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In-depth Guide on How to Get Started with Facebook Ads Reporting

The main purpose of any report is to provide a retrospective of particular activities to identify both positive and negative findings. In terms of Facebook Ads reporting, this allows you to understand the effect of the money spent on your advertising campaign. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you dive deeper, you’ll discover more capabilities offered by Facebook Ads reports. In this guide, we’ll explain how you can benefit from building reports both inside and outside Facebook Ads manager.

Facebook Ads reports – what are the options?

The essence of each report is data. The data about your Facebook ad campaigns is stored in the Facebook Ads manager. You can transfer this information to the native Facebook Ads reporting tool and build your reports right there. The tool provides three layouts: pivot table, trend, and bar. It also allows you to share reports with the users in or outside your ad account, as well as export them in different formats, including Excel.

Another way you may opt for is to build custom reports outside Facebook Ads. You can use a spreadsheet app like Google Sheets or even a data visualization tool like Tableau for this. Some users even benefit from ready-to-use templates. Of course, this will require you to export Facebook Ads data, but it’s not an issue at all. We’ll show how you can do this with just a few clicks and even automate data exports on a schedule.

Let’s start our journey with the native solution, which is pretty good!

Facebook Ads reporting tool 

You can find the Ads Reporting tool by clicking the All tools button in your Facebook Business Account.

1 Ads Reporting tool

The tool is designed to create, export, share, and schedule ad performance reports. You can either build reports from scratch or use templates, such as Overall performance or Engagement reports.

To create a report, click the +Create report button in Ads Reporting.

2 create report ads reporting

An alternative path to reporting Facebook ads is right from Ads Manager. You need to select the data you want to include in your report, for example, a campaign, and click the Reports menu.

3 reports ad manager

In the dropdown menu, you can select any of the following options:

  • Export table data… – this will let you export data from Facebook Ads to Excel, CSV, or Ads Reporting tool.
4 export to ads reporting
  • Create custom report… – this will redirect you to the Ads Reporting dashboard right away.
  • Choose any of the suggested Standard reports, such as Ad set, Region, Platform, etc.
5 standard reports

Whichever option you choose, you’ll find yourself on the dashboard with different parameters.

Facebook Ads reporting dashboard

6 facebook ads reporting dashboard
  1. Filters for the report
  2. Date range for the report
  3. Report layout: pivot table, trend or bar
  4. Breakdowns for the report
  5. Metrics for the report

These elements of the Facebook Ads Reporting dashboard enable you to customize your reports. So, you will be able to gain more details on the effectiveness of your ads so that you can make informed decisions. Below are some of the parameters you can use to customize and assess the performance of your Facebook ads. 

Facebook Ads report layout

There are three design layout options for your Facebook Ads reports:

  • Pivot table – use this if you want to see more details and granularity in your ads report
7 pivot table layout
  • Trend – use this if you want to understand trends by comparing metrics.
8 trend layout
  • Bar – use this if you want to compare metric values across different sets of your data.
9 bar layout

Here is a short summary of the Facebook Ads reporting layouts:

LayoutFormatting options
Pivot tableRows represent breakdowns. Columns represent metrics.
Trend chartBreakdowns are lines. Each line represents a different breakdown segment. X-Axis represents the time interval. Y-Axis represents metrics. You can select up to two metrics which will be graphed on different charts. Choose the metric or breakdown to sort your lines in ascending or descending order. You can include up to 10 lines that will represent breakdown values in your chart.
Bar chartBreakdowns are bar groups. Each bar group represents a different breakdown segment. Bars represent metrics. You can select up to three metrics per chart. Choose the metric or breakdown to sort your bars in ascending or descending order. You can include up to 10 bar groups that will represent breakdown values in your chart.

Breakdowns for Facebook ads reports

Select breakdowns to customize the way your data appears in reports. The available breakdown options differ based on the report layout you choose. The biggest number of breakdowns are available for the pivot table and include:

Level 

  • Campaign name
  • Ad Set name
  • Ad name
  • Page name
  • Campaign ID
  • Ad Set ID
  • Ad ID
  • Page ID
  • Ad creative

Time 

  • Day
  • Week
  • Two weeks
  • Month

These time frames provide the volatility costs of your ads. For longer-running campaigns, it’s best to use long time frames from weekly to monthly to get a better picture of your campaign progress. For example, if you see the weekly costs start to rise, it can be a signal for you to take appropriate action. 

