Social media has been more popular than TV or radio for years now. Millions of users hop on to Facebook everyday and like, comment, and share what they see. In doing so, they provide information about themselves that you can use to your advantage in marketing your school photography business.
However, huge amounts of data will bring you nothing if you cannot analyze it correctly. That’s why this week we’re explaining the potential results of Facebook ads and how you can understand such data.
Do you want to first learn how to successfully market your school photography business on Facebook without spending a penny? Then take a look at our article on using Facebook Without A Budget. Or get the inside track on paid Facebook ads with our follow-up article Facebook With A Budget.
Why Work In Hindsight?
Posting different campaigns at random is like finding a needle in a haystack. You will struggle to establish what works best and won’t be able to optimize your marketing strategy.
With the right analysis, you can open up so many more opportunities to make the most out of Facebook ads. Aside from that, you also don’t waste time, energy, and budget on unnecessary campaigns. Facebook does a lot of work on optimization itself. However, you should still check regularly that everything is running smoothly for your ads. This way, you can also simultaneously glean information to improve future campaigns.
You can check up on the performance of your Facebook ads in the Ads Manager. There are various different tabs for the account overview and the respective advertising sections, such as campaigns, ad sets, and ads. In our article on the topic of Facebook Marketing With A Budget, you can find out more about the specific sections.
In the account overview of the ad manager, you can easily find general information about your ad account. The performance of all your ad sections is summarized here. For example, it shows how many potential customers saw your posts (impressions) and how many link clicks you gained from Facebook ads.
In addition, you receive demographic and geographical information about the users you’ve reached. You can also see this in the specific tabs for each section. The relevant menus and features of the sections are very similar.
All the information is presented in diagrams to give you an insight overview.
In the campaign menu, you can find all your created campaigns listed. You can also use filters so as to only show active campaigns. Always be careful to pay attention to which filters you have already activated. Otherwise, something could quickly go amiss.
In this menu, you can find all created ad sets, both active and inactive. Just like in the campaign menu, you can select an ad set with a checkbox and only show ads that belong to that group.
Finally, you can see all posts from all campaigns in the last tab – or once again, just the posts belonging to a specific campaign or ad set. You will be shown a preview of the picture belonging to each ad, so you can quickly recognize your various posts.
The four different tabs for account overview, campaigns, ad sets, and posts work in very similar ways. As mentioned above, almost all the features we explain can apply to all menus.
In each tab, there is a drop-down menu in the top right with which you can organize your ads by date and time. You can choose different time frames or simply choose to see the last week or month from the data presets.
It’s important to remember here that all the presets that begin with ‘last’ do not include the current day. So, if you choose last week, for example, it will show the most recent week up until yesterday.
If you want to explore the performance of a campaign for school photography, you should take a look at several different time periods: a short one and a long one.
In doing so, you can see an overview of the total duration of the campaign, as well as its current performance. A campaign which has produced many link clicks throughout its duration can become less successful in its last few weeks. This could be a trend that you wouldn’t notice if you only looked at one time span or the other.
Know Your Way Around
Next to the first column containing the name of your campaign, you will find many other columns with information about delivery, budget, etc.
Facebook automatically chooses some standard analysis figures for your campaigns to display. You can however individually customize the columns. Click on the top-right button pictured below and choose ‘Customize columns’.
In this menu, you can choose specific analysis criteria from the various parent settings, such as delivery or costs. It all depends on what is most relevant to you and your business. The display will then reorganize itself to display your chosen criteria.
There are numerous sets of data to choose from. We have listed what we think are the most important ones here:
- Performance (and Clicks): results, reach, impressions (every time a user saw your ad), amount spent, and CPC (cost per click)
- Interactions: post interactions (clicks, comments, shares)
- Clicks: individual link clicks, CTS (click-through-rate means how often your ad is clicked in relation to the number of impressions)
- Conversion: Note here the actions that customers have taken in response to your ad that you want to investigate. You will need Facebook Pixel for this, which you can find out more about it in our article Facebook With A Budget
You can save your customized column preferences as presets on the bottom left.
The Attribution Window
For effective evaluation of your conversions, it’s important to set the attribution window to your preferences. You can find it in the settings of your ads manager.
Facebook’s preset time frames are ‘1 day after viewing and ‘26 days after clicking’. That means that you only see conversions in the ad report that happen within 26 days of clicking or 1 day of viewing. If you like, you can change this to suit your preferences via the attribution settings.
For every campaign, ad set, or post for your school photography business, you can display specific data to do with ad performance. Simply select ‘View charts’ immediately below the campaign name and a sidebar will appear with visual statistics, making it easier to spot trends and successes.
The sidebar window contains a new menu with tabs such as ‘performance’, ‘demographic’, and ‘placement’.
Within ‘performance’, you can see how many people with an interest in school photography you have reached, for example, or how many have clicked further on your post, or even how much your campaign or ad set has cost you so far.
Within ‘demographics’, you can find relevant details to the people who have either seen your posts or clicked on your links. For example, it could show you whether you reached parents in their 30s for a preschool photography campaign.
Within ‘placement’, you will see how your content did on various social media channels that also belong to Facebook. This is of course only relevant if you chose to place ads on other channels.
