November 20, 2018

Your Ultimate, Start to Finish Guide To Facebook Ads Manager

Evie Welborn

I think the first time I opened Facebook Ads Manager, I did a little bit of this:

Overwhelmed By Facebook Ads Manager

Anyone else? Just me? Ok then.

But whether you’ve been using Facebook Ads Manager for a long time or just barely started, it can get easy to get lost in the levels of campaigns, ad sets, and ads without even looking at the bidding and budgeting options.

Worry not! The Facebook Ads Manager is incredibly well-organized, and we’ve compiled an extensive guide to show you everything there is to know about Facebook’s tool. We’ll walk you through creating your first ad, editing your ads, making data packed reports, and then making your life a little easier with rules.

Table of Contents

If you’d like to bookmark this report so you can come back to it, that’s a wise idea. We know that sometimes you’ll come back to check on a specific part, so here are your quick links to where we’ve placed some highlights in this guide.

Why Facebook Ads Manager Is Vital To Your PPC Game.

Maybe you’re like me when I was a noob, and you’re saying to yourself, “Google Ads covers all of my PPC needs.”

Trump Saying Wrong Because You're Wrong About PPC If You Think You Don't Need Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook is an absolute behemoth of a platform. As of 2018, Facebook bragged of a total of 2 billion active users, and that number is only growing. That’s 2 billion people with their eyes on one website; a business who doesn’t take advantage of the sheer amount of people in one place is a foolish business indeed. Yep, I’m calling you out.

Your Facebook Page Doesn’t Do What You Think It Does.

Then you can say, “Ok, but my Facebook page is very active and has tons of followers; why should I pay for ads?” Simply, Facebook knows that its users log in to see their friends and family’s feeds, not posts from your business. The Facebook team has drastically dropped the visibility of business pages in people’s’ news feeds. Thinking that your organic posts will reach the people who you want to buy your product is a pale, foolish dream.

In fact, the only people who would see your Facebook page’s updates are people who already follow you. Facebook Ads allows you to show your business to people who have never heard of your company. Not only can you gain new customers from running ads, but Facebook’s targeting is also so detailed that you can essentially target your ideal audience to get your ideal customers.

Facebook’s Targeting Options Are Superior

The targeting that Facebook has set up has tons of options for you to take advantage of. Remember those 2 billion people? Chances are, the people who’ve visited your webpage without purchasing use Facebook as well. Retargeting on Facebook is a must. When your ideal customer is relaxing and not thinking about you – bam – hit them with a killer deal to seal their fate – I mean, seal the deal.

Then if you’re looking for some exposure for your business, Facebook has this awesome feature called “lookalike audiences”. Once you find a group of people who love your services – whether they’re simply past converters that Facebook is tracking for you, or if you have an email list, Facebook can look at these people and then say, “Oh yeah, here’s new people that haven’t heard of you that are exactly like this list you gave me!” It does the heavy lifting for you. For an article that covers everything you need to know about Facebook audiences, check it out here.

So let’s say you’re ready to join the 5 million businesses using Facebook ads today, one of your projects will be to master the Ads Manager tool – because honestly, it’s like that epic swiss army knife that has everything you need it it. Here’s a quick list of what you can do with Facebook Ad Manager:

  • Create Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • Create new ads
  • Organize ads into Ad Sets
  • Test your ad’s performance
  • Make sure your campaigns are in line with your goals
  • Manage your bidding and budgeting
  • Use test results to improve your ads and campaigns
  • Understand your audiences easier

Ready to learn how to use the most epic PPC swiss army knife ever?

Facebook Ads Manager In An Epic Swiss Army Knife

How Do You Access Facebook Business Manager?

Much like the entertainment side of Facebook, it’s free and available to access in many ways.

To clarify, when you use Facebook Ads Manager, you don’t pay unless you have active ads running, and you pay for those ads on a budget that you determine. The minimum daily budget that Facebook asks for is one single dollar. Not bad, eh? I’ll explain more about setting your budgets later.

Here’s a few ways you can get to your Facebook Business Manager.

  • There’s a handy-dandy link that I’ve copied here that will take you straight to your Ads Manager page. Pro Tip: Bookmark that page for access in less than a second.
  • Log into your Facebook, hop on over to your business page, and then use that little drop-down arrow on the far right to select the option “Manage Ads”:
Access Facebook Ads Manager Gif
  • (As a note, if you’re someone who manages multiple PPC accounts, you can switch between your accounts using the drop down in in the upper left-hand corner. That drop down will always show you the name of the account that you’re currently looking at.)
  • Last, but certainly not least, Facebook has an Ads Manager phone app for those who are obsessed with their PPC and want to keep an eye on it as much as we do!

