Glossary of Facebook Advertising Terms

Facebook Advertising terms

An area that often gets overlooked when working with Facebook are Facebook Ads. This is most likely because Facebook advertising terms are confusing. To help you out, we have compiled a glossary of Facebook advertising terms to make it easy for you to reference when you’re creating your own Facebook Ads.

Note: I’ve compiled this list of Facebook advertising terms from the Facebook Help Center along with various resources that I’ve used when creating Facebook Ads.

With this collection of Facebook advertising terms, it should be a lot easier to understand all of the different fields when you’re creating your own Facebook Ads. !

List of Facebook Advertising Terms

Actions (for ads and sponsored stories pointing to Pages): 

The number of times people liked your Page, liked your posts on your Page, commented, @ mentioned, checked into your place, tagged your brand in a photo, shared your Page posts, redeemed your offer, clicked on the Page post link, viewed the Page post photo, or viewed the Page post video within 24 hours of seeing your ad or sponsored story or within 28 days of clicking on it.

Actions (for ads and sponsored stories pointing to apps): 

The number of times people installed, used, or spent credits in your app within 24 hours of seeing your ad or sponsored story, or within 28 days of clicking on it.

Note: You’ll only see actions if you are promoting a Page, event or app.

Ad Auction:

For each ad impression, Facebook’s ad auction system selects the best ads to run based on the ads’ maximum bids and ad performance. All Facebook Ads compete against each other in this process, and the ads that the system determines are most likely to be successful will be shown.

Note: You can make your ads more competitive by raising your bid. Be sure to do this at the beginning of your ad though. So you don’t miss out on clicks.

Ads Manager:

The Facebook Ads Manager let’s you view all of your Facebook Ad campaigns, make changes to your bids and budgets, and pause or restart your ads at any time. You’ll also find your Billing Manager containing your payment history and funding sources information, and you can export ad performance reports from the Reports tab.

Advertising Guidelines:

Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines provide information about what kinds of ad content and practices are allowed or disallowed on the site.

Note: To save yourself time and money, be sure to review the Facebook Advertising Guidelines prior to creating your ads and also look at the Ad Policy Examples and Explanations to know what is and isn’t allowed.

App Engagement:

App engagement is counted as the number of App Installs, App Uses, or Credit Spends for your app within 24 hours of viewing an ad or sponsored story, or within 28 day after clicking on an ad.

App Installs:

App Installs get counted as the number of times your app was installed within 24 hours of viewing a Facebook Ad or sponsored story, or within 28 days after an ad was clicked on.

App Uses:

App Uses are counted as the number of times your app was used for a minimum of 4 minutes in the past 14 days. App uses are also counted when the same person uses your app at least twice, with one of those uses occurring in the past 14 days.

Auto Bid:

When auto bid is in effect, your bid is automatically optimized to help you reach your advertising goal. You cannot edit an auto bid.

Average CPC:

Average Cost Per Click (CPC) is the amount you’re paying on average for each click on your ad. Average CPC is calculated as total clicks on your ad divided by cost for that ad during the same time period.

Average CPM:

Average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is the amount you’re paying on average for every thousand impressions (views) of your ad. This is calculated as the number of thousands of times your ad is displayed divided by the cost for that ad during the same time period.

Bid (or Maximum Bid):

Your bid is the maximum amount you’ve indicated you’re willing to pay per click (if bid on a CPC basis) or thousand impressions (if bid on a CPM basis) on your Facebook Ads.

Note: This bid helps determine the strength of your ad in an ad auction so be sure to enter your maximum bid when creating your ads.

Billing Manager:

Billing Manager is found in your Ads Manager on the left side of the page under Billing.

Billing Summary:

Billing Summary is located under the Billing link in your Facebook Ads Manager. The Billing Summary shows you a list of all of your past ad charges. If you click on each description link, it will take you to a detailed breakdown of that particular charge including the dates the charge covers and the specific Facebook Ads that ran during that period.

Broad Categories: When creating an ad, you can use broad category targeting to reach groups of people who share similar interests and traits, such as activities related to “Food & Dining.” This information is pulled from what people have included in their personal timelines and will help you reach your ideal audience.

