Facebook Ads - 5 terms you need to know

With the fall in organic reach on Facebook, it's no wonder more and more businesses are using Facebook Ads to promote their products and services. If you're new to the Ads Manager, there's a few terms you'll need to be familiar with in order to interpret your reports and assess the success of your campaigns.


This is the number of individual people who have seen your advert. With Facebook having such a huge potential audience, it's important to target people appropriately. This can reduce your potential reach (and Facebook will warn you of this when you're setting up your campaigns). If your goal for your Facebook campaigns to get seen by as many people as possible, your Reach will be a good indicator of campaign success.


An impression is when your ad is seen. This is slightly different to your reach as it will include multiple views from the same person. Therefore, the number of impressions will most likely be a higher number than your reach to account for this. Most marketers will agree that you need to get your brand in front of your target audience multiple times before they will take action, so your impressions may be another stat to use when assessing how well a Facebook campaign has gone.


Frequency is simply the average number of times your ad has been seen by the same person. The figure is calculated by dividing the number of impressions by the reach of your campaigns. For example, if the number of impressions is 25,000 and your reach is 10,000, your frequency is 2.5, meaning your target audience are seeing the same ad on average two and a half times throughout the duration of the campaign.


Engagement comes in many forms and you will want to look at different measures of engagement depending on what your goals were when you set up the campaign. 

  • People Taking Action - this is the number of people who engage with your business off the back of your ads. It will not include multiple actions by the same person, instead is tells us the number of people who have engaged with the business.
  • Post Reactions - this will show how many people have reacted to your ads using the Like, Love, HaHa, Wow, Sad or Angry buttons.
  • Post Comments - as it suggests, this measures the number of comments on your posts/ads.
  • Post Shares - this measures the number of times your ads/posts have been shared which will then lead to more reach and impressions. It's important to note that you cannot control who sees post shares so they may reach people outside of your chosen target audience.
  • Link Clicks - this can include clicks to your website, your app, clicks to call your business, clicks to message your business, clicks to view your location on a map, etc, etc and it will depend on the types of ads you have been running. This is probably one of the more valuable metrics for assessing how people have engaged with your ads and whether they have achieved the results you were looking for.
  • Page Likes - this may be one of your goals for your campaign, or it may be a little extra bonus - more people liking your page. With the right campaign message and the right targeting you are bound to generate a few extra page likes, whatever the goal of your campaign. This is no bad thing as it will increase the size of your organic audience for future campaigns and promotions.


Probably the most important part of your Facebook campaigns should be setting up conversion tracking. The Facebook Pixel allows us to track so many actions on our websites as conversions such as a page view, a sale or lead. It also works with remarketing meaning you don't need to add separate tracking codes to your site. I won't delve into this in too much detail as it would require its own article, but there's more information about it here: https://www.facebook.com/business/a/facebook-pixel.

For campaigns we run for our clients here at Skittish, we like to track sales as conversions. This, of course, can only happen on e-commerce sites, but you can also track enquiries generated for lead generation sites. The conversion data then gives us a figure we can then use to establish a return on our investment. If your goal was to run a Facebook campaign that would generate sales or leads, you'll need to make yourself familiar with the Facebook Pixel and setting up conversion tracking from day one.

These are just a handful of terms used in the Facebook Ads Manager and Facebook introduce new metrics all the time so it's important to keep yourself abreast of changes by subscribing to the Facebook News feed.

Need help setting up campaigns in Facebook Ads Manager? Drop us an email and see how we can help you get started.