How to game the Facebook Ad algorithm
Yes, Facebook Ads also have their own algorithm, not just Facebook posts. Welcome, to everything you need to know about the Facebook Ad Algorithm.
Here’s the punchline; Facebook Ads no longer work off of “the highest bid wins”, it’s now “the highest total value wins”, and value in this case is value to the Facebook user, not the value of your spend.
It’s great news for creative marketers, but terrible news for lazy marketers who like to post messages like “buy tickets now” and hit boost or run basic Look-A-Like marketing campaigns.
The Facebook Ad Algorithm: Highest Total Value Wins
Facebook’s main priority with Ads now is the value it gives its users, and here are the main factors in how Facebook will measure that:
- The post click experience: If your ad is driving traffic off Facebook, that actually won’t hurt your Ad reach anymore (as it once did). Now, in the spirit of Facebook’s commitment to the “highest total value wins”, it will monitor users’ engagement off platform to determine if their users liked what they saw when they clicked your ad. For example, if they spent a lot of time on your site, your ad will reach more people for cheaper. However, if they click right back to Facebook as soon as they see your landing page then Facebook will determine your Ad wasn’t relevant and make it harder and more expensive for your Ad to live on Facebook. So make sure you monitor your bounce rate + time on site!
- Make sure your Ad is doing what you told Facebook you wanted it to do: If you told Facebook you want video views via the Marketing Objective page, make sure the Ad you are serving is getting video views. It’s important to Facebook that your Ad is doing what you told them you wanted it to do.
- Shut off ads with negative feedback: A “hide ad” response can do significantly more damage to your ad performance than 10 likes, comments or shares. So if you start to see negative reactions to your Facebook Ads, kill them off immediately.
Bad Ads will hurt the performance of your future Ads!
This is new, and super important. Just like on normal Facebook Page posts, if you consistently post bad content Facebook will kill your reach. That means if you post bad Ads, your future Ads will be more expensive and reach less people.
Both your Facebook Page and your Ad Account make a HUGE difference to your Facebook Ad performance
Pages with bad engagement will have their Ads perform poorly too. Facebook Ad Accounts that consistently post poor performing Ads will have almost no chance at ever posting a good performing Ad, despite how relevant your content is.
Be smart, don’t kill your Facebook Ad account by running uninspired Ads for long periods because you don’t have the time to invest in creatives. It would be better for your future if you didn’t run the Ad at all.
New Facebook Pages and new Facebook Ad accounts also aren’t favoured by the Facebook Ad algorithm. It makes sense, Facebook doesn’t know or trust you yet, so why would they give you preference in their market?
If you are still building up your Facebook reputation and you need fast immediate results, you might get better ROI by outsourcing to a digital marketing company with an established Facebook Ad account or working with a publisher like Seventh Street Media (that’s our parent company!) who can create content + run Facebook Ads for you via our established pages and Ad accounts.
Tips for Record Labels, Promoters & Managers
Run all your artist Facebook Ads through the one centralised Facebook Ad account. That way you can build up a strong reputation with Facebook and all your bands will receive a better ROI long term.
Types of bidding
Facebook give you 3 options;
- Lowest cost bid
- Lowest cost bid with cap
- Target cost
I won’t waste your time with too much detail here, because right now the only option worth using is “Lowest cost bid”. Both bid with cap and target cost perform terribly. They sound good in theory (especially when you have a clear cost per lead target in mind), but Facebook right now offer significantly worse performance and reach to those two options so steer clear for now.
Conclusion: Facebook Ad Algorithm
- Make sure every Facebook Ad you post is getting great engagement or results, otherwise kill it and kill it early.
- Test run Facebook Ads from multiple different pages to test performance. e.g. Try run an Ad from your band page, the record label page and a publisher or blog page and see which one tracks better. Then double down on the one that does.
- CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT. Enough said, good content = engagement, spend a lot of time thinking and creating content. Otherwise, outsource.
- Run Facebook Ads from established Facebook Ad accounts or Facebook Pages, otherwise expect to pay a shit load more for your campaign.
Not sure if I hate Facebook, or everyone I know
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.