Budget:

The maximum amount you’re willing to spend on each campaign, per day or in the lifetime of the campaign.

Campaign:

A grouping of ads that you create in your account. All of the ads in a campaign share the same daily or lifetime budget as well as schedule, but the individual ads have separate bids and targeting.

Note: Campaigns can be very useful because they allow you to group ads according to whatever criteria are useful to you. For example, if you are running ads for two different businesses, you can maintain separate campaigns of ads for each business. Campaigns also allow you to pull Facebook Ad reports from a campaign level to see how that group of ads performed.

Campaign Reach:

The number of individual people who saw sponsored stories or ads in a specified campaign. This is different from impressions, which includes people seeing them multiple times.

Clicks:

Clicks are counted each time a user clicks through your ad to your landing page. If you’re advertising a Facebook Page or Event, a click is also counted when a user “likes” your Page or Place or RSVPs to your Event within the ad.

Connections:

Connections measures the response your message is driving among people who have seen your ad or sponsored story. includes the people who liked your Page or Place, RSVPed to your event, installed your app or checked in to your advertised place within 24 hours of viewing or clicking on an ad or Sponsored Stories.

Note: If your ad links offsite, you won’t see Connections data in your Ads Manager.

Conversions:

Conversions are the number of times people liked your Page or Place, RSVPed to your event, or installed your app within 28 days of clicking on your ad. This information is listed under the “Conversions by Impression Time” report.

Note: If your Facebook Ad links off Facebook, this is not tracked.

Cost Per Action:

Cost per action is the average amount that you’re paying for each action people take on your ads. What you pay is influenced by who you are targeting and how many other advertisers are competing to show their ads to your audience.

CPC:

CPC or Cost Per Click. If your ads are bid on a CPC basis, you will be charged when users click on your ads and visit your website. Using CPC indicates that you are most interested in having people click through to your website and controlling the actual cost to drive each individual person to your site.

CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions):

CPM or Cost Per Thousand Impressions. If your ads are bid on a CPM basis, you will be charged when users view your ads, regardless of whether or not they click on them. Using CPM indicates that you are most interested in where you ads show up and what your ad looks like instead of how many people click on it.

Credit Spends:

Credit spends are counted as the number of times Facebook Credits were spent in your app.

CTR (Click-Through Rate):

CTR or Click Through Rate is the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown on the site (impressions) in the same time period. Using CTR, you are only charged for clicks or impressions you receive.

Custom Audiences:

With custom audiences, you use email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook user IDs to make the match. This let’s you find the exact people you want to talk to. Custom audiences are defined by what you already know. To create new custom audiences or edit existing ones, visit Power Editor.

Daily Budget:

Your daily budget is the amount you’ve indicated you’re willing to spend on a specific campaign per day. Facebook will never charge you more than your daily budget on a given day.

Daily Spend Limit:

The daily spend limit is the maximum amount that Facebook will allow you to spend in one day.

Destination:

The destination of your ad is where people will land when they click on it. If you advertise a Page, app or event on Facebook, you’ll also get social buttons on your ad that encourage people to engage with you by liking your Page, installing or using your app, or joining your event.

End Date:

The date a campaign is scheduled to stop. Campaigns can run continuously or limited to specific dates.

Event Responses:

Event Responses are counted as the number of times people RSVPed within 24 hours of seeing your ad or sponsored story, or within 28 days of clicking on it.

Frequency:

Frequency tells you how many times each person saw your ads or Sponsored Stories, on average.

Funding Sources:

To view all of your currently active credit cards along with active ad credits, look under the Funding Sources tab in your Facebook Ads account. Ads Manager > Billing > Funding Sources.

Impressions:

Impressions or Imp are counted each time an ad or Sponsored Story is shown to a user, regardless of whether the user clicks or takes any other action on the ad.

Likes & Interests Targeting:

Likes & Interests targeting allows you to refine your ad’s target audience based on the content they included in their timelines as well as the Pages, Groups and other onsite content they have connected with. Interests, Activities, Favorite Music, Movies and TV Shows are also included.

