One of the biggest advantages of Facebook advertising is the wealth of data it generates. In fact, Facebook provides advertisers with a range of metrics that summarize campaign performance. However, this wealth of data is often underutilized as advertisers are not sure which metrics they should focus on.

To those who are new to Facebook advertising, it is important to begin thinking like a Facebook advertiser and not a Facebook user. It’s no secret that Facebook’s business model is centered around the emotional experience of many people while using the platform. In contrast, Facebook advertisers view Likes, Comments and any other metric as just that . . . a metric. For example, if one of your ads receives tons of Likes, the good feeling you may get from it unfortunately doesn’t benefit your business nor should it be the standard for judging the effectiveness of your campaign. As an advertiser you must always ask yourself, “ How do these metrics affect my business?” In his particular scenario, the engagement on your ad is a great means of measuring public opinion, which is valuable information to your business. Making the switch to thinking like an advertiser is vital in successful Facebook marketing.

In truth, Digital Marketing is extremely contextual. There is no one metric on which everyone should focus. For example, say you are advertising for an e-commerce clothing brand . At first glance, one might expect metrics like Click-Through-Rate and Site Visitors to be the major focus of the digital marketing campaign. However, this same e-commerce business may find that they also need to focus on metrics like Page Likes and Engagement as it’s much easier for the business to sell clothes when it has a strong reputation and relationship with its existing and potential customers.

In this article, we will define several common digital marketing metrics as well as discuss when they should matter.

Relevance Score – Relevance Scores indicate how relevant your ad is to the audience to whom it is being served. This score ranges from 1-10. Facebook rates ads with a relevance score of 3 and below as irrelevant and ads with a score of 8 and above as highly relevant.

When should it matter? – An ad’s Relevance Score can affect how cost-efficient it is. Facebook’s algorithms reward ads with high relevance scores by serving them at a lower CPM. If your ads have high CPMs or perform below expectation you should analyze your relevancy scores and consider a better message match.

Frequency score – Frequency Scores measure how many times on average your audience has seen your ad.

When should it matter? – As an ad’s Frequency Score increases, the likelihood that your selected audience is fatigued from seeing that ad also increases. Audiences may become annoyed by viewing the same ad over and over. Keep an eye on your frequency scores as they may be indicative of audience fatigue.

Post Engagements – Facebook defines Post Engagements as post Clicks, Likes, Reactions, Shares and Comments

When should it matter? – If your marketing objective is to increase brand awareness or improve brand image, Post Engagements are a metric on which you should focus.

Page likes – A count of people who liked your page after interacting with an ad.

When should it matter? – If your goal is to build a sense of community and/or mode of informing your customers, you should focus on increasing your Page Likes. Once someone likes your page, they will begin receiving your organic content in their news feed.

Reach – How many individual people were reached by your facebook ads.

When should it matter? – Reach is a simple but useful metric. If your marketing objective is to reach as many people as possible, this is an obvious metric on which to focus. Reach also can help you understand how effective your campaigns are. Imagine you have an ad that has an extremely high Click-Through-Rate but only reached 5 people. Before concluding that your messaging and audience is a winning formula, you should wait until your ad was shown to a much higher number of people so that your metrics are statistically significant.

Impression – The number of times your ad appears on a screen.

When should it matter? – Very similar to Reach, Impressions are a simple but useful metric. Impressions are helpful in calculating the marginal performance of your ads.

CPM (Cost Per Mile) – CPM, or cost per mile, indicates how much you are paying per 1,000 impressions.

When should it matter? – CPM is determined by a range of variables. Relevance Score, Click-Through-Rate, Audience Choice, Bidding Competition from other advertisers and Placement are just a few of those variables. Typically, Facebook will increase the CPM for audiences that are highly specified or in demand by many other advertisers. Ads that rank low in relevance also tend to have higher CPM’s. If your ads are being served to a smaller audience than you predicted, you may want to look at your CPMs.

CTR (Click-Through-Rate) – The percentage of impressions that click on your ad.

When should it matter? – CTR is a metric you should optimize if you are trying to direct people to a landing page. One should always consider the Audience, Messaging Strategy and length of Sales Funnel when assessing CTR. While in most cases a high CTR is great, it’s important to look at things in a contexal way. For example, a wide audience may have a much lower CTR than an audience that has similar interest to your business’s product or service. However, that same wide audience that has a low CTR may still provide more page visitors as the CPM is lower allowing the ad to reach more people.

We’ll talk more about Facebook in articles to come. The take away for now is, metrics matter and the more proficient you are in utilizing them correctly, the more effective your campaigns will be.