A Brief Overview of What You’re Looking at in Facebook Ads Manager

First things first, when it comes to getting anywhere in your Facebook Business Manager account, you’ll find yourself utilizing the Navigation Bar, which has a plethora of places to go:

Navigation Bar In Facebook Ads Manager

But for this article, we’re going to focus on Ads Manager – trust me, there’s more than enough information to cover.

When you find yourself in your Ads Manager, here’s the main screen that you’ll be looking at:

Overview of Facebook Ads Manager

The Account Overview tab covers your 500-foot-view of your reporting in a visually appealing way. Think of this as your Google Ads Overview tab. However, one little-known feature of the Overview tab is the Creative Reporting sub-tab.

Creative Reporting in Facebook Ads Manager

It shows you your active creatives and the metrics that you want to see. If your account has been running for a while, and you just want to see your current ad creatives, take a quick look there.

But the main place that you’ll be spending your time is under the three subsequent tab next to your Overview tab: Campaigns, Ad Sets, & Ads. The options under each of the tabs aren’t different; they just let you select which campaign or ad set or ad you’d like to view.

Campaign Tab in Facebook Ads Manager

It can seem pretty overwhelming with all the options you can choose from in Facebook. I know there’s a ton of features that have been pointed out, but we’ll cover all of them.

What Do The Different Levels Mean?

Before we move on to creating the whole shish-ka-bob of a Campaign, an Ad Set, and an Ad, here’s a very brief break down of what each level means and a solid way of thinking about them.

Similarly to Google Ads, a campaign holds ad sets, and ad sets contain ads. If you edit something on the campaign level, it can affect the ad sets and ads within it and so forth.

Selections in Facebook Ads Manager
  • The campaign level, in essence, answers what your goals are. The campaign organizes the results you’d like to track, and you can set the overall budget for your ads up here.
  • The ad set level answers who you want to show your ads to and what you want your daily budget to be. You also set schedules, ads placements, and optimization and delivery options in the ad set too. It’s your strategic part of running Facebook Ads.
  • The ad level is where you design and create your actual ads – what the customer sees. Remember, a customer will never see your campaigns or ad sets. You add your creative(s) and write the ad copy here.

Making An Ad In Facebook Ads Manager

So first, you upload your creative and then…just kidding. Before you ever even think about writing and uploading the ad, you have to create the framework behind it. This is your ads without campaigns and ad sets behind them:

Building Collapsing Because You Didn't Build The Framework Behind a Facebook Ad

To start out, just click on the green create button under your campaign tab:

Sometimes, a pop-up will appear for quick creation. Once you’ve been working in Facebook Ads Manager for a while, creating your campaigns and more under quick creation will be a time saver. But for now, let’s use Facebook’s guided creation.

Once in guided creation mode, you can track where you’re at by looking at the side bar. Facebook fills it out as you go along to show your progress, and all you have to worry about is picking the best options for you.

1. Create Your Campaign

Choose Your Objective

The first question Facebook asks you is, “What’s your marketing objective?” Basically, what is your goal for running these ads? They’re split into three categories of objectives:

  1. Awareness – When you just want your business to be seen.
    1. Brand Awareness – Show your ads to people who Facebook thinks would be interested.
    2. Reach – Show your ads to as many people as possible.
  2. Consideration – When you want more people to interact with your business.
    1. Traffic – Get more people to look at a certain webpage, this can be a Facebook page or another page of your choice.
    2. Engagement – Get more people to interact with your Facebook posts by liking them, sharing them, responding to events, etc.
    3. App Installs – Get more people to install your phone app.
    4. Video Views – Get more people to watch your videos.
    5. Lead Generation – Get more leads from people who are interested in your business. This is generally collecting information from them such as email addresses.
    6. Messages – Get more people to message your business through Messenger or WhatsApp.
  3. Conversion – When you want people to commit to or buy from your business.
    1. Conversions – Any action on your website, phone app, or in Messenger that you track and determine to be a valuable goal for your company such as appointments, phone calls, form submissions, etc.
    2. Catalog Sales – Any purchase of an item from your catalog.
    3. Store Visits – Any time a person visits your brick-and-mortar location.
Choose Your Marketing Objecting in Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook offers further help and explanations about each objective so you know you’re picking the right one for you.

Name Your Campaign

You can call your campaign Bob if you’d like, but we recommend choosing a name that you’ll remember the meaning of later. Facebook automatically fills out the name bar for you with your selected objective, and if you’re stumped, you can always edit the name later.

