Facebook vs. Ad Insights: Points to Remember When Evaluating Reports

Is your “daily fan” count report from Facebook Insights not matching with the one given by your vendor? How do we pay the vendor (for “cost per fan” deals) if the two numbers don’t match? How do you differentiate between paid and organic fans coming from mobile?

If you are wondering or have not yet figured out the reasons, the following points could answer your questions. Always consider these points when looking at Facebook Insights and comparing it with vendor reports:

1. Facebook Page Insights are in Pacific Standard Time (PST), Ad insights or vendor reports are in the time zone of wherever the ad account is created. The likes on ad insights take into account any likes that happened in the 24-hour period after seeing the ad – i.e., If I see the ad at 9 p.m. on the 24th, but visit and like the page on the 25th. This would count for the 24th in ad insights (vendor report) and the 25th in page insights.

2. Over the duration of the campaign, the two reports should be similar but may never match. Hence, you need to stick to the vendor reports. Should you need to verify those reports, request a login from the vendors and check the reports for authenticity.

3. Different tracking methods used by either party could also lead to different numbers. Here is an illustration of the above points with dummy data. The column marked in “blue” shows the difference in the fan count from two different reports (vendor vs. Facebook).

If you are paying the vendor on a “per like” basis, mismatch of report can really be a huge cause of concern. Knowing the working of the Facebook system and your vendor system can really help you minimize the friction points.

4. If you are targeting mobile as part of your campaign, any ad which appears on mobile will be counted in the mobile section on page insights (will not come under ads and Sponsored Stories) but will get included in the ad insights report. So if you want to get bifurcation of fans from “mobile” and fans from “desktop,” it is recommended to set up the campaign in that fashion only.

5. If you are focused on fans, and are using different ad types simultaneously – Like Ads, Sponsored Stories, etc. – and want to know fans generated from each type of ad, the solution again lies in setting up the campaign accordingly so that you end up with maximum data.

Knowing these points can really help to put your campaign evaluation in the right perspective. If you are still not sure and are not satisfied with vendor answer, it is recommended to confirm with Facebook directly.

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