as a Like or an RSVP.  The resulting advertising performance report is a mish-mosh (yes, I said it) of trendy new terms that can both overlap and exclude adjacent stats.  It’s then left to us to translate the results into business speak.

The final bit of challenge is that until recently, not everyone at Facebook knew exactly what each stat was or how they were related.  So I’d Google Search the heck out of the situation- coming up with less than helpful docs, like the Facebook Ads Report.  No offense to FB but the thing was definitely created by someone who’s never had to calculate a CPL for a Facebook ad campaign.

There is a help file that gives the run-down of *most* terms in your Facebook Advertising Performance Report. Go there for definitions of things like Impressions & Spent. Just in case you didn’t know. 😉  To their credit they do label Social Conversions- which we’ll expand on in a second.  Conversions, though, is neglected- leading everyone to wonder which conversion this column refers to…

Thankfully they’ve hired hotshots to deal with inquisitors like me- and now we can all have answers!

First things first, all conversions are SOCIAL conversions now, and they happen on Facebook.  As I mentioned above, Facebook rather quietly did away with their embeddable conversion code.  It was a great thing- being able to see how many people came from FB and then converted on your site.  Unfortunately, they quickly realized that they weren’t up to the task of supporting this level of reporting- probably because they’d have less time to harvest their crops on FarmVille.  It also makes sense because you can use unique landing pages or Google Analytics to track Facebook conversions on your own site.

Social Clicks – Early on I had been told by FB that these were social conversions on ads that pointed to Facebook Fan pages, but that’s not true.  Social clicks AREN’T conversions, and are literally just any click on ads that are showing you names of friends who have also liked that page.  So this can be more associated with the Social %” and “Social CTR” columns.  It’s just a click buddy!

Actions – This is for conversions that occurred directly on the ad itself.  So someone became a fan of your page or RSVP’d to your event (or even installed your app) without clicking through to your page.

Conversions – The total number of conversions (like, event, app) that occurred within 28 days of clicking or viewing your ad.  Conversions does INCLUDE Actions, so don’t add them together.  Also keep in mind they’re taking credit for 28 days of fannage, which is something display networks love to do.

There you have it! Conversion data coming out your ears.  :)