Name Your Campaign In Facebook Ads Manager

Consider the Optional Choices

Before you hit the continue button, there are three more selections you can make on your campaign.

You can choose to test your campaign against another one (Create Split Test), you can evenly spread your budget across all ad sets (Budget Optimization), and you can set a spending limit that Facebook cannot go over (Campaign Spend Limit).

And when you’re happy with your campaign, click that blue continue button!

2. Create an Ad Set

Or Multiple…

You Can Create Multiple Ad Sets in Facebook Ads Manager

Name Your Ad Set

Just write out what you’d like to name your ad set in the text box.

As Facebook mentions, “You’ll see this ad set name in reporting, insights, tips, and notifications.”, so choose something relevant. The autofilled name suggests naming your ad set after the audience that you’re targeting – which isn’t a bad place to start.

The Specific Selection

For some campaign objectives, there will be another step after naming your Ad Set – choosing the specific event for your objective. For conversions, you’ll choose what the event is and where it takes place. You’ll need to have Facebook Pixel set up on your web pages so Facebook can accurately track your goal completions.

Consider Dynamic Creative

Dynamic Creatives seem to be loved or hated by individual PPC Managers. They’re an ad on steroids. If you choose to turn on Dynamic Creative, you can’t run multiple ads inside of an ad campaign – which means no manual testing and less control.

However, Dynamic Creative allows you to choose multiple creatives and multiple versions of ad copy within one ad, and Facebook will automatically combine your options, test them, and choose the best performers to show.

Because Dynamic Creative makes its own versions of your ad to show them one at a time, you’ll be restricted on the ad formats you’ll be allowed to choose. If you enable Dynamic Creative, you won’t be able to choose Carousel ads or Collection ads. You also won’t be able to make your ad into an instant experience. I’ll explain about the ad types in the creating an ad section.

Create an Offer

An offer is a way to get more conversions by offering a discount and setting up a reminder to send to customers as a notification or an email. You can set it up as a code or not, decide where people can redeem it, and even set a limit to the number of offers you’re delivering.

Choose Your Audience

Here comes one of the most important parts of Facebook Ads Manager – audiences.  There are so many choices and people you can target that it’s crazy. With how vital having the right audience is to the success of your ads, we’ve written a full guide to them.

Because of that guide, I’ll keep this part pretty brief. In marketing, there’s a concept called the Sales Funnel. It’s the buyer’s journey from not knowing who you are to actually purchasing from you and every step in between. Your Facebook ad campaigns can target anyone in any part of that funnel, but you need to make sure that your audience is properly matched with your ad’s offer.

When you’re creating your Facebook ad set, you’ll start with two options for your audience – create a new one or use a saved audience. It’s advised for you to do persona research on your audience to know how to target your ideal audience and then save that audience for quick ad set creation.

Save an Audience For Quick Ad Creation

If you don’t have your saved audiences already created, never fear. You can create the audiences as you go and save them if you’d like.

Here are the options that Facebook gives you for audiences:

Custom Audiences:

Here’s where you can target people who have taken actions on your website, your Facebook page, etc. You can also enter your lookalike audiences here.

If you don’t have any, but you’d like some, the create new will pop up the options for you:

New Custom Audience in Facebook Ads Manger

Lookalike Audiences:

Here’s where you can target people who have the same characteristics of another audience or page.

If you don’t have any, but you’d like some, the create new will pop up the options for you:

New Lookalike Audience in Facebook Ads Manager

Your audiences don’t just have to be for targeting; they can also be for excluding. If you want to exclude people who have already signed up for your ebook or exclude current patients from your new patient special, don’t forget to add them here:

The next step is to pick the locations for your ads to show in. If your company deals exclusively online, targeting the United States would work fine. But if you have a brick-and-mortar or service homes, then you’ll want to set up specific targeting.

Detailed Targeting

This section also includes ages, genders, and the languages that your customers speak.

The last audience option is to add detailed targeting. Here’s where Facebook’s targeting really shows its worth.

You can choose from a plethora of people who fit demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. Because Facebook wants its users to feel safe and invited, certain demographic information isn’t available. Here’s a quick break down of what is available:

  • Demographics
    • Education
    • Financial
    • Life Events
    • Parents
    • Politics (US)
    • Relationship
    • Work
  • Interests
    • Business and industry
    • Entertainment
    • Family and relationships
    • Fitness and wellness
    • Food and drink
    • Hobbies and activities
    • Shopping and fashion
    • Sports and outdoors
    • Technology
  • Behaviors
    • Mobile device user
    • Anniversary
    • Consumer Classification
    • Digital activities
    • Expats
    • Mobile Device User/Device Use Time
    • More Categories
    • Multicultural Affinity
    • Purchase behavior
    • Soccer
    • Travel
  • More Categories
    • Facebook Categories (Personal Care and Home Services)

You can either start typing in items related to your product, service, or audience persona or you can select the browse option.

