Facebook doesn't think you should use engagement data to measure social marketing success. Its own measurement stresses business outcomes like awareness and sales, and yours should too.
Facebook Says Engagement Doesn't Create Revenue
The company has said for years that engagement isn’t the best way to measure social marketing.
- It says engagement doesn't lead to sales. In a March 2014 white paper the company reported that 90% of people who buy after seeing Facebook ads don’t interact with those ads. The paper says “the success of advertising campaigns should be measured through business results and not via engagement rates.”
- It calls engagement data "irrelevant." In a June 2016 article Facebook VP of Marketing Science Brad Smallwood wrote: “The allure of measurable and traceable ‘shiny’ metrics -- such as social-media users’ ‘Likes,’ ‘Shares,’ message posts, and ‘clicks’ -- has led marketers to endless, often beautifully crafted, intricate reports on the irrelevant.”
Facebook Measures Business Results
When Facebook measures social marketing it focuses on business metrics like awareness and sales.
- It measures outcomes for its top clients. When Facebook tested creative for Frito-Lay it measured awareness and product trial. When the company researched the intersection of social marketing and search it measured conversions. And when Facebook studied media formats it tracked site traffic and sales.
- It measures outcomes in its own ads. In a September 2015 white paper Facebook detailed its own marketing measurement practices. The 13-page report doesn’t mention engagement once. Instead, Facebook gauges success with brand surveys that track ad recall, brand favorability, and company perception.
Facebook’s words and actions make it clear: Good social marketing measurement focuses on business outcomes. To measure social programs effectively you need to track metrics like awareness, leads, and revenue.