Written by Jason HJH.

October 5, 2017 at 7:07 am

What Happened When We Tested Four Facebook Ad Comment Tools

Do prospects and customers comment on your Facebook ads?

I bet they do. But should you reply and moderate them?

Of course!

Comments on your ads tell you several things about your business – like how people perceive your product, service, or business in general.

Some customers will heap praises on your products. You can reach out to them and ask for a testimonial, or use their comments as motivation to plow ahead.

But if you don’t pay attention to those comments, you’ve missed great business opportunities.

When your ads are saturated with spam or nasty comments that you don’t pay mind to, it gives readers the impression that your business is only interested in talking and not listening. And that dampens confidence of prospects who see it.

Perhaps Xfinity should check its comments after it posts an ad about its partnership with Katy Perry?

negative Facebook ad comments

In short, monitoring and moderating ad comments are an important part of any business on social media these days.

Now that we agree that we should be paying attention to them, let’s talk about key reason for writing this post.

Does Your Facebook Ads Comments Tool REALLY Work?

Recently, we heard complaints from Facebook advertisers that their tools were missing some comments made on their Facebook ads. For some reason, comments were not synchronized between Facebook and their tools.

Intrigued, we decided to compare between Agorapulse and other tools that those Facebook advertisers were using, namely Sprout Social and Napoleon Cat.

Since Agorapulse invested significant engineering efforts to ensure 100% synchronization last year, we were keen to see how the other tools fared in this department.

To add to the fun, we decided to also throw Facebook’s native page manager into the mix.

Our hypothesis was: There is no difference between all four tools’ ability to sync all comments made on your Facebook ads.

If our results did not find any disparity, then there is a possibility that this hypothesis is true.

On the other hand, if there was significant disparity, then we can prove that there is a strong possibility that the hypothesis is untrue.

How We Tested These Facebook Ad Comment Tools

Our plan was simple.

Since we have been running Facebook ad campaigns throughout the year, we only had to hook up all four tools with Agorapulse’s ad account.

Next, we gave them time to synchronize all the comments.

We started with our tool, Agorapulse.

Since we were confident that Agorapulse synced 100% of all past comments, we used it as the benchmark.

We took screenshots of the last 100 ad comments from our Facebook page shown in Agorapulse.

Facebook ad comment data

To preserve the integrity of our experiment, we have uploaded all the screenshots here so that you can verify our evidence. Comment below if you want to see them.

The comments stretched across a 2-month period, from May 26 to July 29.

Next, we took screenshots of all the synchronized ad comments from Facebook’s native page manager, Napoleon Cat, and Sprout Social in the same period.

Then we matched the comments one by one with those caught by Agorapulse.

Here are the results.

How The Tools Fared

Only one tool captured all the comments made on our page’s Facebook ads.

And that tool was Agorapulse.

Facebook ad comments tools

It was based on science, people!

 

That said, some of the other Facebook ad comments tools did better than others and merit discussion. Let’s start with Napoleon Cat.

Napoleon Cat: 57/100

Before this experiment, we hadn’t heard much of Napoleon Cat. So when a Facebook advertiser shared that he was using this tool to manage his ad comments, we were keen to give it a try.

Overall, Napoleon Cat came in 2nd place, ahead of Facebook’s native page manager and Sprout Social.

It captured more than half of all the comments (far from 100 percent, but indeed more than half.)

To be fair, since it was the least known among the four, we were surprised that it did better than the some of the bigger tools!

Sprout Social: 41/100

We did two checks with Sprout.

The first was between April and June, where Sprout Social only captured 38 out of 100 ad comments.

In the second run, the findings proved consistent – Sprout Social missed more than 50% of all the ad comments.

Facebook’s native page manager: 48/100*

In Facebook’s native interface, you can only view up to the last 14 days’ of notifications. In the 14 days prior to Jul 29, Facebook’s native tool captured 12 out of 25 comments. This is similar to that of Sprout Social’s, which means that you may be missing half of those comments if you relied on the native tool.