Add as many people as you’d like, and it tells Facebook to target people who belong in at least one of those categories you selected.

Then narrow your audience if you’d like to include other information. Having a narrowed audience tells Facebook that you require the people you’re targeting to have characteristics of both. You can make these as detailed as possible and exclude people as well:

You may also add people who have connected with your company in the past – either through your Facebook page, app, or Facebook events.

Once you’ve set your audience up to your heart’s desire, it’d be a shame not to save that audience. 😉

The last note to mention is the estimation tool on your right side. You’ll want your audience to be defined, and you can get an idea here for your daily reach:

You Can See Your Audience Size in Facebook Ads Manager

Choose Your Ad Placement

Here is where you can tell Facebook where you want your ads to appear while your potential customer is doing their daily media scroll.

There’s no shame in sticking to the Automatic Placements.

However, if you’re noticing ad success in one placement location over another, then it’d make sense to show your ads in the better-performing spot.

You can choose between the following:

Device Type (Mobile, desktop, or both)

Choose Your Device in Facebook Ads Manager

Platforms & Locations (Facebook shows you what each of them look like)

Specific Mobile Devices & Operating Systems (Ios, Android, etc.)

Exclude Categories (Topics that you don’t want your ad to appear next to)

Set Your Budget & Schedule

You’re almost done with the ads set part! One of the last options that you must consider  for creating an ad set is scheduling and budgeting:

For your budget, you can tell Facebook a daily budget or a lifetime budget. *If you choose a daily budget, Facebook does its best to stick to it, but it can fluctuate from day to day. It’ll look something like this as it keeps an average of your set daily budget:

If you choose a lifetime budget, Facebook will spend the total amount during the entire time the campaign runs. These can be edited later.

Whichever budget you choose allows you to schedule your ads with a start and end date.

If you choose to use a lifetime budget, you will also have the option of scheduling your ads to run during certain hours and days.

Optimize Your Ad Delivery

This isn’t one you want to skip over. Under the Budget & Schedule section of creating the Ad Set is the Optimization options. Just click on the Advanced Options drop down to double check them.

The Optimization for Ad Delivery option tells Facebook to consider your goal when it’s finding people to show your ads to. It’s automatically set to conversions, and you may want to keep it there if that’s your goal.

There are five total options that you can choose from:

  • Conversions – Facebook shows your ads to people most likely to convert.
  • Landing Page Views – Facebook shows your ads to people most likely to visit the landing page.
  • Link Clicks – Facebook shows your ads to people who are most likely click on it.
  • Impressions – Facebook shows your ads to people as often as possible.
  • Daily Unique Reach – Facebook shows your ads to as many people as possible up to once a day.

Unless you’re running a brand awareness campaign, optimizing for Conversions would be your go-to.

Set Your Conversion Window

Facebook tells you to think about a conversion window in this way, “Conversion windows allow you to tell us what type of conversion data to use when determining who we should show your ad to. We learn what types of people convert within the window, then find more people like them.”

Basically, when Facebook is determining who to show your ads to, you get to tell them what conversions are the highest quality to you based on how long (1 or 7 days) after a certain action (click and/or a view) is taken. Facebook will then use the information of the people who converted during this timeframe to optimize your ads and deliver to similar people.

Consider Your Bid Strategy & Delivery Type

The very last thing you want to check while you’re creating the Ad Set is your bid strategy and your delivery type; they go hand in hand.

Your bid strategy can be set up in one of two ways:

  1. Lowest Cost – This tells Facebook that you want to spend as little as possible per conversion under your budget. The costs can start out low, but raise as time goes on and Facebook thinks it needs to spend your budget faster. You can set a max cost per conversion.
  2. Target Cost – This tells Facebook that you want to spend a certain amount per conversion. You’ll need to set the target cost when you select this one.

It’s important to stress that the max cost and target cost per conversion is per conversion, not click. Although Facebook automatically sets it at $5, that might be too low for a conversion cost in your industry.

Then there are the delivery type options:

  1. Standard – This is the default; Facebook will try to spend your budget as evenly as possible over the course of your ad’s schedule. (This is the recommended feature option.)
  2. Accelerated – This can only be selected if you have a max or target cost per conversion set up with your bid strategy. Facebook will try to spend your budget as fast as possible. (This is only recommended for seasonal or time-sensitive ads.)