Link Clicks:

Links Clicks are counted as clicks on links posted in your ad within 28 days after your ad is first clicked.

Mobile App Install Ads:

Mobile app install ads help developers reach people on mobile devices. When people click on the ad on the mobile device, they will be directed to the App Store or Google Play where they can install the app.

Objective: When you advertise a Page, app or event, you’ll be asked “What would you like to do?” after you enter your destination. Here you need to decide on the goal of your ad and the choices you have based on what you’re advertising.

  • For Pages, you have the following choices: Get More Page Likes, Promote Page Posts and See Advanced Options.
  • For apps, you have the following choices: Get More Users, Increase App Engagement and See Advanced Options.
  • For events, you have the following choices: Increase attendance and See Advanced Options.

Facebook automatically gives you an ad and a group of optimized sponsored stories to help you achieve your goal.

Offer:

A Facebook Offer is a way for brands to run a deal through the Facebook Page publisher tool. Offers are shown in News Feeds of Fans and friends of Fans if supported by Facebook advertising.

Offer Claims:

Offer Claims are the number of times your Facebook offers were claimed within 24 hours of someone viewing your ad or sponsored story or 28 days after clicking on it.

Offer Claimed Story: A sponsored story that appears in the News Feeds or sidebars of friends of those who have claimed your Facebook Offer.

Optimization:

Optimization is the process of making your bid more competitive to help you to get more page likes given your budget.

Be sure you review the different Facebook ad bid types so that you optimize your Facebook Ads based on your overall objectives.

Optimized CPM:

Optimized CPM allows an advertiser the ability to prioritize their marketing goals, and then automatically delivers ads against those goals in the most effective way possible. The system will automatically bid on behalf of the advertiser, while remaining constrained by the campaign budget they define and the values they specify. The dynamic bids allow the system to capture the highest-value impressions for your goals, and you should expect the total ROI on the campaign to exceed that of either a CPC or a traditional CPM campaign.

Outstanding Balance:

Your outstanding balance is the total of all invoices you have not yet been billed for. This does not include charges for ads you have not been billed for yet.

Page Engagement:

Page Engagement is the total number of the following actions on your page or page posts: Post Like, Post Comment, Post Share, Offer Claim, Vote, Follow, Link Click, Photo View, Video Play, Page Like, Check-in, Post Mention, or Tab View within 24 hours of someone viewing your Facebook ad or sponsored story or 28 days after clicking on it.

Page Likes:

Page Likes are the total number of Page Likes you received within 24 hours of someone viewing or 28 days after clicking on your ad.

Page Like Story:

A Page Like Story is a sponsored story surfaced to the friends who have liked the Page owned by the advertiser. These ads send a message to the user to let them know that “Friend X” likes this Page, encouraging them to do the same.

Page Post Ad:

The promotion of a post (status update, video, photo share, link share) previously created by a Facebook Page.

Page Post Sponsored Story:

An advertising unit that promotes the interactions (like or comment) of a target user’s friend with the advertiser’s Page post.

Placement:

Where Facebook Ad units will appear. Placement options include

  • All Facebook (includes News Feed)
  • Desktop
  • News Feed Only (Desktop or Mobile)

Post Engagement:

Post Engagement counts many different types of actions within 24 hours of someone viewing your ad or sponsored story or 28 days after clicking on it. This includes Post Like, Post Comment, Post Share, Offer Claim, Vote, Follow, Link Click, Photo View or Video Play.

Potential Reach:

Potential Reach is the approximate number of people your ads or sponsored stories can reach based on your targeting criteria.

Power Editor:

Power Editor is a plugin for Google Chrome that helps improve the efficiency of your Facebook Ads. With Power Editor, you can manage a large number of campaigns and ads. For example, Power Editor allows like mass-editing of campaign settings, targeting, bids, budgets, flight dates, and creative elements across ads, campaigns, and even accounts. With Power Editor, also let’s you create saved target groups for duplicating an audience.

