top of page
Family - A Seattle Advertising Agency

Secrets No One Tells You About Facebook Advertising



My pencil lead broke. I was furiously sketching storyboards. Searching for ways to cover a scene -- shooting the next day. Frustrated, I guess I was pressing down pretty hard. There was no end to the ways I could shoot the scene. And I didn’t love any of them.

I grabbed another pencil and started scribbling again. Then, I remembered a story Ron Howard shared in his directing MasterClass. To paraphrase George Lucas: No well-written scene has ever gone bad because the director staged it with a wide shot, medium and two close-ups.


The same is true buying of Facebook advertising. And let me tell you, it can get pretty complicated with all the options. But there’s a secret people don’t tell you. There’s a simple way to get effective ads out of Facebook. A lot simpler.

Let the Algorithm Do the Work

I’ve run this test dozens of times. I drop a 10-mile pin over a city, enter the dates, age and gender. That’s one campaign. Then, I copy the campaign and set up a variety of different ad sets. Facebook has terrific targeting tools for ad sets. For example, page fans, demographics, behavior, interests, occupation, etc. And guess which one gets more…

  • Clicks?

  • Likes?

  • Engagement?

  • Shares?

Easily, seven out of ten times the first campaign gets more. Why? The Facebook algorithm is very good. Simply ask the algorithm to find people in a geographic area who might be interested in my ad. And it does it. It does it very well. Nothing fancy. But effective. The reason... the algorithm loves data. The more data the better so larger data sets do better than smaller ones.

Broad Or Niche Targeting?

Look, I’m paid to develop successful strategies for clients. So whatever works. But for those clients who want to do it themselves or noobs, do not overlook the obvious. Start with super simple targeting and let Facebook sort ‘em out for you.

But if you wanna go all hammer and tongs at niche audiences… fantastic.

It’s not like niche targeting doesn’t work. Matching creative to specific ad set audiences usually creates slightly fewer clicks. But better conversions. Think of it this way: Niche targeting is only one piece of the puzzle. For best results… do both.

How to Improve Relevancy Scores

Here’s one last secret no one tells you.

Do you know how to increase your relevancy score and reach while decreasing your cost? All good things, right? Aggregate all your social proof by using one ad. Allow me to translate.

Use the same ad in different ad sets so Facebook gives you credit for all the social proof (likes, shares and comments) accumulating on the ad. This improves your relevancy score, increasing your reach and lowering your cost.

It’s a pretty straightforward process that involves copying a long string of numbers out of a preview URL. For step-by-step instructions, I’ve linked to a Facebook master, Rick Mulready and his podcast The Art of Paid Traffic. Skip to minute five.

The secrets are out.

Mike Johnston is a production executive and advertising creative in Seattle. He is available for freelance consulting, writing and directing. Contact Mike.


Want to make your digital marketing 10x better? Read all about it.

bottom of page