If you are a Facebook Analytics user, you will have until June 30, 2021 to download all of your information and find an alternative reporting source. Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it will be removing Facebook Analytics.
Although no one knows for sure, it seems that Facebook will be shifting some of these reports to Business Suite. Within its announcement, the social media platform encouraged users to get familiar with:
Facebook Business Suite where you can manage your Facebook and Instagram business accounts. There are areas within this tool that provide audience insights and content trends (although not everyone has access to it yet and those that do find it cumbersome to find adequate information).
Ads Manager to keep tabs on paid campaigns, view ads, make changes and analyze results for all paid Facebook campaigns, ads, boosted posts, etc.
Events Manager for tracking conversions through the Facebook pixel and Conversions API. This is where you can see reports of actions taken on your website, in your app and in your physical store.
What does this mean?
In all honesty, it may mean nothing. Facebook Analytics was a vastly underutilized tool (in fact, here at Allee Creative, we never used it — we use a combination of Facebook Insights and other analytics tools such as SproutSocial, Google Analytics, Google AdWords and native website/CMS platform tools). From what we can tell from everything we’ve read so far, you’ll still be able to get metrics on your Facebook page performance. In the meantime, if you’re wary of what may happen to your data come summer, you may want to download historical data to have on hand.
Now, if you are tracking conversions heavily through Facebook (which is what Facebook Analytics does) to show your customers’ path-to-purchase based off Facebook content/actions, you’ll want to keep close tabs on this or find an alternative solution.
Conversion tracking remains cumbersome
The demise of Facebook Analytics is not the only thing making it hard on marketers for tracking conversions. With the rollout of Apple’s iOS14 earlier this year which mandates that users be given transparent information on what actions are tracked when using their phones on apps and websites (the App Tracking Transparency prompt), iOS users will be keenly aware of what apps will track before they install them and need to opt-in in order to allow those apps to continue tracking actions. This takes a large pool of people out of play for marketers to track conversions, set certain ad parameters and base audiences on prior actions.
As Search Engine Journal also reports, it’s not clear if Google will will follow suit, but they have stated that Google intends to go cookie-less in 2022.
How do we measure digital marketing success from here?
If you’ve put all your marketing eggs in the Facebook basket, that’s the first issue. Over the years, when speaking on digital marketing and content marketing strategies I typically start with a variation of this question:
If Facebook packed up and left today, would you still be able to reach your audience?
In other words, have you invested enough in your owned platforms (your blog, your email newsletter, your podcasts, your website, your gated content, etc.) to still connect with, track and measure success without relying on someone else’s platform? Utilizing social media platforms as part of your distribution strategy is great–and I’ll always recommend that–but do you have owned content to distribute in the first place? Do you know if it’s even worthwhile to continue putting efforts on one platform or another?
To start, gather information so that you can readily answer these questions::
- What is your monthly website traffic?
- Where does that traffic come from?
- How are you building your email list(s)?
- What areas of your website are top views?
- What keywords are bringing people to your website?
- Where do your customers hear about you?
- Which social media channels are the top two driving traffic sources to your website?
- What are your top blog posts? What makes them so? How did people find them?
- What are your email open rates? Unsubscribe rates? Click-through rates?
As you think about whether or not the removal of Facebook Analytics will affect your ability to track marketing metrics and success, dive in to what you know now and make a plan for how you will track success going forward. We have a few resources to get you started.
Resources for how to measure digital marketing success
- [blog post] Marketing Metrics to Track in a Down Economy
- [template] Marketing ROI tracker
- [webinar] Marketing ROI: Gauging Success to Plan for the Year Ahead