An Amazing Trends Report I Wish Facebook Had…
I was on a call with Clark, our resident analytics master. He had sent me this amazing report built in Google Data Studio for one of the affiliate offers we are running. It’ll save me over 3 hours a week to analyze Facebook account performance trends, so I’m excited to share it with you.

This is something I wish Facebook had… but for whatever reason they haven’t implemented it. I noticed the same with 3rd party tools like Quantic, adspresso, Revealbot and Madgicx.

That’s why we decided to take things into our own hands by building it ourselves – and for you.

One of the Highest Value Activities: Trend Analysis

This report helps me with one of the highest value activities that I call “trend analysis”. I’d look at the trends of campaigns, audiences, ads, countries, regions, call to actions, copy, placements and more. Then I’d look at these over a 28-day, 14-day, 7-day and 3-day window. This helps me to analyze what trends were happening and what we should be testing next.

Here’s a quick preview of what the trends page looks like:

This is the trends page for one of the highest value activities: trend analysis.
This is the trends page for one of the highest value activities: trend analysis.

Think this is a cool report and want it built for yourself and your clients? Place a request for Clark, our resident Analytics Genius, to look after you.

As you can see in the image, I’d analyze these standard metrics:

  • Frequency
  • Post Engagement
  • Post Comments
  • Post Shares
  • Post Saves
  • Post Reactions
  • Impressions
  • CPM
  • Link clicks (all)
  • CPC (all)
  • EPC (calculated field) (Calculated Revenue / Link Clicks (all))
  • Outbound clicks
  • Cost per outbound clicks
  • Landing page views
  • Cost per landing page view
  • Leads
  • Cost per lead
  • Adds to cart
  • Cost per add to cart
  • Adds of Payment info
  • Cost per Add of Payment
  • Purchases
  • Cost per Purchase
  • Purchase Conversion value
  • ROAS
  • ROI (Calculated field)
  • Amount spent
  • Budget
  • Budget remaining

In Facebook I used to break it down like this:

How I used to analyze trends in Facebook itself.
How I used to analyze trends in Facebook itself.

If I wanted to split it by day and by country, I would get this:

How I analyzed trends split by day and by country on Facebook.
How I analyzed trends split by day and by country on Facebook.

As you can see, the countries aren’t grouped by dates and times. Pretty frustrating.

Introducing the “Cubatica FB Trend Analyzer”

That’s why I wanted to build a better way to see this information at a glance. I knew it’d be useful for answering questions like this to analyze trends:

How has the performance of Victoria (a state in Australia) impacted the whole account from 16th to 22nd July, due to the COVID-19 lockdown?

To answer that in Facebook reports or ad accounts, it would take around 20 minutes. This was to compile the data into excel sheets and look at the trends alongside the % drops across the whole funnel. From there, I can analyze where the performance was being impacted. Was it the CPM’s, or was it the conversion rate? Maybe it was the landing page views. Or COVID-19 wasn’t the problem – it might have been the slow loading website.

Note: Always question your assumptions as we sometimes manipulate the data to fit what we want to believe. To help avoid this, I go through my checklist of what to do if your Facebook performance plummets. This will enable you to check every variable on its own to draw the correct conclusion. (More on this to come.)

Because of this, we made the Cubatica FB Trend Analyzer to break down information into a simple format. This enables me to analyze it in a few minutes, saving me over 3 hours a week per account I manage.

Now I can pull up answers quickly thanks to a standard list of questions I use to analyze accounts every single day.

So let me break down each section for you to see how it all works:

Section 1: Filters

These are the filters I have on the trends report.
These are the filters I have on the trends report.

Funnel Type: The funnel sequence I’m using in this case is VSL, Webinar and a book offer that we are testing.

Funnel Stage: Is this Top of Funnel (TOF), Middle of Funnel (MOF), Bottom of Funnel (BOF), or Existing Customers Funnel (ECF)?

Campaign Name: I can choose to look at specific audiences or ads in a specific campaign

Ad set Name: I can look at a specific audience or ads in a specific audience

Ad Name: I can see the performance of 1 creative across multiple audiences

Date Range: I can choose what date period I want to look at, self-explanatory

Test Name: This is part of our Naming convention to tie back to what we are testing at the moment.

Country: We run ads in many countries and a few different languages, so I want to see how these are performing individually.

Campaign, Ad set and Ad Status: I only want to look at active campaigns, Ad sets and Ads when doing this analysis.

