A Facebook ad analysis: are their stats real?

I have not consulted with my legal department (i.e. reading through 3 or 4 online forum threads with topics vaguely related to mine) before making this statement, but I feel like Facebook is lying to me about my ad’s performance with them.

Here’s the background – I’ve been running a weeklong ad with a cap of $50 with FB with the specific goal of having people add my product to the cart on my website.  FB has some pieces of code (Pixels, they call it) you add to your site so that it can track the conversions from their ad to my site.  So, 4 days in, FB says I have 679 “conversions”. I’m still not exactly sure what that is – from my understanding, that would be that there have been 679 instances of something added to the shopping cart on my website. So, if that’s what it is, and it’s only taken $0.06 per conversion (again according to FB), that’s great!  I can definitely afford 6 cents per unit to sell my product.

FB ad

The problem is that I have been doing nothing near that in sales.  I can count on one hand my daily sales – the FB stats and reality are off by almost two orders of magnitude.  It’s a bummer, and of course I’d like more, but I still feel like I’m in beginning stages of my sales curve.

But, that’s all beside the point – what this post is about is whether FB is inflating the figures it reports to me.  So, even if the “conversions” are not products added to the cart, but just website visits, it still doesn’t jive with the website traffic.  For the same time period, my Google Analytics (Aside: why is this word still not in most spellcheckers?) shows 538 sessions from Facebook referrals, a difference of more than 100.

Goog analy

So, I realize that website tracking is not an exact science, but these differences between what I feel like I’m being told by Facebook and what is really happening on my website is troubling.  Maybe I didn’t install their code correctly, but in that case I wonder what it is exactly tracking, then.  I’ll also give everything a few days after the ad has finished to fully process the data in case there are some lags, but I really feel like FB is telling me what I want to hear, but it’s just not the reality.  As with everything, caveat emptor!


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