Over 86% of marketers in the U.S. advertise on Facebook, and it’s easy to see why. 74% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, and more than half of them visit it multiple times a day.
So the question isn’t if you should run ads on Facebook, but when is the best time to run ads on Facebook. If you run a great campaign at the wrong time, it’s like putting up a beautiful billboard on a freeway that doesn’t get any traffic.
But finding out when to run Facebook ads isn’t as simple as we’d like it to be.
In the post, we will look at how to choose the best times to run Facebook ads for your business. Plus, we will cover the types of Facebook ads available, the best way to budget your ad campaigns, and how to track their progress.
Let’s get this out of the way: Just like the best time to post on Facebook, there is no one ideal time to run Facebook ads. If there were, the answer would be apparent, and this post would be over before it has even begun.
Most marketers have heard recycled, anecdotal wisdom. Things like, “It’s best to run your ads on the weekend when most people are at home,” or “Run your ads during the early evening after people get home from work but before they eat dinner.”
But remember, the plural of anecdote isn’t data. Just because a specific time slot worked for one business doesn’t mean it’ll work for yours.
There is a ton of data online from companies sharing when they’ve had the most successful ad campaigns.
It might look a little something like this:
|Consumer Goods||Wednesday noon and Friday at 1 p.m.||Friday at 3 p.m.|
|Media||Weekdays between noon and 6 p.m.||Thursday and Friday at 2 p.m.|
|Tech||Weekends between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.||Monday at 7 p.m.|
|B2B||Weekdays between 10 a.m. and noon||Weekdays at 5 p.m.|
Now, this might look clean and accurate, but it’s likely oversimplified and potentially misleading.
But if you took this table to heart and you were selling socks, you might be tempted to run an ad at 3 p.m. on a Friday. But what if Friday at 3 p.m. is wrong for your ad and your business?
The issue with this approach to running Facebook ads is that you aren’t getting granular enough with your company’s valuable data.
You want to run your Facebook ads at the right time for your target audience. This strategy isn’t new to online advertising—you wouldn’t run TV commercials aimed at high-income full-time employees during the workday. And you wouldn’t run the commercial on the cartoon channel—which brings us to our main point:
Run your Facebook ad with your ad’s intent and your audience insights in mind.
Okay, so we want you to use your data to create, schedule, run your next Facebook ad campaign. But where do you start?
Well, the first three things you’ll want to use are:
Using these three tools will give you a solid foundation for determining the best time to run Facebook ads for your business.
But you might be asking yourself how to run a successful Facebook ad and how to schedule those successful ads once you’ve nailed down the best time for your company.
That’s a fair question.
When you start creating an ad, ask yourself these two questions:
Below is an example of two ads run by the same company at the same time. While the ads are run by the same company and at the same time, they have different goals and a different audience
You can see that while the ads are similar; they are trying to elicit a different emotional response from the user.
The ad on the left (Ad A) uses the “Learn More” button. The copy is going after the pain of saving time, but is doing so more generically.
The ad on the right (Ad B) uses the “Sign Up” button. It is more blatantly asking viewers to sign up for its service. That’s why its copy is more pointed. It tells, in short sentences, the features and the benefits.
With Ad A and Ad B, you can see Quickbooks is testing if catering towards more specific pain-points translates to a higher CTR when combined with the “Sign Up” button.
For more information on creating successful Facebook ads, check out our post on 10 Easy Facebook Marketing Ideas.
There isn’t just one type of Facebook ad, and not all ad types have the same goal.
You can choose from lots of different ad types, but here’s what I recommend most often:
Running the right kind of ad will depend on what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
You’ve taken a look at the available data. Your ad is engaging and something that would resonate with your audience. It’s ready to post then, right?
Not so fast. Facebook ad scheduling can have a significant impact on your ROI.
The first (and simplest) question is: Should I use daily budget or lifetime budget for my campaign?
A daily budget is easy to set up, and it tells Facebook to only spend up to X dollars per day. So each day, you know exactly how much money you’re spending. And, if you’re planning on changing the budget on a given campaign, daily budgets give you flexibility. However, on this budget, we’ve seen that Facebook works to spend the entire daily budget even if performance is low.
Here is what we mean: Facebook will do what it needs to do to make up your daily allotted ad spend, even if it isn’t in your best interest.
The most significant drawback, however, is that with daily budgeting, there is no option for ad scheduling. As we discussed above, not every hour in the day is created equal. If you’re looking to optimize your ad’s performance, based on the data collected through Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, a daily budget isn’t the tool you need.
Using a lifetime budget means you give Facebook an approved budget, and you choose the date the ad set should end on. The budget gets used up before that date, though not necessarily evenly across each day.
But flexibility is a double-edged sword. By using the perks of a lifetime budget, you also sign up for budgets that change daily. Facebook will use ad performance to justify increases and decreases to daily spend.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Facebook reviews your ad before it is published. Facebook just wants to make sure your ad isn’t in violation of its Advertising Policies. Facebook says they review most ads within 24 hours.
After Facebook approves the ad (your Facebook ad approval survival guide here), it goes live (per the scheduled time you set).
From there, you can use Facebook Ad Manager to track key metrics. Just narrow down the dashboard by campaigns, and filter through CTR, cost per conversion, and other KPIs.
For more information, check out our cheat sheet to making effective Facebook Ads.
It’s tempting to want to find what are the best times to run Facebook ads for other businesses. And, if you don’t have any data of your own, that might be the place to start. But if you’ve been doing digital marketing and have data to use, it’s best to use it.
By taking insights from Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics, you can set parameters on when is the best time to run Facebook ads for your business.
Of course, it’s a process. Track and monitor your progress. Set up A/B testing. Make sure your copy is persuasive and written to convert.
Use our Facebook Ads Performance Grader to see if your Facebook ad campaigns are fully optimized (scheduled to run at the right time, using the right CTAs, and more).
We will tell you how you stack up against the competition, highlight key opportunities for increased ROA, and show you any audiences you may be missing with your social media campaigns.
Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, long-form content creators for SaaS companies. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Business Insider, TheNextWeb, Shopify, Moz, Unbounce, HubSpot, Search Engine Journal, and more.
See other posts by Brad Smith
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