Media Planning & Buying Social Media

Facebook’s New Relevance Score Measures Content Success from 1-10

February 13, 2015

This past week, Facebook announced it would begin showing a ‘relevance score’ that rates ads based on how well content is received by a target audience. While Facebook’s Ad Delivery system isn’t new, and has been operating with a relevance score in the background for years, this is a strategic move to offer more transparency around ad health score on the platform. This update supports Facebook’s vested interest in creating the best possible experience for users; supporting marketers, while moving them toward paid advertising that resonates, ensuring the platform’s long-term vitality for both users and marketers. This new enhancement builds on the way the platform has actively been updating its ad products and surfacing content in the News Feed with optimization and transparency in mind.

The new relevance score is calculated based on users’ positive and negative feedback to an ad. Interactions considered positive feedback will vary based on each ad’s objective, but may include indicators such as clicks, conversions or video views. Negative feedback includes actions like hiding or reporting an ad. Based on feedback, ads are ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 10 indicating the highest relevance. This score mostly impacts ads optimized for driving a specific action and will have less of an impact on campaigns that focus on brand awareness (reach and frequency).

Previously, it’s been a challenge for marketers to gauge the health of their ads. While Facebook has numerous performance metrics, until now there hasn’t been a way for marketers to judge why an ad performed the way it did. Some brands still look at engagement rate and ask – “How does this compare to benchmarks?” – when there are actually a number of factors that contribute to engagement rate that have little to do with creative (e.g. audience characteristics, audience size, bid type and bid amount). Having a scale to measure how a brand’s content is expected to perform against an audience will help Facebook create a true benchmark for marketers to measure the success of their ads. Now the conversation can change from, “What are the benchmarks?” to, “How can we tailor our content to be more relevant to this specific group?”

Google has a similar measure, called Quality Score. For Facebook, the measuring system is a simple 1-10 score that is visible in the Ad Reporting user interface and via the API. Marketers should tap this new feature to gauge if their ad experience is the best possible one for each target consumer. With a real-time signal from Facebook that shows marketers how to optimize targeting and monitor creative performance, it creates a higher benchmark for measuring success.

What does the new relevance score mean for marketers?

  • Opens up A/B testing: Since brands can now determine ad relevancy using a very small pool (approximately 500 views) the relevance score will become a great tool for A/B testing. This new system will allow advertisers to determine the best potential audience and creative pairing before spending a significant portion of their budgets.
  • Makes optimization easier: Even after a campaign begins, the relevance score will allow for marketers to easily measure ads against each other. Although CPE, reach, frequency, etc. still need to be taken into account, the relevancy score provides a “big picture” number that will provide advertisers with a gauge on ad success and creative performance, so marketers can budget and reallocate accordingly.
  • Helps cost efficiency: By looking at relevancy scores and pairing with the appropriate amount of spend, marketers will be able to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Brands should evaluate success based on achieving business objectives such as driving sales, sign ups or app installs. The relevancy score is not meant to replace key success metrics, but rather to provide more effective criteria for evaluating the creative to drive measured success.

Karri Wells Wane, Social Marketing Supervisor; Shalini Agrawal, Media Supervisor; Amy Peterman, Director, Paid Social Practice Lead; Jwala Gandhi, Social Marketing Manager; Stefanie Schaefer, Media Manager at 360i contributed to this post.

Cover photo via Marketing Land