Facebook metrics help you understand your campaign performance.

Your Facebook ad campaign metrics also indicate whether you’re getting a positive ROI (return on investment). All in all, it is crucial that you measure your Facebook ad performance on a regular basis, ideally every week.

But how to know which numbers to track? Because there’s an almost endless choice of metrics available in the Facebook Ads Manager: Reach, Impressions, CPC, CPM, CTR, CPA, Relevance Score, Engagement Score, Landing Page View (All or Unique?) Video Views, Ad Recall Lift, Spend, Revenue, ROAS…  🤯

Moomin gif

Which metrics to pick? – GIF source

You can easily get lost and derailed when evaluating your Facebook ad campaign results.

So what are the Facebook ad metrics that you absolutely should be checking? Personally, I always check three key metrics and then follow up with another ten that I use to better understand what’s affecting my top three. Also, the metrics that I review depend on the campaign objective.

By the end of this guide, you will know answers to all the following questions:

  • How to see all important Facebook advertising metrics in the Ads Manager?
  • Which campaign KPIs should you track and which ones can you ignore?
  • How to evaluate and improve your Facebook ad performance?

Let’s start with a crash course in Facebook ad analytics and see how to navigate the Ads Manager and set up Custom Reports for faster performance evaluation.

How to review campaign KPIs in the Facebook Ads Manager?

All Facebook ad metrics can be seen in the Facebook Ads Manager. If you’ve set up the Facebook Pixel correctly, you won’t need any additional 3rd party tools for Facebook ad reporting.

(However, if you’re working with a mobile application, you may want to use an attribution tool for reporting, so that you don’t get your app results attributed to multiple advertising channels.)

For quick access to your Facebook Ads Manager, you can bookmark this link: Open your Facebook Ads Manager.

In the below screenshot, you can see the default Ads Manager report. However, you can click on the “Columns: Performance” menu to customize your advertising report.

facebook ad metrics

You can see your Facebook ad metrics in the Ads Manager

Once you click on the “Columns: Performance” menu, you can see a selection of default ad reports. However, scroll past them and select “Customize columns” to access a wide selection of additional Facebook ad KPIs.

You can select all the metrics that you want to see and organize them in the most convenient order.

customize facebook analytics

Create your own custom report

Once you’re happy with your custom report, you can save it as preset and access it faster the next time.

customize facebook analytics

Save your custom reports for faster access

⭐ Tip: If you always use the same custom Facebook Ads Manager report, bookmark the URL of this view for a 1-click access to your campaign results.

Now that you’re aware of how to access, navigate, and customize your campaign metrics in the Facebook Ads Manager, let’s see which KPIs should you add to those custom reports.

I will also explain why some Facebook KPIs are best to ignore – they won’t reflect on your real campaign performance and tend to be shown as vanity metrics.

TOP 3 Facebook ad metrics to measure

While there are around 10 different metrics that I track, depending on the campaign setup and goals, there are always the TOP three KPIs that I check every single time:

  1. CPA – cost per acquisition
  2. ROAS – return on ad spend
  3. Frequency – impressions/reach

These metrics give an immediate overview of the ad account’s overall performance + your conversion-optimized campaign’s results.

Let’s see how to evaluate these metrics.

Are you happy with your Facebook ROAS? – Image source

1. CPA – cost per acquisition

In all likelihood, you are running Facebook ad campaigns to collect results that can be measured by a conversion: either a new lead, 1st-time customer, app install, website purchase, etc.

If you’re not optimizing your Facebook advertising towards a conversion, you may want to reconsider your strategy. Read the guide to Facebook ad account audit to make sure you’re on the right track.

The CPA – cost per acquisition – shows how much it costs to achieve one conversion.

Essentially, CPA = total amount spent / number of customers acquired.

The reason why this metric is so important is that it allows you to immediately understand if the new customer’s or lead’s acquisition cost is sustainable in the long run: are you making more money from the customer than it takes to acquire her?

The CPA benchmark is completely different for every brand, depending on your industry, product type, and its net cost. You should aim to achieve a CPA that is lower than what you spend on creating and delivering your product.

2. ROAS – return on ad spend

The return on ad spend indicates whether your Facebook ads are paying off. If the ROAS is negative, it means you are losing money.

You can either see your ad campaign’s ROAS directly in the Facebook Ads Manager or use a spreadsheet / 3rd-party analytics tool to calculate it.

