Facebook’s Relevancy Score: New Opportunity to Drive Performance at Lower Costs

Post by Tom Pierson, Media Director & Christine Hickey, Media Manager At Performics, we strive on leveraging actionable, in-market data to continually optimize ads for performance and efficiency.  In line with this performance philosophy, Facebook has introduced a new Relevancy Score, enabling advertisers to see—in Facebook’s ad reporting tools—a new metric that quantifies the engagement potential of an ad: screenshot_4 When an ad is launched, the score (1 to 10) is calculated by Facebook’s projected positive/negative feedback on the ad.  The score is updated as Facebook users interact with the ad in the wild.  Positive feedback influencers vary depending on the ad’s objective, but can include: likes, comments, clicks, video views and app downloads.  Negative feedback includes users hiding or reporting the ad. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? Ad relevancy is the foundation of performance.  Facebook takes ad relevancy into account in order to ensure that users see ads that matter to them, creating a better user experience and also delivering more qualified customers to advertisers.  This is an effort by Facebook to create more relevant advertising experiences, which will enable advertisers to drive better Facebook performance.  Better performance could lead advertisers to increase Facebook budgets. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN for ADVERTISERS? BEST PRACTICES Most significantly, the Relevancy Score can help advertisers (1) boost performance and (2) lower costs.  It operates like a paid search quality score—the higher the Relevancy Score, the lower the ad cost. The new Relevancy Score falls directly in line with Performics philosophy of aligning content (e.g. ads and experiences) with the audience.  A quantifiable Facebook relevancy score—like a search marketing quality score—gives us another optimizable Facebook performance metric.  It’s a new lever that we can pull to influence performance and cost.  For instance, we can now do things like:

  • Better understand why cost-per-click (CPC) is different across Facebook user segments for the same post. For instance, the post for segment A may have a $1.00 CPC, while the post for segment B may have a $.75 CPC.  We now know that this is because the post is more relevant to segment B, as indicated by better Relevancy Score.
  • Track Relevancy Scores over time for different post strategies, honing in on the most relevant experiences to drive more performance
  • Objectively correlate Relevancy Scores to lower CPCs, just like in paid search
  • Inform testing of creative options before campaign launch (e.g. pairing different images/copy with audiences to see which combinations get the highest Relevancy Scores, even before launching the ads). Run all creative through Ads Manager prior to launch to determine if the creative will be successful.
  • Drive continual, in-market optimization (e.g. if we see a Relevancy Score drop, we can re-evaluate the creative or audience to bring Relevancy Score back in line)

We predict that Relevancy Score will improve the quality of Facebook ads for our clients, while also driving cost efficiencies.  In particular, advertisers that deeply segment their audiences are going to reap the benefits of Relevancy Score more than those that bundle audiences together.  For example, deeper segmentation will enable us to know how 25 to 34 year-old audiences perform versus 35 to 44 year-olds. This has always been a best practice at Performics, so our clients are set up for success. WISHLIST There’s one thing that we’d love to see in Relevancy Score in the future.  We’d like to know how neutral/no reaction from users may impact the score.  For instance, if an advertiser’s content elicits little reaction (which is a bad thing), is the impact on Relevancy Score neutral or negative? Furthermore, Facebook has recently undertaken algorithm changes that limit posts that contain spam, promotional content, phishing or misleading information.  This means that negative feedback (e.g. users hiding or reporting ads) will be low.  Thus, if there’s very little negative impact on Relevancy Score—and neutral feedback causes neutral impact—Relevancy Score may be inflated. We’d also like visibility into whether certain actions have a bigger impact on Relevancy Score (e.g. if we are optimizing towards engagements, do comments influence more than photo views?). HOW to ACTIVATE This metric is being rolled out this week (mid-February) and is accessible through the Ads Manager tool (add the Relevancy Score tab to your ads reports).  It can be viewed in any Facebook ad reporting tool, as well as through Facebook partners via the Facebook ads API. All advertisers should incorporate Relevancy Score into measurement and optimization plans.  However, Relevancy Scores are just one performance indicator; the ultimate performance indicator is always your business goal: leads, sales, engagement. For more info on Facebook Relevancy Scores, please contact your performance account team today.

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