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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5.  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.
  6. 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.


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Leo Celis