In order to see ROAS on your Facebook ad account, you will need to pass purchase values via the Facebook Pixel or Facebook app SDK.

facebook metrics

Facebook advertising ROAS

What ROAS should you aim for?

I have seen companies achieving the ROAS of 12.0 with Facebook ads and others that are in the growth phase and happy with a ROAS of 0.50. 

Also, your return on ad spend will vary per campaign objective: 

  • Remarketing campaigns usually have the highest ROAS, up to 20.0
  • Awareness and Reach campaigns usually have a ROAS close to 0.0

You should calculate the overall ROAS of your acquisition, remarketing, and awareness campaigns combined to understand the total ROI of your Facebook ad campaigns.

If your total ROAS is under 1.0, ask yourself whether there’s really any point to running Facebook ads. In many cases, if the company’s still in growth phase and willing to invest at a negative net rate, it does make sense.

In addition to ROAS, many companies also calculate Facebook ad ROI by comparing the CPA to average customer lifetime value.

If the customer that you acquire via Facebook will keep making purchases (e.g. monthly subscriptions or small repeat purchases), you can calculate your average LTV to better understand the long-term ROI of your ads. Maybe your 14-day ROAS is low, but when you compare the CPA to a 6-month lifetime value, your advertising ROI will make more sense.

3. Frequency

Facebook ad frequency shows how many times a unique user has seen your ad during a set time period.

I usually check the frequency of past 7 days and 30 days. If the frequency is very high, it means that most people in your target audience have been reached times over. It’s time to either lower your ad budget or expand the target audience.

facebook ad kpis

Frequency = Impressions / Reach

The frequency benchmarks also vary per campaign type.

  • For Prospecting campaigns, I generally aim for a 7-day frequency of 3-5
  • For Remarketing campaigns, the 7-day frequency can go up to 10-12 
  • For Awareness campaigns that have a broad target audience, the 7-day frequency of 2-3 seems to be the golden ratio

TOP 3 Facebook ad metrics you should ignore

Before we get to the rest of the Facebook KPIs that help you understand campaign performance, let’s stop for a moment and see the ones that you should NOT be tracking.

Here are the 3 Facebook vanity metrics that I see companies reporting on:

  • CPM – cost per 1000 people reached
  • CPC – cost per click
  • Ad click-through rate + relevance score

Ad agencies often like to show these metrics to their clients. “Look, there’s been an improvement in CPMs this week.” Or another one I’ve often heard: “The results got worse because the CPM is getting higher.”

Here’s the thing: it is not the CPM that you should be evaluating. Always measure the CPA.

You can bring your CPM and CPC down by 10x easily by targeting a broader target audience or optimizing your campaigns on Reach or Clicks. But getting cheaper top-of-the-funnel results is useless if at the same time your real acquisition costs increase.

Which campaign results would you prefer to have:

Campaign 1:

  • Targeting a 1% LAL audience in the US and optimized on Conversions
  • Total cost = $425
  • CPM = $65
  • CPC = $2.3
  • You get 50 purchases at $8.5 CPA

Campaign 2:

  • Targeting everyone aged 18-60 in the US, optimized on Link Clicks
  • Total cost = $425
  • CPM = $5.5
  • CPC = $0.3
  • You get 25 purchases at $17 CPA

Naturally, you’d prefer Campaign 1 that has a higher CPM and CPC Facebook ad cost, but because it is targeted at a more relevant audience, it brings more conversions and thereby has a lower CPA.

That’s a bold comparison, but I’ve seen broadly targeted click-optimized campaigns (in the US) bring website visits at $0.15, but none of the 5,000 visitors converted. While conversion-optimized campaigns help you reach a much more relevant yet smaller audience that costs 10x more to reach, but is 50x more likely to convert.

If your Facebook advertising goal is to drive sales or other conversions, track the acquisition metrics (CPA, ROAS, number of results), not vanity metrics (CPM, CPC, Click-through rate).

Moomin GIF

Hide the vanity metrics and look at the CPA – Image source

Let’s also talk about the CTR or Click-through rate.

Sometimes, advertisers look at the CTR to understand whether their ad creatives are attractive to the target audience. However, I consider this to be a vanity metric as well. As long as your ads deliver a CPA and ROAS that you’re happy with, looking at the CTR doesn’t help to improve anything.

The same story goes about various relevance score metrics. It is your ROAS and CPA that matter!

Instead of checking the vanity metrics, make sure to update your Facebook ad creatives every 2-3 weeks to avoid ad fatigue. Pause the 3-5 lower-performing creatives and add 3-5 new creatives into your existing ad sets.

