An Ultimate Guide On How to Hack Facebook Ads Performance in 2019 - SEMgage Blog
An Ultimate Guide On How to Hack Facebook Ads Performance in 2019

An Ultimate Guide On How to Hack Facebook Ads Performance in 2019

Facebook has become an essential tool in the modern digital marketer’s toolbox. With 1.47 billion daily active users it is one of the most effective social media platforms for business. Facebook users are highly engaged with the content posted on the network and they generate around 4 millions likes every minute.

Sounds great, right?

However, with its enormous popularity, Facebook is continually changing algorithms, it’s getting harder and harder to get high-quality organic traffic. This is where Facebook Ads with paid advertising can help.

Some people say that Facebook is expensive. Don’t believe them, it’s really not. If you know the basics — how to set up an ad account, which type of advertising to choose, and can write a few ad copies to test — we are pretty sure you will get your first client very soon. You can start spending at little as $5 per day and see fascinating results. Moreover, in some cases, Facebook is 7 times cheaper than Twitter which is the next low-cost social media ads channel.

In this post, we’ll share with you the most effective and latest growth hacks on how to improve your conversion rates, attract more clients and get your Facebook campaigns up and running as we’ve learned at SEMgage from our years of experience.

Article Overview

5 Reasons to Advertise on Facebook

  1. People Spend an Absurd Amount of Time on Facebook
  2. Simple Setup Process and Fast Results
  3. Facebook Ad Targeting Lets You Get Very Specific
  4. Facebook Advertising Is Measurable
  5. Organic Reach Is Pretty Much Dead

The Growth Hacks Every Marketer Should Know About Facebook Ads

  1. Target the Right Audience
  2. Custom Audiences Is Your Most Essential Tool
  3. Expand Your Custom Audience to a Lookalike Audience
  4. Tracking is Our Everything
  5. Dark Posts — the Best Facebook Ads Approach Right Now
  6. Use Dark Posts for A/B Testing
  7. Always Test Everything (Even Without Dark Posts)
  8. Optimization Things
  9. Boost Post To “Inexpensive Countries”
  10. Don’t Ignore Your Landing Page


First Things First: 5 Reasons Why to Advertise on Facebook


1. People Spend an Absurd Amount of Time on Facebook

One of key strength of Facebook is its numbers. As it was calculated by Adam Levy, on average users spend more than 950 million hours on the social network each day. With 1.4 billion daily users, that means the average time spend on Facebook is around 41 minutes per day.


2. Simple Setup Process and Fast Results

You don’t need to be a millionaire, raise several rounds of investments, be a kid of rich parents or have a large enterprise to start advertising with Facebook. In reality, all you need to start is a few tens of dollars and you will start seeing results shortly.

You can even start with $5 per day just to get to know how all of this magic works. In fact, you can even attract people to your website at the cost of $0.15 – $0.50 per click, depending on the placement you choose.

Probably, the best thing about Facebook Ads is that you can start your first campaign without any specific knowledge — everything is easy and intuitive.


3. Facebook Ad Targeting Lets You Get Very Specific

The targeting options on Facebook are really impressive. You can target users by location, interests, behavior, demographics, age, gender, workplace, job title and many more.

Sell baby’s clothes online? Target females whose interests include “baby clothes” and “infant clothing”. Set an appropriate age range, let’s say from 25 to 40 years old, and even target only those users who are likely shopping online with behavioral feature. Provide business services? Specifically target users with interests in “business”, “finance” and “startups”. Probably, in this case, your target audience will be both women and men who are over 30 years old and have managing or decision-making positions at work.


4. Facebook Advertising Is Measurable

There is no guessing with Facebook Ads — you can measure everything and clearly see what you have spent and what are the results. From within Ads Manager you are able to see your results in one place, test and optimize your ads and customize the ad strategy.



Here are some most important metrics you can track:

  • Engagement – the number of times someone took an action on your post;
  • Reach – the number of people who have seen your content;
  • Impressions – the number of times your post was seen (do not confuse with reach, e.g. your ad can be shown 100 times to 10 people and that’ll mean that the reach is 10 and the number of impressions is 100);
  • CTR (click-through-rate) – shows the percentage of users that clicked your ad compared to the number of people that have seen your ad (let’s say, your ad was shown to 100 people and 10 of them clicked it, and this will mean that your ad CTR is 10%);
  • CPC (cost-per-click) – how much money you spent for one click on your ad;
  • CPA (cost-per-action) – this metrics answers the question, “are my ads paying off?”.


