Facebook Ads FAQ

Ad Policies and Delivery

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My ad has been in review for a long time. What can I do?

The standard review time for ads can take up to 24 hours.

For ads that have been in review for longer than 24 hours, we have an article outlining options on what to do here.

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How does GDPR affect Facebook ads?

We are not able to provide legal advice on this topic. GDPR has different potential implications for different organizations, depending on the way the organization may be utilizing data for advertising measurement and optimization.

Facebook has a dedicated GDPR microsite available here.

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Is it true that ads can’t have more than 20% of the image as text? What about videos?

Facebook previously had an official policy that ads with more than 20% text in the image could not run on the platform.

While this “no more than 20% text policy” is no longer in place, Facebook generally recommends avoiding high levels of text.

Ad Setup Tactics

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How can I limit the frequency of ads on Facebook/Instagram?

There are several options for managing frequency. This article on our site covers this topic in greater detail.

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How do I create an unpublished/dark post on Facebook? How do I publish an unpublished post?

Unpublished/dark posts are created when you create an ad in Ads Manager without using an existing post from your page. This article on our site covers how to publish unpublished posts to a Facebook page.

Ads Training and Support

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I am looking for someone to discuss Facebook/Instagram advertising ideas with directly. What resources are available to me?

Direct one-on-one sessions are available from our team. More information is available here.

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I have quite a bit of experience with Facebook ads, and I’m looking for ways to improve my performance. What resources are available to me?

We have a program available for more advanced advertisers, which grants access to a community of other advertisers, regular updates on changes to Facebook/Instagram advertising, as well as access to more in-depth webinars (depending on the program level).

This program is called the Power Hitters Club. More information is available here.

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I’m a beginner with Facebook ads. Where should I start?

Facebook Blueprint is is a free group of training modules covering a variety of topics related to Facebook ads. The modules can be accessed here.

Jon has made available a free Facebook Advertising Fixes video series. In this free video series, there is a focus on the 20 critical factors preventing your Facebook ads from success. More information on the series is available here.

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What is the Facebook Blueprint Certification?

The Blueprint Certification is a paid testing process that provides an official certification for different topics related to Facebook ads. There are different certification levels and focal areas available.

More information on the program is available here.

Advertising Basics

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There are so many terms related to advertising on Facebook. What do they all mean?

Facebook has a glossary of ad terms available here.

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How does the Facebook auction work?

Performance in the ad auction on Facebook-owned properties takes into account a variety of factors, including the Bid, Estimated Action Rate, and Relevance of the ad (building an acronym commonly referred to as BEAR).

A more detailed explanation is available here, as well as a Blueprint training module here.

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What is the Learning Phase on Facebook?

The Learning Phase describes a period when Facebook’s systems are gathering sufficient data for effective ad optimization across targeting, timing, creative, and placement options. One of the most common topics involving the learning phase relates to making edits that reset learning.

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What is Facebook Analytics?

Facebook Analytics is an analysis and reporting interface where conversion tracking and Facebook pixel data can be managed and accessed.

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Do I need to have a Facebook page to advertise on Facebook?

Yes. Facebook requires that users have a personal Facebook page to access Ads Manager to create ads.

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What is Facebook Ads Manager?

Ads Manager is a Facebook tool where advertisers can create ads, analyze ad performance, and create ad reports. Ads Manager can be used independently of Business Manager, but advertisers who have set up Business Manager access Ads Manager via their Business Manager interface.

A general reference resource for Ads Manager is available here.

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What is Facebook Business Manager?

Business Manager is a group of tools that enables advertisers to access a large variety of advertising options and capabilities, as well as share access to different advertising assets.

A general overview of Business Manager is available here. A downloadable PDF guide is available here.

Advertising Best Practices

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Where can I find case studies related to Facebook and Instagram ads?

Facebook has made “success stories” available here, filterable by different areas, such as Business Size, Objective, Industry, Ad Product, and Region.

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How can I scale my budgets more effectively?

There are many potential strategies for scaling.

  • This article on our site covers two of these in greater detail.
  • This article covers how to improve performance of ads through scaling techniques.
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What is an ideal ad frequency on Facebook and Instagram?

There is no single frequency appropriate for all situations, as it depends on a variety of factors.

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How much should I budget for Facebook ads?