Other filters that I will be adding in the future are:

  • Language: Not all languages are restricted to the country of their origin
  • Account Name: We usually have different accounts for different countries, so this is a way of seeing aggregated stats of all the accounts
  • Gender and Age: We find that specific ad angles perform better to certain demographics
  • Products / Offers: We can see performance based on specific products and offers we are driving traffic to
  • Destination: We run a number of tests on different landing pages and sequences. This helps us to identify which landing pages are working best from an AOV, CR, ROAS and Revenue perspective. You’ll find that some pages can convert less but at a higher AOV. So this means you can afford more from a CPA perspective on those specific funnels.

The reason I like many filters on one Google Data Studio is I can run a multitude of multivariable queries. So I can quickly get answers without a huge amount of data crunching on my end.

E.g. Show me the performance of all active ads with the test number T22 for the USA in the TOF

To pull that up in Facebook reports or spreadsheets in a usable format would take me about 20 minutes. With Google Data Studio (once loaded), it took less than 10 seconds and 3 clicks.

Section 2: The Creative Layout

This enables me to analyze the entire creative at once.
This enables me to analyze the entire creative at once.

When I’m specifically looking at creative performance, it’s helpful to see exactly the image, headline, description, CTA and landing page all at once. As much as I’m an aficionado of data, it isn’t a good use of brain space to try remembering every single detail. So it’s better to surface the data and make it easily accessible for everyone.

In this table, I have also added optional fields to show when I need to analyze the information. An example is the edit link, so I can easily jump to the specific ad to edit it if needed. The other optional fields I have are Revenue, ROAS, CPA, CPC, EPC and CTR.

Section 3: Audience Analysis

This allows me to break down ad performance across audiences.
This allows me to break down ad performance across audiences.

I mainly use audiences when I’m looking at trends on a campaign or Ad level. This helps me to break down ad performance across audiences in specific countries or stages of the funnel.

In this report, I take full advantage of Google Data Studio’s drill-down feature. I drill the audiences down to show me the exact targeting for the naming convention without leaving Data Studio. It also has the ad-set name and ad-set edit link, so I can easily access the information and make edits as needed.

I drill the audiences down to see the exact targeting for each naming convention.
I drill the audiences down to see the exact targeting for each naming convention.
This shows how the stats have been trending for the filters I've selected.
This shows how the stats have been trending for the filters I’ve selected.

This is my favorite section as it shows how any of these stats have been trending for the filters I have selected. It gives me a quick high-level glimpse of where the problems are at.

In this example, I can see that CPA has heavily spiked recently. Then I look over these graphs to see what else spiked at a similar time. I find that CPC’s and CPM’s have also been increasing, so that’s the area I need to investigate first.

I particularly like this report for looking at best performing ads. Comparing their first 7 days performance with new ads we are testing will indicate if they are on a similar trajectory.

Old ads with social proof will 80% of the time beat new ads with social proof even when they are better. So if you want a fair comparison, look at the performance of your new ads vs. the first 7-day performance of your best performer.

This trend analysis also helps me to spot potential problem areas to address. For example, consistently seeing a slight decline on the CTR or a slow increase in Frequency means that our creative will burn out soon.

Section 5 Trends as Spreadsheet

This is the same trend analysis but in spreadsheet format.
This is the same trend analysis but in spreadsheet format.

This is the same as the trend analysis except that it shows as a spreadsheet. I can use the drill-down feature to make this show data based on a day, week or month. This makes it easy to get a week on week comparison to see why stats might have been off. I can even drill down into a day format to analyze deeper on what went wrong.

On this table, I have also implemented optional metrics that I can pull up. I have frequency, Landing page views, cost per landing page view, Post reactions, post comments, AOV (calculated field) and LTV (Calculated field).

The Big Picture on How to Analyze Facebook Account Performance Trends

Now this is just version 1.2 of our Cubatica FB Trend Analyzer. I needed to take a step back and ask myself a few questions about what I was building before giving it an update.

In hindsight, I should have started with these questions:

  • What questions are we wanting this data to answer?
  • Does this report allow us to distill information to the creative team on what types and styles of ads to make for next week?
  • Does this allow the Cubatica marketing team to create case studies for our brand?

The added benefit of having a trends dashboard is connecting all your dashboards into a master dashboard, especially if you’re an agency. This will allow you to extrapolate data and identify trends across all the accounts. For example, do some creatives perform better than others? Is there a rise in CPM’s across all accounts in the USA or is it just the one?

Thank you for reading this article. I hope that you have learned something more about how to analyze Facebook account performance trends. These are the hidden metrics that can help you to better analyze account performance.

Think this is a cool report and want it built for yourself and your clients? Place a request for Clark, our resident Analytics Genius, to look after you.