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The Mysterious Case of the Lost Facebook Link Clicks

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Facebook’s ad platform - worth it? Do ads increase engagement, or - as it’s been suggested - decrease it? And what’s up with this guy?

So, out of curiosity, we decided to run some ads for Animatron and see for ourselves what all the fuss is about.

Before I even begin writing about the results, I have to mention that Facebook’s approach to page admin permissions is beyond ridiculous; I’ve been tearing my hair out for days trying to work with it. Here’s why:

The Animatron page has two admins: myself (marketing person) and Dmitry (CEO). For whatever insane reason, Facebook has decided that we can’t see the details of each other’s “boosted post” campaigns, so we have to send screenshots back and forth to share our data with each other.

On top of that, I had no idea that Dmitry had set up a campaign to promote the page for more likes until we accidentally talked about it in the office, because that campaign simply doesn’t appear anywhere in my Admin Panel!

If anyone at Facebook is reading this: I’ll take you out to a delicious meal at any restaurant of your choosing - and I’ll be charming and entertaining company - if only you’ll explain to me why this separation of the admin information is necessary. My boss and I aren’t keeping steamy Facebook-related secrets from each other; our ad campaign settings aren’t so sensitive that they warrant being protected as if they’re the nuclear codes.

/rant. On to the ads:

First we spent $600 on a test campaign, boosting a post on Animatron’s Facebook page. The campaign ran from February 18th to February 22nd with the targeting settings below. Over the course of 5 days, our boosted post was seen by 410,553 people, 1,371 of whom actually engaged with the post.

The majority of our 1,347 engaged users were from Italy - “that’s weird,” we thought, “but okay, why not?*” Let’s check out what all those engaged users were doing:

The majority of our “engaged” users were supposedly clicking on the link in the post. That’s exactly what we wanted - we were trying to drive traffic to a blog post about a video tutorial series, so 982 clicks through to the Animatron blog sounded awesome!

Except … it seems like maybe those 982 awesome link clicks didn’t actually make it to the blog post. Our Google Analytics report for that page during the 5-day timeframe the post was boosted shows only 165 pageviews - and only 143 uniques.

According to Google Analytics, 102 of those visits (94 unique) were from a social channel …

And between regular and mobile access, 49 of those visits were from Facebook (48 uniques).

So - how did we get from 982 to 48?We’re genuinely confused. Tell us where we went wrong!

- Catherine Arizan, marketing manager


*I’ll talk about why not in another post.