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Facebook Ads: How Engagement Differs

Social media ads aren’t going anywhere; it’s a scalable way to reach a targeted audience, and users are spending more and more time on social apps.

When it comes to Facebook ads, determining your objectives up front can help make your campaign a success. There are objectives for virtually any goal, and Facebook breaks those into three categories – Awareness, Consideration and Conversion – with sub-categories under each.

Awareness objectives are good for generating interest in what products or services you provide. Consideration objectives are ideal to reach those who may be interested in what you offer, and likely want to engage or learn more information. Conversion objectives are used when you want people to register, opt-in, download, purchase, etc.

The amount of engagement you see can depend on what type of ad you’re running. When an ad is optimized for engagement (reactions, comments, etc), it targets users who have a history of engaging in posts, while other tactics tend to target a more general audience. For example, when running ads optimized for site traffic, the goal is to get the user off Facebook and onto your site to learn more, so they may be less inclined to ‘react’ or comment on an ad and just click on it instead.

Oftentimes, business may feel as though their ads and posts need to have reactions, likes, and comments in order to succeed. However, this is not the case. Facebook will track impressions and reach of content as well, and these two metrics have nothing to do with the number of times people comment on your post. Reach is the number of people who see your content. Impressions, on the other hand, are the number of times your ad or post is displayed, no matter if it was clicked or not. So, a viewer does not have to engage with your ad or post for it to count as an impression. In addition, one person can have multiple impressions for a single piece of content. For example, you could see a post appear in your Facebook feed from the original page and see it again if a friend shares that post. If you see the post twice, it counts as two impressions.

For example, a local real estate campaign had a goal of driving traffic to a website of available listings. In one month, the campaign reached 32,661 people and had 572 clicks to the website, but had only 5 reactions and no comments or shares. In another instance, a medical campaign had a goal of increasing awareness of their birthing services. In one month, they had 10 reactions, no comments and 1 share; however, they also reached 10,451 people and had 265 website clicks. In both cases, the campaign performances fell within initial estimates, meeting the goals for each client.

Looking at the campaign as a whole will help provide a complete picture of how it is performing. And remember – social media is one small part of the bigger picture. Advertising on social media has many puzzle pieces, you just have to find the ones that fit together for you and your business.

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