You can also filter according to computer or mobile device, to compare data collected from users on different devices.
In addition to the data displayed in the various columns in an overview, you can also use so-called ‘Breakdowns’. Click on the drop down box of the same name.
As implied in the name, this function will break down the campaign, ad sets, and individual posts according to different criteria for you. That means that you can see detailed insight into a particular focus point.
Within the three main categories, time, delivery, and action, there are also sub-categories:
- Within time: day, week, two weeks, month
- Within delivery: age, gender, region, placement, device, time of day, etc
- Within action: conversion device, reaction, destination, etc
If you choose a breakdown by day, for example, you will then receive detailed analysis in the existing columns for each day that your post has been online for. This could include how much a post cost each day, or how many impressions it achieve each day.
Breakdowns can be a useful way to find out on which social media channels your ad sets were best received. It could also show you which days of the week you achieved the most conversions at the lowest price.
If you have used a hashtag on Facebook for a competition or similar special event, then you can also use such tools to measure their success. For example, a seasonal sale or Christmas could be drawn together with a festive slogan, or you could help boost sales at prom season with a targeted promotion.
If you have asked your users to share the post with the hashtag, you can search for it specifically, either directly on Facebook, or by using an external tool, like the free Social Searcher software.
You now have a wide-reaching overview of all results achieved with your Facebook ads. The next step is to really understand these findings. You can then optimize your next marketing campaign and refine your strategy with well-informed input.
In case you have already run a few campaigns for your school photography business, it can be very helpful to compare your old results with the new. This way you get an overview of what has improved and what has not gone so well. You can make such comparisons very easily in the Ads Manager. Comparing similar campaigns run at different times of year, such as at the beginning of a school year versus the spring season, can help you gauge what time helps you get the most engagement from potential customers.
Open the drop-down menu for time frames and activate the compare button. Choose two time frames that you want to compare with each other and click on update.
Now you can select each separate column in your overview to see detailed comparisons on each data set. You can therefore find out, for example, if there are certain seasons where your audience is more likely to click through on a link.
Was It A Success?
In the different columns, you can sort each campaign, ad set, and individual ad according to different data sets. For example, you can choose for only those campaigns with the biggest reach to be shown.
With this ranking, you can then find out the most and least successful characteristics for your ads for school and nursery photography. Be sure to mark them in the check box.
With one click, you can now open your selected campaigns in the statistics menu on the right hand side. Diagrams with detailed analysis will show up in the sidebar, as explained above.
You can then make direct comparisons and find out what contributed to their success or failure.
You could compare the following aspects:
- What target demographic was most successful?
- What length campaign worked best?
- What text or headings achieved the most amount of link clicks?
- Which CTA text were the most influential?
When you have worked out which particular post or ad sets work better than others, you can make relevant changes to future campaigns. Raise the budget of successful ad sets, or combine ads with high-performing images with those with high-performing captions. The world is your oyster!
In addition, you can also find out the best times of year from your data results, where your ads achieve the best results. Within these times, you can run your most important campaigns.
A Few Final Tips
Save and Automate Reports
Of course, it takes time to regularly collect the findings of your school photography ad findings, and you could easily forget to do so during the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Facebook’s Ad Reporting tool allows you to set up automatic reports every week about the results of your Facebook ads, sent to you by email.
Click through to Ads Manager – Reporting in the main menu of the Ad Manager and click on ‘Create’ to start a new report.
Just like in the tabs for campaigns, ad sets, and individual posts, you can choose data categories and breakdowns for your reports according to what is most important for your goals.
As soon as your report has been created, choose the drop-down menu near the ‘Save’ button on the top right. Select ‘Save as’; it will then open a small window which gives you the option to select how often it will send you a report by email.
Give Facebook Time to Learn!
Facebook uses an algorithm to optimize your posts. Despite being intelligent and highly useful, it needs time to learn at first. That means that it can take a little bit of time to collect data and get to know the target groups and campaigns for your school and nursery photography business.
You should therefore be careful not to change the settings in the Ads Manager too often. Always wait for two or three days to make changes, so as to give the Facebook algorithm enough time to learn and adapt. If you don’t, the learning process up until then is wiped clean and Facebook essentially has to start all over again.
This also applies to making changes to budgets for your Facebook ads. Make sure you don’t make too big a jump too soon. Always raise your budgets in small steps, between 10 and 15% at a time, so as not to confuse Facebook.
Listen To What Works
Even the best posts can not run forever. At some point, everyone relevant in your target group will have seen your content and decided on whether or not they want to take action. The data for frequency is a good indicator of such trajectories.
When the performance of your ad decreases, you should take a look at the frequency information. Sometimes it can be enough to make a small change to your post to make it interesting for your audience again. That doesn’t always work, however. In general, you should regularly renew your ad campaigns.
Test, Test, Test!
In order to carry out corrections, you need several test runs, of course, where you can test out different photos or captions against each other in otherwise identical posts. This process, called A/B testing, is well-practiced and proven in marketing.
In general, it’s all about trial and error on Facebook. Instead of pondering over different formulations for ages, you should just try out something new and see what sticks. The end result is different for every target group and you only find out what works by trying it yourself.
Do you still have questions or tips of your own about analyzing data from Facebook? Share them in the comments of the Facebook post related to this article!