5. Organic Reach Is Pretty Much Dead

Perhaps you’ve heard that Facebook changed its algorithm at the beginning of 2018. Mark Zuckerberg announced that the platform attempts to make user experience more meaningful enabling to show more quality posts from family and friends in users’ timelines, and show less business and branded posts. For marketers this means that the days of organic reach are over — the truth is that less than 0.5% of your fans will actually see your content.

While a lot of brands hopelessly focus on improving their organic reach, the thing to focus on to be successful is Facebook Ads. For now, this is the only way to reach and stay connected to your customers who visit Facebook almost every day.


Get a Free Audit of Your Facebook Ad Account

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The Growth Hacks Every Marketer Should Know About Facebook Ads


Target the Right Audience

You can target audiences on Facebook with a lot of different ad targeting parameters and ad formats, you have the ability to reach specific groups of people based on their interests, demographics, location and behaviors.

The most important thing you should know about targeting on Facebook is that before launching any new campaign you have to understand your target audience. For this purpose, you can use Facebook Audience Insights Tool which allows to learn more about specific audiences. For example, if you have a business page, you can learn more who are these people that are connected with your page, what interests them according to their Page Likes, what they usually purchase, etc.



We’ve put together 7 must-ask questions that you need to ask yourself that will help you target the right audience:

  1. Where is your target audience located?
  2. What gender are they?
  3. What language do they speak?
  4. How old are they?
  5. What are their interests?
  6. Which devices do they use to hang out online?
  7. Are you going to reach new or existing customers?


Here you can find some ideas on how to target your audience on Facebook using their “Demographics” and “Behavioural” targeting options:



  • Target people with upcoming anniversary and friends of people with the anniversary.
  • Target small business owners.
  • Target people when they have a new job.
  • Target people that have traveled recently.
  • Target parents of children of different age.
  • Target people that are living abroad.
  • Target mobile device users based on the type of mobile device.
  • Target friends of people that like your page.


Custom Audiences Is Your Most Essential Tool

Custom Audiences allow marketers to target their existing customers by uploading a file with customers’ information. This list typically contains such information as name, email address, phone number, age, gender, ZIP code and date of birth. The information helps Facebook to identify those customers who have Facebook account so that they can successfully be targeted.

If you are ready to implement Facebook Custom Audiences here is an awesome hack to start with. The process has three stages:

Use your own LinkedIn profile or create a fake one and start connecting with people relevant to your industry and business goals.

When you have enough contacts, download these connections from LinkedIn.

Use them to create Facebook Custom Audience list and deliver super-targeted ads.


Expand Your Custom Audience to a Lookalike Audience

Lookalike Audience is a logical next step when you have a high-quality Custom Audience. With a Lookalike Audience tool, you can create an audience that is very similar to your Custom Audience.

Josh Fechter mentioned a really cool growth hack in the BAMF BIBLE — create a “lookalike” of your customers with the highest lifetime value.

First of all, calculate the lifetime value for your customers. Here is a very simple formula for it:



The next step is to take 20% of the customers with the highest lifetime value (according to Pareto Principle where 20% of the customers create 80% of revenue) and upload their emails into Facebook to create a new Custom Audience.

Important note: For better targeting, exclude the Custom Audience that you’ve used to create the Lookalike Audience.


Tracking is Our Everything

As with any digital marketing, tracking things is the ultimate privilege we have compared to other forms of advertising. And Facebook makes it incredibly simple with Facebook Pixel. Once installed, the Facebook Pixel acts the same way that Google Analytics code does — it goes to all of your pages and helps you track anything you want in addition to being able to create any audiences you want.

There are two most effective remarketing audiences you can create after installing Facebook Pixel:

  1. Customer File Audience: You can upload a list of your customer emails that Facebook will match to accounts for you to remarket to.
  2. Website Traffic Audience: You can create a remarketing audience based on previous websites visits.



Just an interesting fact for you to know – Facebook Remarketing Ads generate 3 times more engagement than regular Facebook Ads.


