3 Ways Facebook Automation Can Help You Manage Ads

By Chadd Powell | @ChaddPowell | Senior Social Analyst at Hanapin Marketing

Automation.

It’s being discussed everywhere from self-driving cars to Bing’s Associate Account Manager in a Box. While some fear it and others welcome it, it’s already been around us in the digital marketing space for a while.

If you’ve created automated PPC reports, used automated bidding rules, or ever relied on things like targeted CPA, you’ve been utilizing pieces of automation already.

While automation is getting more advanced and more available, it’s not a new concept and all advertising platforms offer differing levels of it to marketers.  Facebook is no different.

What follows are 3 easy ways that automation in Facebook can help you manage your ad accounts and free up time.

Automated Bidding

Automated bidding in Facebook operates like most other advertising platforms. You make some overall choices about how you want the bidding algorithm to operate and then set it in motion.

Keep in mind that those initial decisions are very important to the functioning of the algorithm and you’ll need to understand your options.

Facebook automatic bidding setup

The two biggest choices you’ll make other than choosing automatic is picking the optimization goal and conversion window. Depending on your campaign goals, you’ll pick the option that best suits your needs.

Trying to drive traffic? Optimize to clicks. Want to get conversions? You better choose conversions. Facebook’s algorithm is good at understanding who will click and convert, so don’t think that by picking clicks you’ll get traffic and lots of conversions.

Perhaps the most important choice is choosing the proper conversion window. For this decision, you’ll need to know how likely people are to convert within 1 day or 7 days. If you pick 1 day and people often take 3-5 days, the algorithm is going to be optimizing off the wrong time window and making suboptimal decisions.

If you don’t want to go full automatic, you also have the option of choosing an average or max CPA you want Facebook to optimize toward. Just be careful as the more restrictions you put in place the more restrictive the algorithm is going to be about bidding and placing ads.

Automated Rules

Automated rules are a recent addition to Facebook that gives you options on automating certain functions within your ads account.

As an extensive user of AdWord’s rules, it was a welcome addition to see these added to Facebook. While the rules aren’t quite as robust, they do provide for some general reporting and other housekeeping duties that we might want to perform in an account.

Creating Facebook automated rules

The focus of the rules right now is around bidding and budgeting. You can set where you want the rule to apply (campaign, ad set, etc.), what you want the action to be (adjust budget for example), and the condition that triggers that action. You can then have it email you when the rule is triggered.

A rule that is useful in remarketing is raising or lowering daily budgets based on frequency. As we don’t have a strict frequency control when running daily budgets (versus lifetime budgets), frequency can get a bit out of control depending on your remarketing list size and your daily budget.

So, we might do the following:

  • Action: Decrease daily budget by 5%, minimum daily budget $50
  • Conditions: Frequency greater than 3, last 7 day time range, and a standard attribution window
  • Frequency: Rule operates daily at 12:00AM
  • Notification: On Facebook and by email

Now the account has a rule to help us keep weekly frequency at a determined amount in our remarketing campaign by adjusting our daily budget (while setting a hard minimum budget we can’t go below).

Split Testing

The most recent addition to Facebook is split testing. It’s so recent that it hasn’t shown up in all ad accounts yet, but it’s main aim is to allow a true split test within your account on audience, delivery optimization, or placements.

How to enable split testing in Facebook

You can test the same creative on two different audiences or test two different optimization goals (clicks vs conversions) to see which one truly yields the best results. If you don’t trust Facebook’s automatic placements, you could run a test where you choose some custom placements and see how it compares to Facebook’s automatic placements.

It’s such a new tool that there isn’t a ton of info out there on it, but I find the ability to do proper split testing on audiences to be the most intriguing.

Conclusion

Try using these three Facebook automations and see how they might help you better manage your ad account and save time.

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