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3 Sorely Needed Facebook Ad Improvements

Published: August 27, 2014

Author: Molly Shotwell

Don’t take this the wrong way: Facebook is a wonderful advertising platform. The costs can be low and the reach can be great, especially when you know what you’re doing. So please, Zuckerberg, don’t be mad at us when we say that there are things that… could use some improvement.

He doesn't look too pleased.
He doesn’t look too pleased. Sorry, Zuck.

We reached out to some of our experts to ask what Facebook ad improvements needed to be made to make Facebook an even stronger ad platform.  The first improvement mentioned was a problem I’ve dealt with recently myself: conversion accuracy.

Conversion data can sometimes be wildly different between what Facebook reports and what the company sees in their chosen analytics system.
One of the major reasons for the discrepancy is that Facebook looks at the conversion path of “people” as opposed to “cookies.” For example, if someone clicks on an ad in their mobile News Feed and then later converts on their desktop computer, Facebook will attribute the click to that mobile click. However, this is not generally known information, and it’s confusing to many people.
Ideally there would be a way to sync Facebook persona data with cookie data so third-party analytics systems could optionally mirror the attribution system that Facebook has designed for its own reporting purposes. This raises a variety of privacy issues that would most likely need to be figured out.
Ryan Pitylak, CEO of Unique Influence

Another pain point for our experts is B2B advertising with Custom Audiences. Most people simply don’t sign up for Facebook with their business email address…

Facebook Custom Audiences are one of the coolest and most frustrating features of Facebook Ads. The ability to target specific individuals on Facebook is hugely powerful for advertisers – akin to email marketing and other targeted direct marketing. However, the setup is brutal for B2B advertisers. While B2B marketers often have the email addresses of people they’d like to target, the email addresses are almost always business email addresses – and people rarely use business email addresses for Facebook. There’s another option – targeting user IDs – but there isn’t a way currently to look up user IDs in bulk. If Facebook could create a way to automate this, it would be huge! I can see why they don’t want to – but it would still be a much-needed improvement.
Melissa Mackey, Search Supervisor at Gyro

The final improvement we’d like to see is an automation of something a lot of us do manually: exclude converted users from Custom Audience targeting. Going back through manually to do this is time-consuming, and especially frustrating since it should be automated.

Custom Audience targeting allows you to upload user IDs to target, or exclude, specific users from your targeting. For a number of companies, after generating a conversion through Facebook they no longer want to show the same ad message to that user. A workaround is to dive back into Facebook and create a new list of users that have converted and exclude them via their email addresses or phone numbers. With Facebook’s ability to track conversions, it shouldn’t be too much to ask to have these exclusions happen in real time. I feel like that would make our ads more effective and our messages more accurate.
Franco Puetz, VP of Inbound Marketing at Influence & Co.

These improvements wouldn’t make Facebook the perfect platform, but it would certainly alleviate some pain points.
Do you have a desired ad improvement? Let us know in the comments!

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