Now that most of us have settled into our Timeline for brand pages, it’s time to prepare for the next set of changes Facebook will be rolling out. While nothing has been officially announced, much of what is coming has been revealed, namely updates to Facebook Ads Manager and Offers Analytics.

An API Opportunity for Advertisers

The proposed changes will give advertisers using Facebook's API the ability to target ads only to those people most likely to take a certain post-click action. Facebook advertising, like a lot of online advertising, requires a certain degree of experimentation, but Facebook now aims to take a bit of the guesswork out of the experience. Facebook will help users identify those people based on conversion data 1, 7 or 28 days after their clicks. As a result, if an ad you served 7 days ago resulted in high-ROI activity, such as an app install or download, it can be attributed back to the proper advertisement.



A preview of the new interface, courtesy of TechCrunch.

Advertisers can optimize for the following conversion data:

  • People talking about this
  • Page likes
  • Page post likes
  • Page post comments
  • Page post shares
  • @ mentions
  • Checkins
  • Photo tags
  • Facebook Offers shared
  • Facebook Offers claimed
  • App installs
  • App used
  • App credit spend events
  • App credit spend amount
  • Number of RSVPs

Additionally, Facebook Offers provides some advance insights including how many people "claim" offers, among other stats, due to an ad. Without an ad buy, Offers will only momentarily appear in users' news feeds like regular brand posts do. The hope is that these new analytics could make paid Facebook ads more attractive to local marketers, which is possible considering that advertisers of all sizes can gain clarity into what kinds of things are able to drive their ad campaigns.

Leveraging Active Fans for Better ROI

These new updates will be particularly attractive to marketers and brands that have become frustrated about how to convert likes into new leads and, ultimately, paying customers. As we know, likes can only get you so far. The true value is getting those who actively engage, share and participate with your brand to convert. These new analytics make it easier for marketers to target their Facebook ad spend on those users.

Of course these analytics are only as good as Facebook’s data, and its data is only as good as the time and money you invest in it.  But it can help marketers expand their toolset, to look beyond likes and focus more on what fans do after they like a brand. Perhaps this also indicates a shift in how we think about community management. For too long, it’s been quantity over quality. However, if we can effectively leverage the actions of a loyal few to generate leads and revenue, we can learn to manage smarter, instead of bigger.