The Hidden Truth About Facebook Ad Stats - Automotive Digital Advertising

The Hidden Truth About Facebook Ad Stats

The Hidden Truth About Facebook Ad Stats

There is an extensive amount of information available when measuring online advertising performance.  But when it comes to Facebook, most people are measuring the wrong numbers and making misinformed decisions.

We manage a lot of Facebook advertising every month ….. a lot!  We also analyze all of it and provide feedback, recommendations and direction. We look at every possible angle, not just the ones that make us look good.

We want to make sure we’re providing the truth, and that means not withholding information because it wasn’t asked, or not going the extra mile because it’s not our area of responsibility.

Our responsibility is to do our best, and our best is to go deep and determine if our advertising is helping the overall outcome – to sell more cars!

I want to talk about two specific areas that can mislead you in your Facebook advertising.

Poor Google Analytics Numbers

You hear the word “attribution” and ROI all the time – the need to measure your online advertising. When you pay to drive traffic to your website, you want something in return to measure ROI.

  • Website Chats
  • Phone Calls Generated
  • Website Leads
  • SMS/Txt Messages

You may not have all of these, but the goal is that a click turns into some form of contact. There are soft goals (website engagement), like VDP views that we won’t get into.  More importantly,  we’ll stick to what everyone really wants and that is tangible leads.

We’re going to use Google Analytics here, as almost every single dealer we’ve come across uses it too.

Here are the results of a recent client (and we’ve written about this before with similar results).

Measuring Facebook traffic for 2 months, we looked at Google Analytics and phone tracking – Advertising new vehicles.

Facebook traffic generated next to ZERO leads and no phone calls. The call tracking wasn’t broken and the lead tracking was working just fine.


Would you be happy with those results?   No leads, no calls.   Not looking good.   Visitors spent 1m24s on the website and looked at an average of 1.49 pages.

How To Properly Analyze Facebook

Let’s ignore Google Analytics when it comes to Facebook traffic and go one step further.  Let’s use Facebook Offline Conversions.  Facebook can connect the offline world with the online world, and here is how that happens.

You have information in your CRM about people marked ‘unsold’ or ‘sold’, or completed ROs.

Facebook has information about the people who saw or clicked your ads. We can marry the two of those together, and now we can measure real foot traffic.

All those people who didn’t do what we wanted them to do online, are doing what we want them to do offline, and that’s walk through the front door.

Offline conversions aren’t new, but when people look at Google Analytics to measure their Facebook traffic, they’re just going to be misled with poor stats and information. Almost everyone is on their mobile phone from FB/IG.

Remember to ask yourself – when was the last time you clicked an ad, filled in a form, or made a phone call when browsing FB or IG?

You need to go one step further (as we do) and help connect the online with the offline. What looked bad in Google Analytics now looks like a good investment.


Offline conversions indicated we were able to influence 115 people (car buyers) into the dealership and sit down with a sales associate; they were entered into the CRM!

Google Analytics said nothing happened, yet we have more than a lead, or a phone call, or a text/chat….we have humans in the showroom talking to sales staff.

I’m not saying 115 people are attributed 100% to Facebook Ads alone, but it’s much more effective now knowing this than when you thought it achieved nothing when looking at your Google Analytics.

So the numbers in Analytics are misleading when looking at Facebook traffic.

With this data now imported, we can start to make adjustments and changes to improve on these campaigns performance and drive down our costs while increasing foot-traffic.

Misleading Cost Per Lead Numbers

When using lead ads with Facebook, you can get an exact amount on how much you paid per lead.   I’ve seen companies talk about how low their cost per lead is using Facebook advertising.

I’d love to boast about a low cost per lead, but the fact is, it can be misleading.

Where is the quality measurement of that?   There is none.

It’s no different than talking about a low cost per click.  If they are bad clicks, who cares how cheap they are.   If they are bad leads, who cares how cheap they are.

The above is a snippet from a client’s Lead Ad campaign earlier this summer.  We trialed letting Facebook ‘find’ people who would be interested in the products in our Dynamic Ads for Autos catalog.

Basically, the vehicle inventory uploaded to Facebook with all the information about every vehicle.   Facebook can then ‘find’ people it believes would be interested in specific vehicles based on their behaviour using it’s machine learning.

This did not work well in this particular instance.   We had a good cost per new vehicle lead at $6.84, but the leads were bad quality.

Upon follow-up, we learned from responses, people didn’t remember filling out the form (yet they had to touch their screen 3 times to complete the process), they were underage, they didn’t have a license, or they didn’t respond at all.

Not a single appointment booked.

My point here is, that if we look at the cost per lead alone, it looks great; but when we followed up on the quality of the leads, they were not good; therefore, the $6.84/lead became a meaningless number.

I’m not saying Facebook leads are bad, simply that a cost per lead alone is not indicative of quality or success.

You must dig deeper than the vanity metrics on the surface if you want actionable data.  The $6.84/lead gave you a false sense of success.  No Leads/Chats/Phone Calls in Google Analytics gave you a false sense of failure.

Dig Deep – Sell More.

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