And after all those solid choices that you made, you’ve finally built the support for your stellar ad. Give yourself a pat on the back, and let’s move on to creating the actual ad.

3. Create The Ad

This is where everything comes together; you set up your creative, your text, and link everything up

Name Your Ad

As with your campaign and ad set, you’ll need to name the ad as well. Because the name, not the creative is what shows up in reports, consider naming the ad after the creative you’re using or the difference you’re testing. Whatever stands out to you.

Create A New Ad or Use An Existing One

At the top of the page, you can toggle between creating a new ad or using an existing post.

Using an existing post not only saves you a ton of time, but it showcases your best Facebook page post to people who don’t follow your page. You can use a post that all your followers loved and show it to new, like-minded people to grow your following and get more conversions.

If you choose to use an existing post – then congratulations, you’ll be good to go. If you’re creating a new ad, read on.

Choose Your Ad Format

The ad format is how you want your ad’s images or video set up.

There are five options:

1. Carousel – Multiple images or videos that can be scrolled through. You choose one main ad text, then you can have a unique headline and description for each image. Some carousel ads show the different products that are being offered, and some use the multiple images to tell a story. (This won’t be available if you’ve turned on Dynamic Creative.)

2. Single Image – This is your basic, plain-jane Facebook ad. Upload an image or choose from Facebook’s free stock photos, write your ad copy, and you’ll be good to go. (If you turned on Dynamic Creative while creating the ad set, you’ll be able to upload multiple images, but Facebook will only use one at a time.)

3. Single Video – As it’s called, this is your basic video Facebook ad. One video, write your ad copy, and you’re solid. (You can also use Dynamic Creative with this to run multiple videos against each other.)

4. Slideshow – This one can seem similar to the carousel ad, but the difference is interaction. Your potential customer can scroll through the carousel ad, or not, depending on their preference. The slideshow scrolls through your images no matter what.

5. Collection – A collection is the only option that requires you to run an instant experience. The other options offer the ability to become an instant experience, but this is the ad design formatted for becoming an instant experience. It’s easier to show than explain, so take a look:

It starts simple with a series of photos (or videos) and then turns into a full screen catalog or ad when selected.

Consider an Instant Experience

Facebook’s Instant Experience option is pretty darn cool. You can turn your ad into a full screen experience when your potential customer clicks on it.

You can either follow one of Facebook’s step by step templates or if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can custom build your own Instant Experience

Upload Your Creative

Next, you upload the visual part of your Facebook ad. This is the part that your potential customer is going to see; you want it to be eye-catching, scroll-stopping, and click-inducing.

Remember if you’re uploading an image, Facebook requests you to have less than 20% of it be ad text. Facebook will also offer the suggested ad sizes when you’re choosing what type of ad to run.

Choose Where You Want The Ad To Lead To

When you’re building an ad, I’m sure you have an idea of what exactly you’re promoting already. Did you know that you can link to either a Website or a Facebook Event? Just select the option under Links, and enter the Website URL or the name of the Facebook Event.

Write Your Ad Copy

This is the part that your potential customer sees. This is the persuading point to get them to click on your ad and take the next step towards converting.

The example below shows you where you fill out the writing and where that appears on the example ad. I’ll give a few pointers for each one.

Ad Text

The text is the main part that a person reads. They’ll glance at the image, and then they’ll read the text to learn the most about what they’re looking at.

You’ll want to balance between writing a novel and writing text that doesn’t share any information. Facebook’s fictional business that they love to use in examples, Jasper’s Market, does this perfectly:

It’s quick, it’s catchy, but it informs you what you’ll be clicking on.

Headline

The headline is best paired with the ad text. Something short and sweet works best – think of the most basic way to describe the page the reader is about to visit.

Call to Action Button

The call to action button is optional, but can be beneficial when used correctly. On one hand, it calls to attention that the person is looking at an ad – without a doubt – but if your ad copy and creative is engaging enough, you can get people to want to click that Learn More button.

It doesn’t just have to be learn more, either. Here are the most popular options that Facebook uses:

  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe
  • Book Now
  • Download

Overlay

Also an optional feature, the Overlay allows you to put a bright red button over your creative with features that you’re offering. This allows you to share a perk that you might be offering such as free shipping, home delivery, etc.

The Advanced Options – Display Link & News Feed Link Description

If you click down on the Advanced Options drop down, you’ll have access to edit the display link and add a news feed link description.

The display link is nice because you will have a URL appear on your ad – so why not make it pretty or relevant?

