Yesterday in the Facebook group for Absolute FB Ads, Mary asked a great question:
“How do the different objectives actually work? Is it a different algorithm that you’re triggering? Or do they get shown differently somehow?”
Back when Facebook introduced objectives, suddenly something became very clear to me. “There’s a reason why boosting posts gets you lots of engagement but not very much traffic to your site!”
It’s because when you boost a post, they show that ad to a very specific group of people. They’re people who will gladly click “Like” on those status updates, photos, and other posts but who aren’t so interested in actually clicking through and reading an article or watching a video on your site.
To answer Mary’s question, YES, those different objectives trigger different algorithms. Or something like that. (I won’t pretend to be a tech wizard like this guy.)
What you need to know is that different people interact with Facebook in different ways, and Facebook knows ALL about it. So if you set your objective as Clicks to Website, Facebook will show your ads to people who, based on their regular behavior, are more likely to click on your link. If you set it to Website Conversions, they’ll show them to people most likely to go and take a specific action over on your site.
And if you set the objective to Page Post Engagement, which is the default objective for boosted posts, Facebook will show your ads to all those passive post likers, not to people who just might click over to your site and check you out.
In other words? Facebook is watching your every move. They know what you do on Facebook, as well as what you do if you click on one of my ads and sign up for something or buy one of my products.
The good news is that this helps you get better results for your ads since your audience is optimized for more of the “right” people.
Make Sure Your Pricing Setting Is Correct
This kind of optimization goes out the window if you choose a different pricing model for your ads. In 99% of the campaigns you run, you should leave everything as is under Pricing and Optimization in the Power Editor. If it says “Recommended” when you click on that dropdown menu, you’re in good shape.
But if you choose any of the other options, Facebook will be forced to show your ads differently, and that may include some of those never-gonna-sign-up-for-anything-I-find-on-Facebook kind of people.
A Cheatsheet for Choosing Your Objective
Not sure which one to choose? Here you go:
“I’m driving people to an opt-in page for something free.” Objective: Website Conversions.
“I’m sending people to a blog post to raise awareness about me and my brand. Sign ups to my list would be cool but I’m mostly interested in retargeting my website traffic with other ads later.” (This is the strategy I’ve outlined here.) Objective: Clicks to Website.
“I’m trying to sell something and hoping people will click on my ad and then buy from me.” Objective: Website Conversions.
“I just want more people who are already connected to my brand somehow to know about the Periscope I’m doing/podcast I’m launching/big announcement I’m making soon.” Objective: Page Post Engagements. (Click here to check out one of my own posts that I turned into an ad to raise awareness about my podcast launch. Great use of $10, I gotta say.)
“I put together a quick video that I want people to see.” Objective: Video Views.
“I want to get more likes for my page.” Objective: Page Likes. (I don’t, however, recommend this use of your ad dollars. Here’s why.)
“I want people to download the app I made, either for free or for a price.” Objective: Mobile App Installs or Desktop App Installs, depending on the type of app you made.
“I have a physical shop or restaurant, and I want to promote a discount or coupon of some kind.” Objective: Offer Claims.