Setting the appropriate budget is highly subjective, as it depends on your advertising goals and the reality of your organization. However, this guide from Social Media Examiner might be a useful reference.

Advertising Testing and Optimization

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What is dynamic creative?

Dynamic creative enables an advertiser to upload multiple components of ads and allow Facebook’s systems to create various combinations and test them out accordingly.

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What are dynamic ads?

Dynamic ads feature product recommendations from an advertiser’s product catalog, adjusting what products are shown based on signals of user interest, intent, and action. Dynamic ads are also often commonly referred to as “dynamic product ads”.

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What is split testing?

Split testing, also referred to as A/B Testing, involves creating two separate ad scenarios where a variable is changed between the two scenarios, allowing an advertiser to determine how the variable affects advertising outcomes.

iOS 14

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When configuring events, some are displayed as “Hidden.” Why, and how do I get access to them?

This is typically caused when managing ads for a client due to one or both of the following not being available to you:

  • A second pixel’s events
  • Custom conversions

When configuring events, you will first select the pixel. You could conceivably have multiple pixels on the same domain and would need to individually configure events for each pixel. If you don’t have access to all pixels that were configured for a domain, those additional pixels would be displayed as “Hidden.”

Custom conversions can also be included within the configured events. Custom conversions are often created on an ad account-level, so you would not automatically have access to them. They will need to be shared to your account in Business Manager.

Read More:

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Can Conversions API help replace the data lost from iOS 14 opt-outs?

This has been the rumor, but it does not appear so. Conversions API is a great tool that you should investigate to help complement the pixel. But a recent statement from a Facebook engineer and a quote from Facebook documentation at least implies if not state strongly that it will not replace data lost from iOS 14.

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What changes should I expect to advertising tools related to mobile app ads as a result of iOS 14?

Mobile app advertisers promoting iOS apps will lose access to demographic breakdowns and Lift Measurement. Additionally, new restrictions will go into place for iOS app advertising. Each iOS app will be limited to a single ad account, five active campaigns, and nine active ad sets using the same optimization.

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What is SKAdNetwork API and is it the same thing as Aggregated Event Measurement?

SKADNetwork API is Apple’s protocol for handling mobile app conversion attribution. This will be used when running iOS mobile app install and activity ads. Aggregated Event Measurement applies to web conversions only.

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I have my own website and configured events, but I sell on a third-party ecommerce platform and can’t configure those events. What do I do?

This is going to be a very big problem for a lot of people. Since you can’t verify the domain, you won’t be able to configure the event occurring on that domain. And you won’t be able to optimize for that event. Hopefully, that platform allows you to redirect post-conversion to a page on your website. Otherwise, you’ll need to optimize those conversions for link clicks, landing page views, or something else.

Read More: 8-Event Limit and Domain Verification Scenarios: iOS 14 Challenges

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I’m trying to configure my events, but I’m getting the message that the domain is owned by another business. What do I do?

That means that the domain has already been verified by someone else. The domain owner has the ability to configure events. If you are close to the business, they may add your pixel to their Business Manager and include your pixel among the events. Otherwise, you will not be able to optimize for conversions and will need to optimize for link clicks, landing page views, or something else.

Read More:

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I work for an international busy that utilizes a single domain. We use subdomains and URL paths to separate business segments and regions. Each segment has its own goals, and often different events and agencies managing its ads. We couldn’t possibly fit all of this within an 8-event limit. What do we do?

This will be a challenge. Since you are under a single domain, the 8-event limit will apply to the entire business. You should create general events that can be agreed upon throughout the organization and share access to all (using a single pixel). You may also consider a more drastic structural change, like creating separate domains.

Read More: 8-Event Limit and Domain Verification Scenarios: iOS 14 Challenges

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I work for an agency. Should we verify client domains? Our pixels are on their websites. How should we manage this?

This is going to be difficult for many agencies. First, only the domain owner should have their domain verified. The client should use their own Business Manager, verify their domain, and use their pixel. They can then invite partners (like agencies) to get access to assets within their Business Manager.

Read More:

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I’m in Web Event Configurations, and I’m not seeing my events. Where are they??