The news feed link description is another area for you to place information about what you’re selling. It won’t appear on all feeds, and on most feeds, it is limited to a few words. You can either use it as another very short call to action or headline, or you can enter a full paragraph as a teaser of sorts for your site – so the person can click to read more before committing to visiting your landing page.

Publish

Once you’ve entered all the ad information, and you’re satisfied with the way it looks, click on that green Confirm button. From there, it’ll take you back to your Ads Manager page so you can see the new campaign, ad set, and ad.

In order to get it rolling, you can either click the review and publish button in the top right corner. Or you can open your ad’s editing pane and click the green publish button.

How To Use Facebook Ads Manager To Make Changes

As with any PPC campaign, optimization is not something you can skip over or take lightly.

Thankfully, Facebook makes it easy as can be to edit your campaigns, ad sets, and ads. All you gotta do, is hover over the name of whatever it is you’d like to edit, and then click the little pencil icon. Facebook will pop open the editing panel, and you can make your changes. Just don’t forget to re-publish your ad after you update it.

On each level, you can edit different settings and options. Here’s your overview the options that you can change in the editing pane.

Campaign Level:

  • Change the Campaign Name
  • Set a Campaign Spending Limit
  • Turn on Budget Optimization (requires all ad sets to have the same bid strategy and delivery type)
  • Create Rules For The Campaign (More Later)
  • Turn On and Off The Campaign (if a campaign is off, the ad sets within it can’t run)

Ad Set Level:

  • Change the Ad Set Name
  • Change the Conversion Event
  • Update the Daily Budget
  • Set A Scheduled End Date
  • Change your Target Audience’s Information
  • Edit Your Ad Placements
  • Change Your Optimization Goal
  • Change Your Conversion Window
  • Set A Bid Strategy
  • Change Your Delivery Type
  • Create Rules For the Ad Set
  • Turn On and Off the Ad Set (if the ad set is off, the ads within it can’t run)

Ad Level:

  • Change the Ad Name
  • Change the Ad Creative
  • Update the Text
  • Change the Website URL
  • Update the Display Link
  • Rewrite the Headline
  • Update the News Feed Link Description
  • Rewrite the Call To Action
  • Add an Overlay
  • Create Rules for the Ad
  • Turn On and Off the Ad

It’s important to note that while regular optimization is good, don’t go crazy with the changes. Facebook recommends that you wait at least 24 hours after publishing an ad before making changes. The software needs time to run, gather data, and optimize properly based on that information.

You’ll want to make changes based on the reporting that Facebook shows you; which brings me to my next point – Facebook reporting.

Viewing Your Information In Facebook Ads Manager With Reports

The moment you pop open your Facebook Ads Manager, you’re express delivered reports and statistics on anything in your account that you’d like to see. It’s the peak of instant gratification. And you’ll want to keep an eye on your Facebooks reports as your ads run.

You’ll track the metrics that you get from Facebook to know what ads are performing well, who is responding to your ads, and how to optimize your account for the best Return on Investment.

Keep in mind that Facebook already does a pretty good job of account optimization for you when it decides who show your ads to within the parameters you set up. However, there’s always room for improvement.

But first, you need to know what are the important metrics to look at. Facebook Ads Manager does a great job of tracking almost everything that goes into where your ads appear and how they perform, but to a person, that information can quickly get overwhelming.

Informative vs. Vanity Metrics

With all the options and metrics that Facebook offers to show you, remember that there are some metrics that are more valuable than others.

Important Metrics:

  • Results – This is just how many conversions or completions of your goal you’re getting.
  • Cost-per-result – This is how much you spend to get a new lead, new customer, etc. If your goal is conversions, then this will be cost-per-conversion.
  • Click Through Rate – This is the number of Link Clicks divided by Impressions. If your CTR is below 1%, it says that your ad either isn’t compelling or your audience is way off.
  • Ad Frequency – This is impressions divided by reach – or the average number of times that a person has seen your ad. Everyone knows how it feels to see the same ad a million times – you get really sick of it.
  • Relevance Score – After Facebook has shown your ad to 500 people, based on the clicks it gets, it will rank your ad from 1-10 on how relevant it is to the audience.

Vanity Metrics:

  • Reach – Unless you’re running a huge budget on brand awareness, reach doesn’t mean anything. Even if your reach is good, if you’re not getting any reactions to your ads, people are scrolling right past.
  • Clicks – This is different than your Link Clicks – these are people who just tapped on your ad. Either to expand it if your ad copy is long or to drop it alike. They don’t mean anything.
  • Cost-per-click – The real number you’ll focus on is your cost per result. Don’t waste time measuring clicks against each other.
  • Impressions – Similar (but different) to reach, this is how many times your ad was shown in total, and again, unless people are reacting to your ad, there’s no point to tracking it.

