For about 3 years, I ran Facebook Ads for small local businesses. I then joined a San Francisco-based startup as one of the first engineers to work with the Facebook Ads API. I was there for more than seven years, building data platforms that analyzed multi-millions dollars ad campaigns.
If you are running FB ads, you might notice that the prices went up like crazy lately. The explanation is simple: more advertisers are competing for the same audiences (everyone is going “online”). If you are one of them, these key takeaways could help you:
- There is a delay between the currently reported numbers and the final numbers. Don’t trust 100% that you are hitting your daily spend goal because it might change tomorrow.
- Age group matters: it is true that products like music, or games, age doesn’t matter. Age does matter: a product could appeal to people between 18-24 equally than the 50-54 group. Age should be one of your key dimensions to fine-tune audiences
- Region matters: whether it is culturally or because there aren’t many FB advertisers targeting the same place, regions should be your second dimension to watch over.
- Don’t be afraid of trying new features: not only Facebook will prioritize new ad formats, or bid types, but also not too many advertisers will take the risk of learning and trying them. You can get a good boost in performance or cost reduction if you do.
- Keep the campaigns running: if you are getting an good steady optimization, there is no guaranteed that you will see the same results if you pause, and then a few days later, unpause your campaigns.
- Don’t be fooled by fancy metrics: Facebook will add and remove a lot of metrics. They can provide you new levels of insights, but don’t treat them like your goals (brands spent a lot of money on buying “likes”). You want to target only two goals: awareness (reach) or sales. You are either branding or selling. Pick one, don’t try to do both in a single campaign.