Theresa Cramer

Facebook’s stock values dipped by about 4% on Wednesday in response to the company pointing out that “privacy changes” — i.e. Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) — are hitting the company hard. In a blog post, Graham Mudd, VP of Product Marketing, Facebook, spoke directly to advertisers who have complained that “cost of achieving your business outcome may have increased and it’s also gotten harder to measure your campaigns on our platform.”

Mudd took some responsibility off of ATT’s shoulders: “Our estimate is that in aggregate we are underreporting iOS web conversions by approximately 15%; however there is a broad range for individual advertisers. We believe that real world conversions, like sales and app installs, are higher than what is being reported for many advertisers. We are committed to helping you better measure these outcomes and improve your performance.”

Facebook and other self-attributing networks with massive data repositories, and a history of invasive tracking have been particularly hard hit by ATT. Things are especially tough for Facebook, as 98.3% of users access the social media platform via their mobile devices. Fewer than 2% of people access the platform exclusively from desktops.

“Facebook’s unique selling point for marketers is primarily based on targeting information and attributing assessment,” says Marcus Valdez, senior content manager at Thegamedial. He adds, “You can guarantee that the greatest brains in the ad tech business are complex at work, attempting to develop solutions that satisfy advertisers’ targeted and attributing demands while also maintaining the personal management that users demand.”

And Facebook is, indeed, hard at work trying to solve the problem.

Steps marketers can take to improve Facebook performance

Part of the commitment to help customers is manifested in “multi-year effort to develop new privacy-enhancing technologies that minimize the amount of personal information we process.” Mudd also suggests that there are steps advertisers can take now to improve their outcomes on Facebook:

  • Allow time before you analyze performance — Delays in reporting mean advertisers will need to be patient.
  • Analyze the campaign, not the creative — Aggregated data means creative-level data may not be asaccurate as it once was.
  • Set up the Conversions API — “​​The Conversions API creates a simple, reliable and privacy-safe connection between your marketing data, such as website events and offline conversions, and Facebook.” 
  • Configure web events using Aggregated Event Measurement — Focus on the web events that are most closely aligned with your business goals.
  • Follow learning phase best practices to help the delivery system learn the best way to deliver your ads — FAcebook says that consolidating ad sets will help you get out of the learning phases earlier.
  • Consider all of the tools available — Look beyond Facebook for help with measurement.
  • Continue to test and learn — As always, testing is important and will allow you to hit the ground running when Facebook’s improvements are available.