Answering 6 Common Facebook Advertising Questions
More so than perhaps any other social media platform, Facebook has evolved in recent years to become a powerful and sophisticated digital marketing tool capable of boosting discovery, driving traffic, and increasing conversions. By taking the time to learn how to use it, advertisers can broaden their arsenal of digital tools to include the world’s most popular social media platform.
Still, no matter how much experience you have with the platform, it’s likely you have questions about how it works, who it’s for, and whether you’re using it to its full potential. In this blog post, we’ll go over a few Facebook advertising questions we get asked often, and give you the info you need to make the platform work for you.
Do Facebook ads even work?
The short answer? Usually, yes! Facebook ads can be used to accomplish a number of marketing goals for advertisers, from raising brand awareness to driving on-site conversions. However, like any form of digital marketing, the likelihood of achieving your goals is highly dependent on the amount of thought and planning that you put into developing your strategy. Before you’re off and running with Facebook ads, you’ll want to ensure that:
- You’ve suitably defined your desired target audience(s).
- You’ve set aside enough budget to sufficiently reach your target audience (more on that below).
- Your ad creatives are visually appealing, high quality, and clearly relevant to whatever it is you’re hoping to convince users to do, whether it’s sign up, visit your site, make a purchase, etc.
- Your website is properly tagged for tracking so that you can accurately measure the value provided by users engaging with your Facebook ads.
How much should I be spending on Facebook ads?
Though some of the world’s largest brands run multi-million dollar campaigns on Facebook, the majority of ad spend on the platform actually comes from small businesses. While there is no magic number for how much is “enough” to accomplish your goals through Facebook ads, there are a few things you can keep in mind that will help you arrive at a starting budget estimate.
When provided with enough data from user actions like ad clicks and on-site activity, Facebook is able to ‘learn’ what types of individuals are most likely to provide value for you. In other words, the platform can pick and choose who within your target audiences should be served your ads. This initial data collection phase is known as a ‘learning period’, and lasts until sufficient data (i.e. a number of actions) is observed. What is “sufficient”? Facebook considers 50 conversions (or other actions) in a 7-day period to be sufficient for informing its automated bidding logic.
To determine how much you might need to spend to get those 50 conversions given your typical conversion rate, we recommend taking your target cost per lead (CPL) or return on ad spend (ROAS) and working backwards from there. For example, if an advertiser usually sees a 2% conversion rate for on-site purchases, they would likely need to drive about 2,500 clicks to receive the necessary volume of conversions. Or, if your expected click-through rate is 0.25%, then you’d need to receive 100,000 impressions to expect to drive 2,500 clicks. Since Facebook typically charges by CPM (cost per 1000 impressions), you can also use that number to estimate the total cost to drive enough impressions (and clicks) to deliver 50 conversions. So, if the CPM were $10, then in this case you’d have to spend about $1,000 to get the requisite 50 conversions.
Here are those formulas broken down in plain math:
If you go through this process and find that estimated spend is higher than you’d like, consider altering your conversion goal to something higher funnel, like adding items to cart. While this action may not be your end goal, it can help give Facebook more data to optimize your audience more quickly.
What is ad frequency? How high is too high?
Ad frequency represents the average number of times your ad was seen by an individual user over a certain period of time. So if an ad has 10,000 impressions and a reach of 7,500 over a given period, that ad’s frequency is 1.33 — on average, users in that target audience have seen the ad 1.3 times.
While the ‘right’ frequency depends on your goals and the size of your audiences, we recommend trying to keep frequency at or below 4 to avoid oversaturation and ad fatigue. If your ad frequency starts to float up above 4, it’s probably time to re-assess your audience and/or refresh your creatives so your current audience doesn’t continue to see the same ads.
How and when should I use campaign budget optimization?
Campaign budget optimization (CBO) is a setting that allows Facebook to divy up a campaign’s total spend to the various ad sets that comprise it, with ad sets likely to drive the best performance receiving a larger share of that budget. Generally, this is fine, but there are exceptions.
If part of your strategy includes reaching several subsets of an audience equally, and those subsets are targeted by different ad sets within your campaign, you may want to disable CBO. This will ensure your budget is distributed evenly among ad sets and make it easier to hit each individual audience.
How should I manage ad comments?
Unfortunately, advertisers aren’t able to disable comments on their Facebook ads, but they are able to respond to them (which can be a great way to engage with current or potential customers). They can also hide them, or delete them if there are any that are profane/inflammatory. Depending on your resources and the volume of comments your ads are receiving, you may choose to review new ad comments on anywhere from a daily to weekly basis.
To navigate to where you can view and edit comments on your ads:
- In Facebook Ads manager, mouse over the button for options in the top left.
- Scroll down to ‘Page Posts’ and click.
- In the left column, click ‘Ad Posts’ to filter out organic page posts. Click any of the ads to the right to view a preview of the ad, as well as all comments and reactions.
Why aren’t my dynamic catalog ads serving?
This is an issue we’ve encountered often, and it can be frustrating. If you’re sure you’ve uploaded the feed correctly, there are a few other things you can check. For one, you need to make sure you’re tracking these three standard events:
In addition to the standard events, you should ensure that you have the basic Object Properties:
For more details, check out Facebook’s developer guide for this ad format.
Whether you’re a small business interested in advertising for the first time or a larger corporation looking to refine your ad spend, Facebook has a little something for everyone, and there are always ways to improve your performance on the platform. If you really take the time to learn and master Facebook advertising, you can make the world’s largest social media platform a key player in your digital advertising arsenal.
Have a question that wasn’t answered here, or want to dig more deeply into a topic covered above? Give us a call, use our online form to reach out, or request a video meeting to get in touch with one of our specialists. For over a decade, we’ve used our expertise to help businesses of all kinds reach their full potential, and we’ll happily make time to help you reach yours.