Running ads on Facebook and Instagram is a surefire way to get your name, brand, and information in front of as many people as possible. But when your ad campaigns are over and you’ve used your budget for the month, it’s absolutely crucial to evaluate whether or not your ads were successful.
If you’re running ads but not elevating their success, you’ll miss key indicators that could help you optimize your social media marketing plan and achieve a stronger ROI.
To help you out, we’ve come up with a guide to the mountain of metrics each platform shows you: After all, you can’t adjust your marketing strategy if you’re not sure what went right (and what went wrong).
Apply platform-specific metrics to future campaigns, and get ready to reap the rewards. Let’s get started:
Clickthrough Rate (CTR):
For many agents, the most immediately useful metric is Clickthrough Rate (or CTR). A “click” is counted whenever someone clicks any part of your ad, but clicks on their own won’t tell you much about your ad’s success. To calculate the clickthrough rate for an ad, the ad platform you’re using divides the number of clicks your ad received by the number of people it was shown to. CTR is so convenient because it gives you an immediate snapshot of how many people in your ad’s audience were compelled enough to click through. Taking note of your clickthrough rate can also give you an idea of how many users are taking the next step and jumping into your lead gen pipeline.
Don’t fret if your CTR is lower than this, though: While clickthrough rates are a great high-level metric, there’s a huge number of things that can lower your CTR without lowering an ad’s performance. For example, a really well-targeted audience might yield a lower CTR on an ad because the audience is smaller than an audience targeted with broader parameters.
For some arcane reason, CPM refers to the amount you pay per 1,000 views on your ad (in case you were wondering, the “M” is a Latin numeral). In general, the lower your CPM, the higher your return on investment, and spending less money for more eyes on your ad is a win-win situation. On Facebook, the average CPM across industries sits at about $9.06, and on Instagram that number is closer to $6.70.
Facebook usually uses CPM as a way to measure success for Brand Awareness-focused ads where the goal is to get as many eyes on your ad as possible. If the CPM for your ads is running higher than these benchmarks, it could be worth taking a second look at your targeting strategy: Getting your brand in front of people is great, but if you don’t monitor your CPM, your advertising costs can spiral out of control without bringing in any valuable leads, traffic, or awareness.
… or CPC:
As we mentioned above, CPM is typically used to measure success for awareness-focused ads. If you’re looking for your audience to take more direct action though, you’ll likely select “Traffic” as your goal, especially if you’re trying to drive people to a given page or listing on your website. That’s where Cost Per Click (CPC) becomes infinitely more useful: By examining just how much of your ad budget is being spent per click, you can get an idea of how efficient your social media marketing plan is. In general, the average CPC on Facebook runs around $1.72 ($1.81 for real estate ads), and on Instagram, that number is closer to $1.41.
If your CPC is a little higher than those benchmarks, don’t worry too much: Average CPC can vary wildly between industries, and it’ll take time to figure out what your average CPC is. With that being said, a spike in your CPC can indicate that your ad is being served to people who aren’t interested in engaging with your ad.
Be sure to keep a close eye on your CPC and tailor your targeting if it climbs too high. Beyond tailoring your targeting, you can also tweak your ad copy or creative to test whether or not those portions of the ad are impacting your bottom line.
Reach is a relatively unique metric: It doesn’t tell you a whole lot about how your ad is performing, but it does give you a great idea of how wide of an audience you’re reaching with each ad.
Where reach as a metric really shines is early on in your advertising journey. If you don’t have an established audience, it’s a good idea to start with wide targeting before winnowing it down over time. By checking the approximate reach for each of your ads, you can get a decent idea of how targeting can impact the number of people who see each of your ads. After all, without sizeable reach, your ads are far less likely to get in front of potential leads.
If you’re an advertising pro, you can still monitor reach to check the efficiency of a new targeting strategy. If your ad’s reach is wider than you thought it would be, that could indicate your targeting isn’t quite as focused as you may have imagined.
Cost Per Lead (CPL):
Cost Per Lead (CPL) is a sort of “holy grail” metric for advertisers. CPL will only appear if you’ve built a lead ad, and the number refers to the amount you pay for every lead that comes in through your ad.
Lead ads are immensely convenient, especially for agents. Instead of directing users to a landing page, they’ll instead be taken to a lead form that’s pre-filled with their contact information. Because lead ads prompt a user to take action as soon as they click through, CPL is an excellent way to visualize just how much money you’re spending to bring in leads.
Standard CPLs for real estate ads are tough to come by, but this report from a large PPC marketing agency shows their average CPL across clients and industries is about $21.05. CPL will vary pretty substantially in response to tweaks in your targeting strategy, and keeping an eye on that number can be a great way to let you know if you’re on track.
These five metrics are just the start: By diving even deeper into Facebook and Instagram’s reporting tools, you can take control of your social media marketing plan and feel confident that you’re getting the most bang for your marketing buck.