There are many potential explanations for this. Among them:

  • You haven’t selected the right pixel
  • The event you’re looking for isn’t active
  • The event you’re looking for wasn’t set up properly
  • The event you’re looking for fires on another domain
  • The pixel you’re looking for isn’t connected to this Business Manager

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My website uses several subdomains for different business segments and locations. Do I need to verify them, too? Is there a separate 8-event limit for each subdomain?

Subdomains (subdomain.website.com) are part of the verified domain, so you do not need to verify them. Events for the subdomains count towards the main domain’s 8-event limit.

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I don’t understand the 8-event limit related to Aggregated Event Measurement. Is that per pixel? Per ad account? What does it include?

The 8-event limit will apply to each domain and includes standard pixel events and custom conversions. You can have multiple pixels and ad accounts connected to a single domain, but you can’t optimize for more than eight events.

Read More: 8-Event Limit and Domain Verification Scenarios: iOS 14 Challenges

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How will optimization be impacted by privacy changes related to iOS 14?

Optimization, particularly for conversions, will be impacted quite a bit. First, you will be limited to eight conversion events per domain. Second, since Facebook is receiving less data and will be reporting fewer conversions, there is less volume to optimize for. Facebook needs 25-50 conversions per week per ad set to exit the learning phase, and that will become increasingly difficult.

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How will targeting be impacted by privacy changes related to iOS 14? Will it impact custom audiences? What about interest targeting?

All indications are that this shouldn’t impact interest targeting. Attribution, which is only related to ad reporting, also shouldn’t apply to website custom audiences. If a user opts not to be tracked, however, they should be expected to be removed from audiences.

Read More: Facebook Advertising Audiences and iOS 14

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How do I find out how much the attribution changes that result from iOS 14 may impact me?

Once the prompt goes live, you will lose access to the old attribution windows. Until then, you can run reports on historical data for attribution windows including 28-day click and compare those numbers to 7-day click. You should export this data to have access to it later.

Read More: Facebook Ads Attribution and iOS 14

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How is attribution changing as a result of iOS 14, and why does it matter?

Attribution, how Facebook credits an ad with a conversion, changes to 7-day click after the ATT prompt goes live. Prior to January 18, attribution was 28-day click and 1-day view. Beginning January 18, it changed to 7-day click and 1-day view. In addition to 28-day click/view and 7-day view going away once the prompt goes live, the remaining attribution options will be partial or modeled for iOS 14 users. This could result in a significant overall drop in reported conversions.

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When is Apple’s ATT prompt expected to go live?

Apple says that it will go live (meaning that iOS apps will be required to surface it) in “early Spring” 2021. You may see a test version of the prompt prior to the full roll-out.

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What is the iOS 14 ATT prompt and why does it matter?

Beginning in early spring of 2021, Apple is enforcing an AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) Framework prompt that asks the users of iOS apps that track IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) whether they want to allow tracking. This impacts reporting, optimization, and targeting of Facebook ads.

Read More: Facebook Ads and the Impact of iOS 14

Metrics and Reporting

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What is the Facebook pixel?

The pixel is an implementation of Facebook-provided code on your website which enables tracking, optimization, and attribution within ads on Facebook-owned properties.

The Facebook pixel is a common theme across many of the resources on our site. You can check out our pixel-related articles here.

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The conversions reported in Ads Manager don’t match my actual sales. Why?

Ads Manager only reports conversions that are attributed to ads. If you want to see all conversions, then Facebook Analytics, the Facebook Attribution Tool, or the Pixels section of Business Manager contains this information.

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Where can I find benchmarks for Facebook ads?

Generally speaking, there aren’t standard, publicly available benchmarks available for Facebook advertising. However, some publications track benchmarks for accounts they have access to, such as this resource from Wordstream.

Even with benchmarks such as these available, it’s important to consider the underlying context of any specific metric you may be evaluating. Given these challenges, it’s normally best to work on improving your own metrics as much as possible and to focus on those which are most reflective of your own success.

Targeting

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I’m not sure I understand my target audience very well. Where should I start?

The Audience Insights tool can be a great resource to analyze different potential audience groups in more detail. Facebook has general information on this tool here.

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What is a lookalike audience?

A lookalike audience enables Facebook to find people on Facebook-owned properties (e.g. Facebook and Instagram) who are similar to a certain group. This group is referred to as a source audience and may be based on people who visit your website, for example.