Bullseye! The Facebook Ad Dashboard: Targeting and Reporting

By: Leo Mikinberg

The Facebook Ad Platform acts much like a coin sorter; 500 million users go in one end and on the other end you get only those users that fall in to your search criteria.

Prior to November 11th, the Facebook ad dashboard targeted users by Location, Age, Sex, Marital status, Like’s,  Interests, Education and Work. After November 11th, a new category popped up, Connections on Facebook.

Connections on Facebook gave admins the ability to:

1) Target users who are connected to their pages, groups, events and applications

2) Target users who are not connected to their pages, groups, events and applications

3) Target users whose friends are connected to their pages, groups, events and applications

The first option gives admins the ability to update their current community, the second option ensures that ads are only visible to potential new community members, and the third option, the ability to reach friends of connections, is especially powerful in optimizing the effectiveness of a campaign.

I am connected to the Likeable Media Facebook page. If Likeable were to run ads targeting the friends of people connected to the Facebook page, my friends would see a targeted ad with a 25 character title, an image, 135 characters of copy and, at the bottom, “Leo Mikinberg likes this ad”. While my friends may or may not have ever heard of Likeable Media, they sure have heard of Leo Mikinberg and can now click through to the ad knowing that their friend has endorsed Likeable. That major change happened over 10 months ago, a millennia in social media time, but it set up changes that were made on Friday, September 9th.

Facebook has found that the Friends of Connections and the social endorsement are so powerful that as of September 9th they have added columns in the Advertising Performance Report and the Ads Manager that speak to the effectiveness of social endorsements. The “Social %” speaks to the percentage of ads that were delivered with social endorsements. You can now also see social impressions, social clicks, and social CTR (Click Through Rate) to analyze just how effective the socially endorsed ads can be. An ad that targets friends of connections will have a Social % that is approaching 100% because every user that sees the ad has at least 1 friend who likes that page. Every user that sees the ad will also see which friends have endorsed your brand. Socially endorsed ads are a great solution for those that have grown a community quickly, but are now starting to see growth slow.

Have you seen success with Friends of Connections campaigns? Have changes to Facebook's reporting helped you optimize your ads?