A "Total" Nightmare: 5 Tips To View Data On Facebook Ads Manager
I’ll set the scene for you…
Your digital marketing agency says their new Facebook campaign has had 50 sales in the last 7 days, great! You load up Facebook Ads Manager to see no results showing, and totals not adding up.
You’re not alone. Navigating Facebook Ads Manager these days can be mind-boggling.
So what’s the reason behind this? Well, it’s because Facebook changed their attribution window.
Yep. That’s it.
One day back in earlyish 2021, something really terrible happened…
The iOS update.
For those of you unaware of the iOS update (where have you been?!!?), it essentially boils down to Apple giving iOS users the option to opt-out of ad tracking. When the update was announced, Facebook kind of freaked out and made several updates in response, causing havoc for digital marketers everywhere.
One morning, I loaded Ads Manager and couldn’t see any data. I thought to myself this will sort itself out, Facebook will sort this all out… right?? As the days went by it was clear that Facebook was not going to sort this out.
It’s been a nightmare, a total nightmare.
The collateral damage of the update means that if ad sets within an account have different attribution windows, you won’t be able to see any totals for pixel event data, such as Purchase, ROAS or Conversion Value.
But do not fret! Follow my simple tips below and you’ll be reading Facebook data again like the iOS update never happened (sort of).
Tip 1 – Change all your ad sets to the same attribution window
There are now FOUR attribution settings to choose from. These are:
- 7-day click, 1-day view
- 7-day click
- 1-day click, 1-day view
- 1-day click
Pick an attribution and stick to it. Change all your ad sets to that attribution setting. Don’t know which one to choose?
Well, let me help you out with that!
Choosing your attribution setting will depend on your main campaign objectives, some campaign objectives only have a couple of options, others have all four options. Bear in mind that, for most campaign objectives, the default is 7-day click 1-day view.
If you’re running ads on multiple channels you’ll want the 7-day click option to avoid over attribution. Over attribution can happen if, for example, someone purchases after clicking on your Google Search ad, but between clicking on the ad and purchasing, they see your ad on Facebook because you’re retargeting website visitors. They only need to view the ad and purchase within the 1-day view window for that sale to be attributed to Facebook.
To change the attribution setting, click edit on an ad set, scroll to the bottom and you’ll see Show More Options. Click that and you will see the attribution setting. Sometimes you can edit this directly in the ad set, sometimes you have to duplicate the ad set then make the edit. Facebook likes to keep us on our toes, you see.
Important note: Making this change will put the ad set back into the learning phase. If you have audiences that are performing well, hold off changing the attribution setting so as not to disrupt performance.
There are also some campaign and ad set objectives that only allow certain attribution settings. App Installs, for example, give 1 day click and view options. Also, at the time of writing this, a recent update means traffic campaigns can’t be changed from 7-day click, 1-day view.
If your ad account has old, inactive campaigns, don’t bother changing the ad sets in there, but you’ll also need to do tip 2 to be able to view those all-important totals.
Tip 2 – Filter by attribution setting
My favourite go-to trick: on Ads Manager, click on the search and filter bar, scroll to attribution setting and select the one you want. This will filter out any ad sets that have a different attribution setting (so you may need to do tip 1 first) and then hey presto, your totals add up!…
Or do they….
Tip 3 – View all campaigns on ad set level
You’ve done tip 1, you’ve done tip 2, still no totals? Yeah, that can happen.
Now view the data on the ad set level. Can you see totals? At this stage, I really hope so! But first, you might have to sort out your columns…
Tip 4 – Sort out your columns
For argument’s sake, let’s say you’re running a conversion campaign, and the conversion objective is purchase. In theory, a purchase should be shown in your results column, that would make sense, right?
Click on columns, then click customise columns. Deselect results and instead select purchase, I also advise unticking any tick boxes on the right-hand side of this column pop-up box (trust me, just do it). If you’ve done the above tips, I’d be dumbfounded if you’re still not seeing totals.
You’re TOTALLY welcome!
Tip 5 – How can I view breakdowns of conversion data?
Erm… How can I put this… you can’t.
I guess this one isn’t really a tip, just a heads up. You can no longer view conversion data on Ads Manager breakdowns. Why? I don’t know. Will it come back? Probably not, but if it does, I’ll be sure to write a blog about it. So stay tuned!