Caveat: the data you see for Facebook’s native page manager is extrapolated from just 25 comments. This was done to simplify comparison.

Agorapulse: 100/100

To find out if Agorapulse missed any comments, we looked through all the ad comments captured by Napoleon Cat, Sprout Social, and the native Facebook tool and matched them back to the screenshots that we had taken.

But there were none!

Agorapulse had captured every single comment that other tool captured – and more.

Because the engine behind the scene connects to Facebook’s Marketing and Graph APIs allowing 100% of comments to be synced.

And we have reason to believe that none of the other tools presently do it the same way we do – thanks to the 3 months of R&D effort put in by our team of engineers!

Your Burning Questions Answered

Now you probably have a few burning questions about our experiment and we’d like to address them.

Was there a trend in the kind of ad comments that weren’t picked up by other tools?

Overall, 4 in 5 comments missed by Napoleon Cat were also missed by Sprout Social, showing a high degree of similarity between the two tools.
We took a closer look at the list of comments missed by both Facebook ad comments tools and found that comments that were either spam or people who tagged their friends were missed the most by both tools:

  • Spam: 12 (34%)
  • People who tagged their friends: 12 (34%)
  • Comments about the content 6 (17%)
  • Genuine prospect inquiries: 4 (11%)
  • Reply from our CEO’s personal Facebook profile to a question: 1 (3%)

However, this data has a rather small sample size. Once we figure out a way to test this at scale, we plan to conduct a more in-depth experiment with at least 1,000 comments.

Why not try Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is the most used social media management tool today, having more than 10m users and raised more than $260m in venture capital.

However, its platform for small and medium business (SMB) users does not give users an easy way to manage ad comments.

You would have to set up a stream of unpublished posts and monitor comments under those posts manually. (See the screenshot below.)

unpublished ad monitoring hootsuite

Imagine if you have hundreds of ads with unique URLs – that means hundreds of unpublished posts which you have to scroll through to check for comments. It’s a nightmare to even think about!

However, we do believe that the ads management feature is available for higher-tier customers. We have heard of stories where you could pay for Hootsuite engineers to develop customized features for you, but it’ll cost a pretty penny!

The comparison with Facebook’s native page tool seems unfair, doesn’t it?

In this experiment, we did two things;

  1. We looked back at the page notifications and identified the ad comments manually.
  2. We extrapolated the figures from just 25 comments.

We noticed that Facebook tends to combine multiple notifications into one if the comments happened on the same ad. Looking back, Facebook may have indeed notified us for every comment made on our ads and some may have been lost after the combination.
We also recognize that the small sample size of 25 comments makes the comparison less meaningful.

We acknowledge both cons in this comparison and we have plans for another test this fall.

If I sign up for Agorapulse, will it sync all my ad comments?

Our unique synchronization engine has proven time and again that it is capable of handling over 10,000 ad comments in a day.

If for some reason, you use our tool and find that some comments are missing, it most likely can be attributed to one of these issues:

  • You have not connected the ad account.
  • You connected the wrong ad account.
  • Your subscription plan does not support all the comments.

(It’s worth mentioning that our ads comments synchronization engine is available only to those on the Medium plan and above.)

Conclusion

Today, Facebook advertising plays a very key role in over 5 million businesses’ marketing strategy. Consumers are interacting with businesses more than ever and the uptrend is set to continue.

If you are interested in social media experiments like these, we have a WHOLE BUNCH MORE at our Social Media Lab. Come and swing by the Lab today!

Jason HJH.

Jason brings with him 5+ years of experience in running successful ad campaigns for the likes of USCCA, Delta Career Education, and consulted for the marketers behind The Economist and Social Media Marketing World 2016. He also teaches the technical approach to optimizing Facebook ads in his free Facebook group.

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