Manage Your Columns For Different Metrics

When it comes to navigating your account and checking metrics against levels, there’s a pretty easy way to track what you’re looking at. If you start in the campaign tab, you can click on any one of your campaigns, and it will automatically filter your ad sets and ads to show only the ones that are in that campaign. You can also select multiple campaigns (by clicking on the checkbox next to them) and your ad sets and ads will show all the applicable ones.

Then at the top of the columns, you’ll see the row of metrics:

Facebook’s column default is Performance, but you can change the columns to show a preselected set of columns with metrics that Facebook grouped together.

The different column presets will show different metrics, which can be useful when you’re starting out and browsing the options available.

However, you can often prefer to create your own presets with data that you care about. You’ll start by going to Customize Columns, browsing or searching for the metrics you want to see, clicking the Save as preset checkbox, and then finish it up by selecting Apply.

Six Categories of Metric Columns

Take some time to browse the metrics offered and what are the most important ones for you to see. Facebook splits its columns into six main categories:

  1. Performance
    1. Results – Results, Frequency, Impressions, Clicks, Relevance Score, etc.
    2. Cost – Cost per Result, CPM, Cost per 1,000 People Reached
  2. Engagement
    1. Page Posts – Page & Post Engagements, Likes, Comments, Event Responses, etc.
    2. Cost – Cost per Page Engagements, Likes, Event Responses, etc.
    3. Messaging – New Messaging Conversations, Replies, etc.
    4. Cost – Cost per New Messaging Conversations, Replies, etc.
    5. Media – 2, 3, 10 Second Video Views, 25%, 50%, 100% Video Watches, Instant Experience View Times, etc.
    6. Cost – Cost per Video View Times and Cost per ThruPlay
    7. Clicks – Link Clicks, CTR, Unique Clicks, etc.
    8. Cost – CPC, Cost per Unique Click, etc.
    9. Awareness – Estimated Ad Recall Lift People & Rate (how many people would say they recall seeing your ad)
    10. Cost – Cost per Estimated Ad Recall Lift People & Rate
  3. Conversions – You can select between Total, Unique, Value, Cost, and Unique Cost to include with each of these metrics
    1. Standard Events – All of Facebook’s conversions that are standard
    2. Custom Events – All the conversions that you created and named to track better
  4. Settings
    1. Object Names & IDs – Account Name & ID, Campaign Name & ID, Ad Set Name & ID, Ad Name & ID, etc.
    2. Status & Dates – Date Created, Last Edited, Ends, Errors, Reporting Starts, Ends, etc.
    3. Goal, Budget & Schedule – Objective, Bid Strategy, Budget, Schedule, etc.
    4. Targeting – Ad Set Settings for Location, Age, and Gender, etc.
    5. Ad Creative – Page Name, Ad Creatives, etc.
    6. Tracking – URL Parameters, Facebook Pixel, Events, etc.
  5. Split Tests
    1. Split
    2. Variable
  6. Optimization
    1. Optimization Events, Cost, etc.

Sort Data By The Breakdown Menu

After you have your columns set up to display the data that you want to see, you can then use the Breakdown menu to further examine the performance of your account.

The breakdown menu adds sub-rows of data that look like this:

The Breakdown tab is divided into three main sections, and you can choose one from each to view at a time – for a total of three stats you can see at once.

  • Time – Day, Week, 2 Weeks, Month
  • Delivery – Age, Gender, Age & Gender, Business Locations, Country, Region, Platform, Device, Placement, Time of Day, etc.
  • Action – Conversion Device, Post Reaction Type, Destination, Video View Type, Carousel Card, etc.

Use The Search Function

Right above your level tabs is a bar that lets you focus in on specifics you’d like to see. The first option is the search feature:

Search simply allows you to search and find campaigns, ad sets, or ads by their name or ID. You can also search by delivery type, objectives, audience information, placements, last time the set was changed, etc.

You can also add more searches to view more than one set of information by clicking on the little blue plus.

Apply Filters

Sometimes Ads Manager can show you just too many sets. That’s where adding Filters comes into play.

Filters lets you see all sets that fit specific criteria such as delivery status, objectives, placement, metrics, changes, split test, and much, much more. You can set and save filters to quickly view applicable sets.

Edit Your Date Range

When you’re first diving into your Facebook Ads Manager to look at its reports, double check your timeframe. If you’re wanting a report on how your ads have been doing very recently, try setting it back about seven days. If you’re tracking your accounts on a month-to-month basis, keep an eye your month as it continues.

