Facebook fallacies from its head of measurement

Rick Malhotra tells MiC how agencies need to think beyond the click-through rate when using the social media site in their campaigns.

Rick Malhotra, measurement lead at Facebook Canada says agencies believe a few fallacies when it comes to how the social media site works when used in their campaigns. MiC recently caught up with Malhotra to learn more about how agencies are currently thinking about using Facebook, and how that should change.

MiC: What are some of the fallacies agency people believe in terms of Facebook measurement right now?

Malhotra: We hear so many of them. I think the fallacies lie around things like thinking the click-through rate isn’t as high on a Facebook ad as another ad. We hear so many of them. At Facebook, we found that 99% of offline sales attributed to online brand marketing ad campaigns came from people who never clicked on an ad – they came from people merely being exposed to the ad.

We then look to talk with the person about why click-through rates are so important to them. Then we start to look at their business objectives and how things can be explained in a way that is apples to apples in the objectives. I think it all comes down to that incomplete measurement, applying traditional digital metrics, which might not be correlated to business objectives to Facebook and drawing a conclusion on effectiveness. That is where we want to evolve from.

MiC: What will it take for people to get past click-through rates?

Malhotra: There are two dimensions to getting past it, one is capability. What we are trying to do through our research partners is bring objective capability to the marketplace. If there are no capabilities or systems in place to measure things other than click-through rates then people won’t do it. We have to help the research market move in that direction. If the capabilities are there then the other piece is culture at the advertiser or agency. You can have all the technology in the world at an agency but if a culture is entrenched in a certain way of thinking then they are less likely to change. I think the capabilities have to lead that though, which is why things like Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings are the way to start getting the right data points in the right hands.