Are Facebook Clicks Totally and Utterly Meaningless?

This article was written by: Corey Eridon
Earlier this week, Facebook’s Brad Smallwood spoke at the IAB MIXX Conference in New York… and said something pretty startling for a bunch of data-driven marketers like us.

Clicks don’t matter.

Wait, what? According to Todd Wasserman’s recap on Mashable and a blog on Facebook Studio that recaps the talk, marketers are focusing too much on clicks to measure the effectiveness of their Facebook campaigns, and not enough on two far more critical metrics — reach, and frequency. Let’s dive into this a little bit more, shall we?

The “Clicks Don’t Matter” Argument

The argument Smallwood makes is that clicks help marketers measure campaigns, but they don’t drive any actual value. So basically, marketers are getting really good at measuring how seemingly invaluable their Facebook ad campaigns are. That’s a bleak picture to paint.

Actually, Smallwood cited research from Nielsen in his talk that showed a 0.07% correlation between high click through rates and sales. He also cited data from Datalogix that 99% of sales generated from online branding ad campaigns came from people who saw ads, but did not click on them.

As a result, Smallwood recommended marketers focus on three things:

Impressions – Getting your brand out in front of consumers is valuable to marketers and generates actual sales, per the data cited above.
Reach – According to the Facebook Studio post that recapped Smallwood’s talk, much like a TV ad, online ads — and by extension Facebook ads — deliver “on average a 70 percent higher return on investment.”
Frequency – You need to establish the right frequency of people seeing your ad so you hit a “sweetspot” for each campaign. For example, marketers might want to reallocate high frequency impressions to the people seeing too few impressions — they said those that did this saw a “40 percent increase in ROI with the same budget.”
Hmmm… I kind of see what he’s getting at with the focus on reach and frequency. I mean, you can’t argue that the right reach and frequency don’t play a huge part in the effectiveness of any marketing or ad campaign. But it’s hard to get on board with the “clicks don’t matter” mindset, especially as a marketer that needs to prove ROI down to the dollars and cents. So, I decided to sit down with Amanda Sibley here at HubSpot who manages our own Facebook ad campaigns to get her take on the subject of whether Facebook clicks matter, or not.

When we’re measuring our Facebook ad campaigns, do clicks matter?

Yes, clicks do matter. Blog post over.

Haha, just kidding. But one of the reasons clicks matter is that there’s two things we’re looking at — the number of clicks, as well as the engagement. We’re interested in both.

Read the rest of this article here, at:


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