In this post, I’ll share with you a secret that had a huge positive impact on our clients’ Facebook campaigns. And we are talking about clear results with a direct and substantial influence on profits. But first, give me a minute to put things in context so you can better understand the implications.
The Facebook Conversion System Starts with the Specifics
The Facebook feed that I see is different than yours which also applies to ads. Each of us receives a personalized feed. We see posts from our friends, pages we liked, groups we’re part of and ads for products and services that resonate with our interests.
Even as advertisers we want different things. Some clients of mine want to reach as many people as possible, some just want conversions. And for conversions everybody wants something else, it can be trials, signups, installs, sales, etc. It all depends on your business.
The Facebook system based on artificial intelligence is trying to show the ads to the best possible people for that particular conversion. It’s important to define your goal as precise as possible so that Facebook knows what to focus on.
Different than Google Ads when It Comes to Conversions
This is quite different from Google Ads because there you can set a campaign to bring you clicks and find it will bring you conversions, in particular cases even more conversions than if you’d set it for conversions. On Facebook, you should never expect this.
First Facebook Conversion Example
So you’re probably still thinking about the secret? A promise is a promise, and we are getting really close to it. Let’s take an example, John Doe sells watches and targets everyone on Facebook in the United States. Facebook will start to deliver impressions uniformly, some small amounts to people in Boston, some to those in LA, some to those interested in automatic watches, some in diving watches and so on. Slowly it will find that those interested in diving watches from LA are actually buying and will direct more impressions there. This isn’t a good approach because someone can go bankrupt before getting the first conversion through broad United States targeting, but is a good example to understand the system.
Second Facebook Conversion Example
The Facebook ad algorithm needs conversions. It needs them in order to learn. Another short but powerful example: if someone wants to sell Teslas on Facebook he’ll probably fail. Not that many people buy Teslas and artificial intelligence can’t learn without conversions. But this doesn’t mean Tesla wouldn’t benefit from Facebook advertising, it just means you shouldn’t try to sell them directly there. You should target accomplished people who already are interested in or bought an electric vehicle and set the conversion as a signup for a free test drive. Buying a Tesla is a very high consideration purchase and in order to get Facebook conversions, you need to settle with less.
The Facebook Conversion Secret
Now the secret, the Facebook ad system does predictions on people who will convert. In order to calibrate the Facebook conversion machine, you’ll need 15-25 conversions per ad set per week. These numbers come from the Facebook team that made an internal analysis of the conversion sweet spot. At a conference, Maria Manolioudi who is a client manager at Facebook said the sweet spot is at around 50 conversions per ad set per week. In a later private discussion, she confirmed the number and went depth about the logic of it.
The Implications of how the Facebook Conversion Machine Works
So what does this mean? First of all, don’t get discouraged about the high threshold. It’s not 50 or nothing, it’s just the point when the system is fully calibrated and knows exactly who your customer is for your particular conversion, product or service, and ad. Many times is just impossible to even get 10 sales per month (think about the Tesla example). Also many times, you’d be super content to get 5 sales, for some businesses with high margins in a small nice that’s all they need to consider themselves successful. We’re running Facebook ads on a daily basis and see all possible examples, but the numbers are indeed true. Campaigns with less than 7 conversions per week are more inconsistent, today they work, tomorrow they don’t. From 15 above you feel confident in the Facebook conversion machine. And from 50 above you just bless the artificial intelligence.
What Are the Hacks to Get the Most out of the Facebook Conversion Secret?
- When possible, group all your advertising budget and targeting to only one ad set
- Don’t panic when you don’t get conversions, by changing things too often you reset the learning
- Be flexible, the more constraints you put in the system, the worse the results
- Design the weekly budget starting from the conversion threshold, not the other way around
- Design the targeting starting from the conversion threshold, not the other way around
- When needed, go with a lower conversion like a checkout instead of a sale
- Forget about the relevance score, it’s only a vanity metric and doesn’t influence conversions