Facebook’s Cross-Account Reporting & Custom Metrics: a Gift to Marketers

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As 2019 came to a close, marketers received a subtle holiday present of their own in the form of Facebook’s New Tools – if you haven’t already heard, the social media giant introduced seemingly small, yet hugely beneficial updates to its ad reporting capabilities. Here’s a run-down on the recent updates, including a Facebook’s cross-account reporting feature and a tool for creating custom metrics, both accessible in the Ads Manager dropdown menu.

Facebook’s Cross-Account Reporting

When you’re running multiple ad accounts, which many brand managers are, it can be painful to manually build a report that reflects data from all of those accounts. Luckily, Facebook’s cross-account reporting feature now gives you this ability, showing reach across accounts as well as across devices.

If you work in marketing for a holding or parent company, you likely oversee multiple brands or products, each with their own separate social pages. Before this release, you’d have to export data for each account and manually build a custom report, (a time-consuming and mistake-prone process), which also made it nearly impossible to identify overlap in reach and impressions between your brands’ social accounts. Now, Facebook gives you the ability to pull data from multiple accounts in a single report.

Noted above, one of the most significant benefits of this update is the new ability to view deduplicated reach data. In other words, Facebook more accurately shows how many unique users were reached between all campaigns and accounts, as opposed to counting a single individual who sees the same ad on both Facebook and Instagram as having reached two unique people. For any brand with a Facebook and Instagram account, Facebook’s cross account reporting will providing a more accurate count of your collective social media marketing efforts.

For companies with multiple brands in their portfolio, especially when those brands have similar target demographics, the view into who individual brands are reaching is much more comprehensive. For those who love a good number-crunching, there will be many new opportunities for gleaning insights from Facebook’s cross-account reporting abilities.

cross-account reporting for Facebook

Custom Metric Building

Have you (or maybe a particular boss) been interested in seeing a campaign metric that may be a little too niche for Facebook to offer natively? Or maybe the reports your agency provides don’t relate enough to overarching strategic objectives established by the executive team. In either case, you’re left communicating that certain metric isn’t possible to track (not great in making your case for social media’s value) or you’re left trying to work the numbers yourself to get to the data the C-suite actually cares about.

Well, your life is about to get a whole lot easier.

Facebook’s new ability of building custom metics allows you to set up equations tailored to the data you want to see. These custom metrics can be integrated into your reports through the Ads Reporting feature in Business Manager, where you have the ability to apply the metric to all or just specific reports.

To play around with it, go to ‘Custom Metrics’ within the Ad Reporting section. From there, you can give your custom metric a name, enter your formula, and adjust data based on different campaign objectives (engagement, conversions, etc.).

creating custom metrics for cross-account reporting

What This Means For Your Business

Most obviously, both of Facebook’s new tools are a timesaver. These updates free you from manually building multi-account reports and time-consuming calculations for specific metrics. Custom metrics could also give you unique insights into how your campaigns are doing within the context of what your leadership team really cares about, metrics Facebook may not have otherwise provided. You might learn you’re a little inefficient in some areas and highly effective in others. 

Facebook’s cross-account reporting can be especially useful for CPG companies with multiple products in their portfolio, especially if your Business Manager is set up such that the parent company owns all brand pages and ad accounts. You’ll be able to compare how different brands are doing against one another and react by re-allocate media spend if appropriate.

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