You can also turn on the compare feature to measure week against week or month against month, etc.

Save, Share & Export Your Facebook Ad Reports

Facebook has a whole other section for Ad Reports, but you can do pretty much the same things from the Ads Manager section instead.

Once you have your setup the way you like it in Facebook Ads Manager, go to the Reports dropdown to see your options:

If you choose to export your report so you can share it with a client or your team, you have several formats you can download it as.

If you’re not satisfied with the information that you’re seeing on your report, click on Create Custom Report, and Facebook will take you straight to the Ads Reporting screen, which will have many more options for you to use.

If you’d like to share the report without downloading it, you can create a shareable link to send to anyone who has access to the ad account.

Under the Reports tab, you can also quickly go to recently viewed reports, which will also take you to Facebook Ads Reporting.

Lastly, Facebook offers the option to quick create Standard Reports such as Ad information, Ad Set information, Basic information, Demographics information, Delivery information, and Actions information. If you choose to quickly create a report from this selection, Facebook will take you over to Ads Reporting with the selected metrics on display.

Schedule Your Facebook Ad Reports

One thing that will save you a ton of time is to schedule recurring reports. You will have to do this from Facebook Ads Reporting, but once you’ve created a report that shows the information you want it to, you can schedule it to be emailed or shared as often as you’d like:

Right at the top of the page, you’ll find the option to schedule it:

And then you can title the report, confirm that you’d like to schedule an email, choose how often it gets delivered (daily, weekly, or first of every month), and add the person that you’re sending it to.

A minute or two to set up and schedule this report can save you a ton of time in the future.

You Can Use Facebook Ads Manager To Auto-Optimize Your Account

A PPC Account should never be on auto-pilot. However, managing an account can sometimes feel overwhelming; there’s always something to check. Thankfully, Facebook has the option to set up rules on your account.

Rules are settings that you can set up to either perform an action or send a notification when a requirement is fulfilled. These are safeguards for you to set up so your account will stay within certain boundaries or let you know if something’s wrong.

Under any of your tabs, you will have a dropdown for Rules:

You can also create and manage rules under the Editing Pane on the right hand column.

Options For Rules You Can Set Up

There are a few actions you can choose for your rule to perform when conditions are met:

  • Turn Off/On Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads
  • Adjust Budgets (Increasing, Decreasing, or Scaling Daily and Lifetime Budgets)
  • Adjust Manual Bids (Increase, Decrease or Scale Bids)
  • Send Notification Only (This send an email to your subscriber of choice)

Then from there, you can set the conditions that need to be met before an action is taken. The more common ones include:

  • Spent
  • Lifetime Spent
  • Frequency
  • Results
  • Cost Per Result
  • Mobile App Install
  • Cost per Mobile App Install
  • Mobile App Purchase ROAS
  • Website Purchase ROAS

You can select the three dots next to the Conditions form to further refine each specific condition by level or time range. You can also add more conditions by selecting the Add button.

After you’ve set your conditions, you can choose the time range for all of the conditions to occur. You can select between Lifetime, Today, Yesterday, Last 2, 3, 7, 14, 28, and 30 days.

Then you can set a specific attribution window for a period of time for conversions to be counted after viewing or clicking on an ad. You can also leave this as the Account Default.

You can then set the schedule for how often Facebook checks your account to see if the conditions have been met. It can run as often as about every 30 minutes, to once a day, to a custom schedule that you select.

After you select who gets the notifications, you’ll name the rule and create it. The Facebook rule will start working immediately, and you can relax – as much as an account manager can relax, anyways.

In Summary…

I know we covered a lot in this guide, but Facebook Ads Manager isn’t as complicated as it can seem from the first glance. It’s well-organized and easily navigated.

The main things you need to remember that you can do in Facebook Ads Manager are

  • Creation (campaigns, ad sets, and ads)
  • Editing (campaigns, ad sets, and ads)
  • Reporting (on a plethora of metrics on every level)
  • Creating Rules (to easily optimize your account)

As with most things in PPC, it’s easiest to learn by doing, but you can always hop back over here if you have questions on specific areas of Facebook Ads Manager.

Did we miss anything? What did you learn from this guide? Let us know if there are any questions in the comments!

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Evie Welborn

Account Manager/Content Writer

Evie is dedicated to keeping an eagle eye on her PPC and digital marketing accounts. When she’s not scouring through her accounts to make sure they’re flawless, she can be found ascending new heights in the local mountains or hiding inside the rock climbing gym when it’s too cold

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