Need help with setting up tracking for your Facebook Ad account?

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Dark Posts — the Best Facebook Ads Approach Right Now

Dark posts are targeted ads on Facebook that don’t appear on your timeline after posting, they also don’t show up in your followers’ feeds. Alternatively, they appear as sponsored content in the feeds of users you’ve targeted with ads. You can use dark posts across ad sets without fear of likes, shares, and comments being reset.

As of today, you can’t create a single ad in ad set and use it again in another ad set while keeping the social proof it has accumulated. All new ads created within an ad set start from ground zero, and that’s why dark posts can be so powerful. They allow you to save all those likes, shares and comments that you have accumulated and continue to get more of it when you use the ad across other ad sets.

How to create a Facebook dark post?

  1. Go to the Ads Manager.
  2. In the upper left-hand corner click Ads Manager menu and then All tools to expand the window.
  3. Under the Create & manage tab choose Page posts.
  4. If you manage multiple Pages, select the Page you want to create the dark post from.
  5. Click Create Post.


This is how the interface for creating an unpublished page post looks:



Use Dark Posts for A/B Testing

Dark posts are very useful to conduct A/B tests, online polls and surveys. Let’s say you want to figure out which one of two headlines for your blog post people like more: run two different ads with the limited budget and check which one works better for you.

Some more ideas for A/B testings with dark posts:

  • Test cover photos for your new blog.
  • Test different value propositions for your service or product.
  • Test different target audiences.


Always Test Everything (Even Without Dark Posts)

Research that was conducted by Consumer Acquisition shows that images are the most important parts of your ads — 75% to 90% of your success depends on image performance. Here are few ad design hacks that will help you increase CTRs and conversion rates.


Add your value proposition in the ad image.


Keep your image copy short.


Create emotional designs.


Show your product in action.


Show the “before” and “after”.


And don’t forget to test your ad copy, here you can find some useful ideas:

  • Stay focused on one call-to-action.
  • Keep it short.
  • Use simple to understand language.
  • Include some numbers.
  • Match your copy to your compelling image.


Optimization Things

Keep mobile and desktop ads separate

Use separate ad sets for mobile and desktop so you can optimize your ads, bids and conversions based on a device. Ads and calls to action are likely to perform differently on desktop versus mobile, and any ad setup should take that into account.

Optimize desktop news feed and right-column ads separately

We would recommend you to create different ad sets for different ad placements. For instance, if you choose to advertise in the desktop news feed and right column, create separate ad sets for each of them.

Don’t optimize too early

You should make decisions about optimization based on a minimum 10,000 impressions to guarantee that you are making the correct adjustments to improve your ROIs. Wait at least 1-2 days before making any assumptions.


Boost Post To “Inexpensive Countries”

There’s a list of countries that get cheap cost per click. For example, you can get 500 likes on your posts with only $4 in ad spend. This strategy is very useful when you want to blow up your numbers for social proof purposes. Get 30 likes for 1 cent each and then go back to the settings and change the targeting to your “real” target audience. With this tactic, it is more likely that new people will engage with the post, too.

Here is the list of some countries to target for cheap clicks:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, S. Africa, Thailand, Trinidad, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, UAE, Venezuela, Vietnam.

Note: This is not a long-term strategy. This is an advertising method for a short-term gain to help your page and posts establish credibility and nothing more.


Don’t Ignore Your Landing Page

If you set up Facebook Ads and it’s bringing you a lot of traffic, but almost no conversions, there are a few reasons why it could happen:

  • Your target audience is too broad.
  • Your ads are not relevant to the information that target audience sees on your landing page.
  • Your landing page is bad.

Before launching ads test every landing page or separate pages of your website in terms of load speed, user experience, relevance, etc. A good landing page should have a clear call-to-action, good product descriptions and visuals, be easy to navigate, and match your ad offering. If you want to learn more about tips for optimizing your landing page, take a read of this blog post.



We hope that at least a few of these growth hacks will be useful for your next Facebook Ads campaign and you will watch your conversions go up.

Can you think of any other Facebook Ads hacks that could improve advertising performance? It would be really great to get your thoughts in comments or via email. Chat with you there!

By the way, if you’d like some help creating and managing your Facebook Ads campaigns, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.


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