A couple days ago we wrote an article that did well on Facebook. Reach and engagement were much stronger than our typical post. As you can see above Facebook’s “insights” on the post show it reached over 40,000 people and had a lot of likes, comments and shares. It was almost viral with far more comments and likes on the shares than on the post itself.
We noticed, however, that the number of link clicks were fairly low. Less than 3000 people appeared to click on the link, and 8600 clicked on something on the post.
We noticed heavy traffic on our site in the last three days, nearly all for this one post about a restaurant inspection for a popular restaurant near our community.
So we checked. Jetpack Site Stats showed 30,000 page views coming from Facebook in the last week, a lot more than what our FB numbers suggest:
And our Google Analytics numbers also show a similar amount of Facebook traffic specifically to this page, roughly 30,000 again:
In other words, it appears that our site got 10 times as much traffic from this post than the “link clicks” number indicates, or more than triple the number of “post clicks”.
So, is Facebook underestimating engagement? Yes and no. Our best guess is that the link clicks shown in FB Insights is limited to clicks on the original post and does not include link clicks on the shares.
Still we find this suspicious. If our post was shared over 1800 times with all those likes and comments on the shares, and we got nearly 3000 link clicks just on our post, you’d think our total traffic would have been much larger.
We have had problems connecting to Facebook today and apparently it’s not just us. We checked Down For Everyone or Just Me and they also show it as down.
Update: See bottom of this article.
One effective technique for Facebook advertising is to target your ads by zip code. This helps to really narrow your audience to the groups you want to reach, and avoid wasting money on ads going to groups who are too far from your geographic market. If you’d like to learn more about using Facebook ads effecitively, the kevin david facebook ads ninja masterclass might be something you’d want to sign up for.
We’ve been using zip codes for ad targeting on Facebook for a while now. Recently we noticed an odd problem – certain zip codes are difficult or impossible to add to an ad campaign. We’ve had the same problem on the main interface and in Power Editor.
You can see in the image above that there are no matches found for zip code 33433, which is home to over 40,000 people in the wealthy community of Boca Raton, Florida. Our website aims to cover five zip codes in western Boca Raton:
Even if we add the word “Boca” in our search, it still doesn’t come up.
Nothing we’ve tried brings up this zip code now. We were able to add it in past ads and may be able to work around the problem using those past campaigns. But we suspect others are encountering similar problems with zip code targeting in Facebook ads.
We have had similar but less difficult problems with other zip codes. Zip code 33498 is another part of West Boca. It doesn’t show up if we only enter 33498 in the search box:
On the other hand, if we add “Boca” to our search, it does come up now. A week ago it would not come up at all.
Have you had problems targeting your Facebook ads to certain zip codes? Please let us know in the comments.
To learn more about the topic in general, see Search Engine Watch’s article about ad targeting on Facebook.
In the comments below a reader said that he was able to find the 33433 zip code, and it did indeed start working for us. However, now we can’t get the 33431 zip code.
Zip code 33431 is a high-income zip code with roughly 18,000 people and includes the main campus of Florida Atlantic University (FAU).