Precise Interests:

When creating a Facebook ad, you can choose your audience based on what they’ve listed as an interest on their personal timeline. This information is pulled from their interests, activities, education, job titles, Pages they have liked or groups they belong to. Topics marked with # let you target everyone who is also interested in something closely related. For example, #Cooking also reaches people who are interested in “cooking tips.” Topics that are not marked with # will target people who have added only the specific word you have entered to their list of interests.

Price:

Price is the average amount you pay per click (CPC) or 1000 impressions (CPM).

Promoted Post:

Promoted posts are an easy way to get more people to see your posts in News Feed. If you’re a Facebook Page admin, you can promote recent posts directly from your Pages timeline by going to the top of any post that’s been recently created, and clicking on the “boost” button. When you promote a post, it will be shown in the News Feeds of more of the people who like your Page than you would reach normally. Promoted posts are available to Pages with more than 400 likes.

Reach:

Reach is the number of individual people who saw an ad during the dates selected. This is different than impressions, which includes people seeing your ad multiple times.

Reports:

To create a Facebook Ad report and export it as an Excel document (XLS or CSV), visit the Facebook Ads Manager and click on Reports. This will let you export a report with detailed information about your ads’ performance.

Social Clicks:

Social Clicks are the number of times your ad was clicked with social context (information about a viewer’s friends(s) who connected with your Page, Place Event, or App).

Social Click Rate:

Social Clicks divided by Social Impressions.

Social Impressions:

Social Impressions are the number of times your ad was shown with social context (information about a viewer’s friends(s) who connected with your Page, Place Event, or App).

Social %:

The percentage of impressions where your ad was shown with social context (information about a viewer’s friends(s) who connected with your Page, Place Event, or App).

Social Reach:

How many people saw your ad or Sponsored Story with the names of their friends who had already likes your Page, RSVPed to your event, or used your app.

Sponsored Result:

Sponsored results provide you with the ability to buy ads in Facebook search results and help bring more awareness and traffic to your app, Page, or Place.

Note: Advertisers can target specific Pages, as opposed to keywords, so that when users search for those Pages your ad will float to the top of the search results.

Sponsored Story:

Messages coming from friends about them engaging with your Page, app or event that a business, organization or individual has paid to highlight to improve the chance of people seeing them.

Start Date:

The date a campaign is eligible to start running. Campaigns can run continuously or be restricted to a specific date.

Status:

The current position of a Facebook Ad or Sponsored Story. The status can be set to pending review, active, disapproved, paused, completed or deleted.

Suggested Bid Range:

A range of CPC or CPM bids that are currently winning the auction for the audience you’ve selected. Bidding below the suggested range will make it unlikely for your ad to receive impressions, so it is recommended that you bid within or above the suggested range.

Suggested Likes and Interests:

As you select Likes and Interests to target your Facebook Ads in the create flow, Facebook automatically suggests up to three relevant terms you consider targeting with your Facebook Ads.

Targeted Audience:

Targeted Audience is the number of people your targeting can reach, like the estimate you see in the self-serve ad creation flow.

Note: To see the difference between how many people you’re reaching and how many people you could be reaching, look at the audience graph. If you want to reach more of your targeted audience, consider increasing your bids and Facebook Advertising budget.

Targeting:

Choose the location, gender, age, likes and interests, relationship status, workplace and education of your target audience. If you are the admin of a Facebook Page, event or app, you can also target your ad to people who are already connected to you.

Transaction:

All completed payments for advertising services on Facebook are listed as completed transactions found in your Billing Manager. Clicking on the transaction ID under the transaction column will provide you with a more detailed view of each completed payment.

VAT:

VAT means value added tax. Visit the Facebook Help Center page for additional information on your specific advertiser VAT obligations with Facebook Ads.

Verification Hold ($1.01):

The $1.01 is a temporary authorization to validate your credit card. This charge is removed from your credit card within 3-5 days.

While this is a pretty big list of Facebook advertising terms, I hope you find it helpful.

Know someone who is just getting started with Facebook Ads, be sure to share this glossary of Facebook advertising terms with them by bookmarking, printing or sharing this list of Facebook advertising terms. This way you’ll have everything in one place when you go to create Facebook Ads.

Question: Which of these Facebook advertising terms do you find the most confusing?