Read more: Facebook Advertising Cost Benchmarks

9 more Facebook KPIs to better understand your campaigns

While the TOP 3 Facebook ad metrics – CPA, ROAS, and frequency – give a fast high-level understanding of your ad account performance, you may want to get additional clues for optimizing your campaigns towards an even better performance.

The additional numbers you can check in the Facebook analytics depend on what type of product you’re advertising. For example, the marketers running ads for mobile app, SaaS products or online stores all have slightly different metrics to check.

This said, here are the 9 additional Facebook metrics that I look at most frequently:

  1. Total cost v.s. ad budget
  2. Reach / target audience size
  3. Number of mid-funnel conversions
  4. Cost per mid-funnel conversions
  5. Unique conversions + unique CPA
  6. ROAS of 7 days + ROAS of 30 days
  7. Results per ad creative
  8. Marketing funnel conversion rates
  9. Landing page conversion rate

Some of these metrics are not directly available in the Facebook Ads Manager. However, you can easily collect them on a spreadsheet or calculate them in your head while looking at your Facebook ads report.

Below, you will find a quick explanation about each.

7. Total cost v.s. ad budget

Sometimes, when your target audience is very small or there’s a problem with your ad campaign delivery, Facebook won’t use the total daily or lifetime budget that you have assigned.

To notice such problems, you can check the expected ad spend (calculated based on your set budgets) v.s. the real ad spend per campaign. 

If you notice that some campaigns are not using the full extent of the allocated budget, you may need to troubleshoot them.

8. Reach / target audience size

This metric will tell you what % of your ad set’s audience has been reached during a set time period.

I usually check the past 30 days Reach and compare it to the total audience size. You can either do this exercise on campaign or ad set level.

For example, if your total audience size is 2,00,000 people and your ad campaign reached 1,400,000 people in the past 30 days, it means that 70% of your target audience members have seen your ads.

Usually, if your Facebook ads have reached a high % of target audience, the performance will start dropping. 

There are no more new people to deliver your ads to.

In case I notice that more than 60% of my target audience has already been reached, I consider expanding the target audience. For example, I might create a new Lookalike audience of 5% and replace it with the previously used 3% Lookalike audience.

9. Number of mid-funnel conversions

All advertisers have a one north star conversion. This is usually a purchase from an online store or the first purchase inside the mobile application.

However, there’s a number of aiding conversions that a user will do before committing the final conversion.

Conversions of eCommerce Facebook ads:

  • Online store visit
  • Product landing page views
  • Add to cart
  • Add payment method
  • Complete order

Conversions of SaaS Facebook ads:

  • Website visit
  • Registration
  • Free trial signup
  • Purchase

Conversions of mobile app Facebook ads:

  • Click to App Store
  • App install
  • In-app registration
  • In-app actions
  • In-app purchase

Look at all of your conversion funnel steps and seeing how many conversions you had for each. Sometimes, this can help to identify the problematic step in your conversion funnel.

Moomin GIF

Study your mid-funnel conversions – Image source

10. Cost per mid-funnel conversions

When gathering data about your mid-funnel conversions, take a look at their cost-per-action.

How much does a mid-funnel conversion cost? If you multiply the cost with the conversion rate from this event to the final purchase, you get an indication of the total CPA.

Also, I like to keep track of some mid-funnel conversions’ cost on a week-on-week or month-on-month basis to understand if there’s any significant change.

Tip: To avoid getting lots of mid-funnel conversions that do not lead to the final purchase, optimize your Facebook campaigns always on the final purchase event. This way, you will indicate to Facebook algorithms that you’re interested in the final conversion, not mid-funnel events.

11. Marketing funnel conversion rates

Once you have collected your mid-funnel events’ numbers onto a spreadsheet, go ahead and create formulas to calculate the conversion rates from one conversion to the next.

E.g. if you know the number of website visits, add-to-cart events, and purchases, you can calculate the conversion rate between those events.

Looking at your marketing funnel conversion rates helps to identify any problematic stages.

For example, you might get 500 of Add-to-cart conversions, but only 90 visitors complete the purchase. This might indicate that there’s a problem with your online store checkout, there are not enough payment methods available or the shipping fees are too high.

Or maybe you get a lot of app installs, but none of those users will purchase. This can be a sign of poor in-app value proposition or a mismatch about what you promise in the ads v.s. what your product actually offers.

