Have you heard of the “Facebook Breakdown Effect?”

When running ads, you may notice that some ads have a better performance than other ads, BUT those ads stop showing to people. Why is that?

Example: the attached screenshot shows a campaign I ran on my own ad account.

As you can see the ad with the highest REACH (983) got me 5 leads at $8.36 per lead.

BUT… The ad below was getting $6.77 per lead, yet Facebook decided only to show the ad to 118 people.

This effect is why people often think “Facebook is trying to steal your money.” A deeper analysis of the data reveals that NO- Facebook is actually SAVING me money.

This is the “Breakdown Effect,” and NOT understanding it will cause you to completely ruin your chances at Facebook marketing.

A newbie advertiser would turn off all other ads but the $6.77 per lead ad, thinking that they will now get consistently $6.77 per lead.

HOWEVER what would likely happen if you did that (and I know, I’ve made this mistake before) is the ad would completely fail and end up getting me like $21 per lead or something like that.

Facebook’s machine learning algorithm analyzes what ads are truly performing better than other ads- they also are highly capable of predicting which ads will do well in the future.

This is why Facebook has effectively stop showing the $6.77 per lead ad, even though the initial result appears to be better than the $8.36 per lead ad.

We can also check the other data metrics to prove the Machine Learning Intelligence:

First the CPM for the “cheaper” ad is significantly higher, and the “unique link click through rate” is significantly lower too. While I got lucky with this lead, Facebook knows that this ad will perform worse than my other ads!

You can also see that the second ad had a better unique link click through rate and cheaper cost per link click, yet still the first ad still has the best cost per lead compared to the second.

So, this can all sound complicated, but here is the most important take-away:

Do NOT turn off ads within an adset. Analyze the adset or campaign as a whole to determine the success of it. Turning off the ads does some other complicated stuff to the algorithm which is a story for another day.

Of course if the ad set/campaign as a whole is bombing, then turn that off.

Think of it like this: the campaign is the leader, the ad-sets are the generals, and the ads are the front line soldiers.

All because a few ads fail doesn’t mean you should turn them off. And all because a few ads APPEAR to be running well doesn’t mean they will continue to run well.

Like a general, you need to think of the front line as a whole, and not get too caught up in the individual workings of your ads.

As demonstrated here, the Facebook algorithm is incredibly intelligent, and micro-managing the algorithm will only have negative effects.

Some ads may appear to do well (better cost per result), however deeper analysis reveals that yes, Facebook is right and we should not micro-manage our ads. Doing so leads to total campaign failure.

For further understanding google “Facebook Breakdown Effect” because not understanding this will really mess up your ads game.

What do you think of this?

Thanks – Michael