Delivery

Breakdown by Age, Gender, Region, Media type, and so on. This category allows you to see more information about the audience of your ads. Here are some of the options available:

  • Age: the results of the ad costs are divided by age group. This way, you can see which age group is wasting your money and help to refine the parameters of your ad for more effective results.
  • Country: this option enables you to see the costs of the ads for specific countries. With this information, you can allocate your resources accordingly for better results.
  • Business locations: this option is available when using dynamic page location targeting in which Facebook places your ads to the target audience closest to your business location.
  • Region: state or province.
  • Impression device: it provides information on the type of device that viewed your ad, for example, Android smartphones, iPhone, desktops, iPad.
  • Platform: this shows the platform in which your ads were viewed e.g. Facebook or Instagram.
  • Product ID: it is available if you have a product catalog. There are more options in which you can further refine your results from Product ID.

Action

  • Conversion Device
  • Post reaction type
  • Destination
  • Video view type
  • Video sound
  • Carousel card
  • Instant experience component
  • Category
  • Brand

This category allows you to see more information on the actions taken as a result of your ad. Here are some of the options available:

  • Conversion device: it shows the volume of devices that have viewed the ad. 
  • Post reaction type: it lists the types of reactions and the number of times each reaction was used.
  • Video view type: it separates videos that were viewed on autoplay and those that were clicked to play.
  • Video sound: this option separates videos that were played with sound and those played without it.
  • Carousel card: it allows you to view clicks of carousel cards and know which one generated maximum engagement. 

Settings

Breakdown by custom settings you apply for your ads.

Dynamic creative asset

  • Call to action
  • Description
  • Headline
  • Image
  • Text
  • Video
  • Website URL

Each option allows you to separate the variations generated for each dynamic creative type. However, this option is not available when viewing from the campaign level. 

Metrics for Facebook Ads reports

Here are the groups of metrics available for building Facebook ads reports:

  • Performance metrics – monitor the performance of your ads with the help of such metrics as Reach, Impressions, Clicks, etc. 
  • Engagement – learn how engaging your ads are, using such metrics as Page likes, Post comments, Link clicks, etc. 
  • Conversions – investigate the financial part of running Facebook ads with the help of conversion metrics including Adds to cart, Cost per add to wishlist, Credit spends, etc. 
  • Custom Events and Custom Conversions – custom events and conversions that you can apply, for example, Scroll 50% or Scroll 50% Conversion Value. 
  • Settings – set metrics based on Buying type, Campaign name, Call to action, and many more. 

With the breakdowns and metrics specified, you can set up filters for your reports.

Filters in ads reporting

You can filter your report in the same way you filter your ads on Ads Manager. The default filter way you see is Had Delivery, which shows items that had delivery and at least one impression. Other filtering options include Metrics, Buying type, Objective, and so on. 

Share and export reports from Facebook Ads reporting platform 

In the top right corner of Facebook Ads reporting, you have two buttons: Share and Export.

10 share and export
  • Share – allows you to share links to your reports with users both inside and outside Facebook Ads.  
  • Export – allows you to export reports as:
    • Formatted data table in Excel
    • Raw data table in Excel
    • CSV
    • Image

Exporting options are quite in demand among users who need to customize their reporting in spreadsheets or data visualization tools. Facebook Ads reporting works well for tracking daily stats, but it’s a pain when you want to build a report based on weekly, monthly, and larger historical data. Here are some other cons you may encounter dealing with the Facebook Ads native reporting tool.

Drawbacks of Facebook Ads manager reporting 

  • The more ads you add to your report, the longer it takes for Facebook Ads reporting to update the data. 
  • Filtering options are quite limited 
  • Grouping is not available
  • Sorting is available at a primitive level – only A to Z or vice versa 
  • The Facebook Ads reporting dashboard only shows a few columns – you’ll have to scroll right to see other valuable metrics
  • Visualization options are limited to bar and trend charts
  • You can’t compare groups of campaigns 
  • Custom metrics are not available 
  • You can’t see reports for different accounts at a time 

Considering the above, export of Facebook Ads data to a spreadsheet app seems to be a perfect solution to customize reporting. However, the native option does not let you automate this. So, for example, for daily reports, you’ll have to export data manually every day. Fortunately, there is a method to automate this flow with just a few clicks.

Automated Facebook ads reporting

Custom reporting that can be extremely beneficial for you consists of the following elements or parts:

  • You schedule the transfer of data from Facebook Ads to a spreadsheet app like Google Sheets or Excel 
  • You create a pivot table, dashboard, chart or a custom report based on this data. The report will update automatically with every data refresh.

