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March 4, 2024 in

Why Your Facebook Ads Do Well for 24 Hours Then Stop Working

Facebook Ads Guide

Imagine you own a baby clothes business. With high hopes, you launch a new sales campaign in Facebook Ads Manager.

Scenario #1: I am the first person to interact with your ad. I ‘like’ the ad and then I make a purchase for my nephew. Facebook’s algorithm is now going to start optimizing based off of my profile, interests, browsing history, past purchases, etc, etc. Well, unfortunately for you as the business owner, I am not your ideal customer. Tough luck. Let’s say I am a bad uncle. I may buy my nephew some baby clothes once and not again. Your ad will get that first sale within 24 hours as it usually does, then start underperforming, finding more and more people like me who may buy once or not at all. You scratch your head. It did well in the first 24 hours, then stopped working. Why? Does this sound familiar?

Scenario #2: My wife is the first person to interact with your ad. She likes and comments on your ad and then goes on to make a purchase. Facebook’s algorithm is now going to start optimizing based off of her profile, interests, history, etc. Fortunately for you, she is the best aunt and the perfect person to optimize off of because she loves buying tons of outfits for her nephew. Your ad gets its first sale, then starts optimizing, finding more and more great aunts who love buying gifts for the kids in their lives. Your ad is now optimizing inside what we refer to as a “hot pocket” within your target audience. The ad sustains overall good performance as long as you don’t touch it. Life is good.

I share this hypothetical example with you all so you can understand more or less how Facebook Ads optimize (or don’t). The first 24 hours of your ads life is very important. Facebook is initially giving you the ‘low hanging fruit’ customers so that your campaign has a chance to optimize (and so you will keep advertising). There is a luck factor here as well. Facebook’s AI will give its best effort to find you a good customer but there is no way to know who is going to be the first person to engage with your ad and then who will make the first purchase. That is why having a trained pixel and seasoned ad account is so important – the more it knows about your target audience the better chances it will have to find that ideal first customer and optimize inside a hot pocket.

When you launch 1 campaign with 1 ad set inside and 3 ads inside – You basically have 3 chances that one of your ads will optimize inside a hot pocket within the audience you selected. This is because targeting is set at the ad set level, but hot pockets are formed on the ad level.

That is why I am a big fan of Konstantinos Doulgeridis’ Crazy Method for scaling. Instead, we make a broad CBO with 4 ad sets inside, each with the same targeting and same 3 ads in each. Now we have 4×3 = 12 chances that at least 1 of your ads will optimize inside a hot pocket. See my other posts for how to properly set up and optimize this type of campaign. I know many of you will say “audience overlap” or “you will compete with yourself and drive up costs” or “you should consolidate your campaigns” but I have seen this technique work at scale and continue to see it work today. Don’t take my word for it, test it out for yourself.

Also, this is why duplicating and relaunching a campaign that was working in the past can work again. If FB’s algorithm was able to find an ideal first purchaser with the settings, copy and creative you gave it, it’s possible it can do it again. I also like to further increase my chances of optimization by scheduling my campaigns to start at 6am local time – when my audience is logging on to their devices. Budgets reset at midnight local time, so scheduling a $500/day campaign at 7pm local time is going to make the algorithm try to spend much faster than normal. By scheduling at 6am, you give the algorithm enough time to spend your budget and you give the campaign a better chance to optimize.

TLDR; Your new Facebook ad campaign is first going to optimize off of the engagement it receives, then off of the first person who makes a purchase. If your first sale is made by your ideal customer “avatar” then your ad is likely to optimize inside a hot pocket and perform well. If your first purchase is a random one off purchase, your ad’s performance will likely drop off after some time. This is why we set up our campaigns in such a way that we give ourselves many chances at optimization. A simple duplication and relaunch could make the difference for you. People are creatures of habit. Schedule your campaigns to start when you know your audience is online.

Hopefully you learned something new or at least sparked some new ideas for your next campaign. Either way, good luck and thanks for reading.

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