Another useful thing about reporting on full-funnel conversion rates on a week-on-week or month-on-month basis is that you will immediately notice if some conversion rate suddenly drops. And you can pinpoint + fix the issue faster.

12. Unique conversions + unique CPA

Depending on how your Facebook Pixel events are set up, Facebook may sometimes report on multiple conversions per user.

For example, if you optimize your campaigns on online store purchases and one user makes 3 purchases, Facebook will report this as 3 conversions.

If you want to see the results per unique user, check the unique conversions and their cost.

You can easily add the unique conversions to your Facebook ad reports by customizing the columns.

facebook ad analytics

Check the unique results in the Facebook Ads Manager

Even better if you use a third-party reporting tool, e.g. Appsflyer for mobile apps or your in-house built reporting system to match Facebook conversions with actual purchases.

The picture you get from the Ads Manager doesn’t always match the real results, so review if there’s a difference from time to time.

13. ROAS of 7 days + ROAS of 30 days

The most common conversion window that Facebook advertisers use is 7-days click and 1-day view.

This means that Facebook will attribute to its campaigns all the conversions that happen either 7 days after a user clicks on your ad or 24h after they’ve seen your ad.

When looking at the ROAS (return on ad spend) metric in your Facebook analytics, you will see the ROAS of your selected time period. As I like to report on ad campaign results on a weekly basis, I check the past 7 days ROAS.

If there’s a free trial period or a chance for repeat purchases within a 30-day period, I prefer to report on my ad campaigns’ ROAS on a spreadsheet and not directly in the Ads Manager. And I like to look at both the 7 days ROAS as well as 30 days ROAS. That’s because the users that have been acquired within a specific week might keep bringing additional value to the company. 

Moomin GIF

Sometimes, the ROAS just keeps growing – Image source

14. Results per ad creative

As I believe that good Facebook ad creatives play a huge role in campaigns’ success, I wanted to dedicate one point purely to ad visual evaluation.

When reviewing my clients’ Facebook ad campaigns on a weekly basis, I like click onto the ad creative level and see which ads are performing the best.

This helps me understand what types of creatives to create for the next A/B tests (top-performers) and which ones to avoid in the future (low-performers).

I always evaluate ad creatives’ performance on the number of conversions that they bring (no vanity metrics like CPMs or CTRs!).

There’s one exception, however. Inside Awareness campaigns, I look at the Estimated Ad Recall Lift metric and consider the ads with the highest Reach and Ad Recall Lifts to be the top-performers. These are the ads that Facebook algorithms consider to work best, so they show them more frequently than other ads.

facebook metrics

Evaluate Awareness ads by Estimated Ad Recall Lift

For an overview of good Facebook ad examples, check out these galleries.

15. Landing page conversion rate

Whatever your product, its sales funnel goes beyond Facebook and Instagram. And many Facebook advertisers tend to forget about it.

If you’re running an eCommerce brand, you take people to an online store. If you advertise a mobile app, your users will be directed to App Store to install your app.

Your Facebook ads’ post-click experience is a critical part of your campaign. That’s why, you should also keep an eye on the landing page conversion rate. 

There are two main reasons for low landing page conversion rates:

  1. Your value proposition is not attractive, people are not interested in your product
  2. There’s a big mismatch between what people see in your ad creatives v.s. on the landing page

Understanding the reasons behind low post-click conversion rates will help you to optimize your campaign performance even further.

Quick recap

Whether you like to analyze your Facebook ad metrics in the Ads Manager or export them to a spreadsheet or 3rd-party analytics tool, the KPIs to check remain the same.

Below is the list of TOP 15 Facebook ad KPIs to remember.

3 most important Facebook metrics:

  • CPA – cost per acquisition
  • ROAS – return on ad spend
  • Frequency – impressions/reach

3 Facebook ad vanity metrics:

  • CPM – cost per 1000 people reached
  • CPC – cost per click
  • Ad click-through rate + relevance score

9 additional Facebook KPIs to understand your campaign performance:

  • Total cost v.s. ad budget
  • Reach / target audience size
  • Number of mid-funnel conversions
  • Cost per mid-funnel conversions
  • Unique conversions + unique CPA
  • ROAS of 7 days + ROAS of 30 days
  • Results per ad creative
  • Marketing funnel conversion rates
  • Landing page conversion rate

Et voilà! You’re set to open your Ads Manager and give your account a quick audit.

For more Facebook advertising advice, let’s connect on LinkedIn.