For example, here is a simple pivot table that we’ve built using Google Sheets. Its major advantage over the pivot table report in Facebook Ads is that you can see metrics for two accounts in one table. 

11 pivot table fb ads google sheets

To automate Facebook Ads reporting, you’ll need Coupler.io, an integration solution for importing data from multiple sources into Google Sheets, Excel, or BigQuery. Coupler.io provides a Facebook Ads integration to schedule reporting to Google Sheets, Excel, or BigQuery at a custom frequency, such as every hour, every day, etc. Let’s see how this can be done in the example of daily reporting frequency.

Facebook Ads daily reporting

Sign up to Coupler.io for free, click Add importer, select Facebook Ads as a source and a destination app. Then configure the chosen integration as follows:

  • Source – you’ll need to configure your data source as well as specify the data you want to export from Facebook Ads:
  1. Connect your Facebook Ads account
  2. Specify the data category as well as ad accounts from where you want to extract data.
  3. Specify the start and end dates for your analytics data and select the group by option.
  4. Select the columns (metrics) to include in the report.
12 facebook ads source
  • Destination – you’ll need to specify where to load your Facebook Ads data. In our case, we chose Google Sheets as a destination.
  1. Connect your Google account
  2. On your Google Drive, select a spreadsheet and a sheet to load data to. 

Optionally, you can change the first cell for data import, the import mode, and add the last update column. For more on this, refer to the Coupler.io documentation.

13 facebook ads destination
  • Schedule – you’ll need to toggle on the automatic data refresh and configure the frequency you want
8 airtable export schedule

And this is what the exported Facebook Ads data looks like in Google Sheets:

14 facebook ads data google sheets

What’s next?

You can build a pivot table with just a few clicks like we did. Or you can insert a chart – Google Sheets offers a lot of them. You can even build a dashboard in Google Data Studio. Any to your liking:) 

Coupler.io is a no-code solution to automate your Facebook Ads reporting. But you may be interested in designing a custom integration using Google Apps Script, Python, or any other programming tool. To do this, you’ll need the Facebook Ads API

Facebook Ads API reporting

Facebook Ads reporting API is called Facebook Insights API. Basically, this is just an endpoint within the Marketing API. With it, you can export stats about Facebook marketing campaigns. Here is the Insights API cURL syntax:

https://graph.facebook.com/{api_version}/{ads_object}/insights

The Insights API is available as on the following {ads_object}:

  • /act_{ad-account-id}/insights
  • /{ad-id}/insights
  • /{ad-campaign-id}/insights
  • /{ad-set-id}/insights

Actually, this topic requires particular attention. Soon we’ll release a blog post dedicated to the Facebook Ads API where you can learn more about its authentication, examples, and other things. 

Our guide to Facebook Ads reporting is not over yet. Although we’ve covered the most important things, some questions are still unanswered. So, we gathered them together in the FAQ section below. 

Frequently asked questions about Facebook Ads reporting

What do I do when Facebook ads reports are not loading?

Export them with Coupler.io, of course. 😉 Actually, it’s not a joke. Facebook provides a dedicated section to troubleshooting data issues in Ads Reporting. And you should keep in mind that if your data doesn’t load in ads reporting, you may not be able to load it elsewhere either.

So, it’s better to ensure you have a backup running on a schedule. This is what Coupler.io can help you implement without any effort.

How to pull end date in Facebook Ads reporting 

Information about the start and end date of your ads, ad sets, or campaigns will be available in any report that you’re exporting from Facebook Ads with Coupler.io. Here is how it looks:

15 end date facebook ads reports

Is there any difference between Facebook dynamic and sponsored ads reporting?

Although dynamic ads and sponsored ads on Facebook are used with different objectives, in terms of reporting, they are just Facebook ads. This means that there will be no explicit differentiation between those types of ads in your report data. 

Native vs. custom Facebook Ads Reporting 

As a wrap-up, let’s try to answer the eternal question of choice. However, in the case of reports in Facebook Ads, it looks clear as day. If you need more than Facebook Ads Reporting can provide, then export your data and manipulate it in whatever way you need. A special bonus is that scheduled exports will let you have a backup of your data outside Facebook. 

If you believe that the native reporting functionality is more than enough for your needs then….do nothing. But, I bet you’ll get back to this once your business grows bigger and bigger. So, sooner or later, you’ll need a more advanced solution to cover your reporting needs. Good luck with your data!

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