Facebook Ad Stops Running Suddenly

Posted on 2013-01-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-01-16
Hi there,

I've been running a Facebook Ad for 40 days now at $80 a day without problem and with great success. Yesterday I decided to cater to the mobile users by creating a Sponsored Story. I created this Sponsored Story under that ad that was running for 40 days (part of its group).

All of a sudden, the main Ad stopped running and generating clicks, post and page likes, even though nothing was changed in it and it says "Active". If I click "Edit" in both ads, I see that the budget is $80.  The sponsored story does run but its reach is only 350K people compared to 1.6M for the Main Ad.  Also, sponsored stories are great to generate engagement but not to generate page likes so I really need to get that Ad running again.

Any ideas on what may be wrong here?  My hypothesis is as follows:

- Facebook generates more revenues with the Sponsored Stories because the CPM is higher
- Since I have both running under the same budget group of $80, Facebook sends all the funds to that one story.  Can someone confirm this?  

You can see a screenshot of both ads here:


You'll notice that the 2nd one (the main ad) is at 0 everywhere for January 16.

Thank you,
Question by:melkiades
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38784868
Look at your 4th bullet point....  "friend who liked...." is a subset of the first 3 so your numbers go down.

Author Comment

ID: 38784878
Hmm, I don't think you read my email correctly.  Please read it again, thank you.

Author Comment

ID: 38784885
Look at the 2nd ad, it targets 2.6M people but it stopped generating hits and clicks as of yesterday, exactly at the same time as the Sponsored Story was published, the one that aims friends who liked...and that one only has 350K targeted users.
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38784905
The sponsored story does run but its reach is only 350K people compared to 1.6M for the Main Ad
Look at your 4th bullet point....  "friend who liked...." is a subset of the first 3 so your numbers go down.

What is the shortened version of your question if I don't have this correct?

You start with 1.6 million people.  You then add another param for only friend you liked something else.   That brings down the number.     Draw 2 circles and cut them out.   Now on circle one write 1.6M and on circle 2 write  1M.   Now, put circle 2 on top of circle 1 so just half of circle 2 is on circle 1.  Where they intersect write 350K.  The 350K represents the portion of people that are both in circle 1 and circle 2.  But there are people in circle 2 that are not in circle 1.

Author Comment

ID: 38784928
I see what you're saying now but no.  Please let me explain more in details:

- I have two ads running
- These two ads should be independent
- They are part of the same campaign
- The Main Ad aims at 2.6M people
- The Sponsored Story at 350K
- The Sponsored Story does not show up at the same place as the other ad:

1. it shows up on mobile devices while standard ads don't
2. it has a different look: they force you to use the Page's profile image
3. the text is different

Nothing says anywhere that you cannot run two ads concurrently.

My hypothesis is that Facebook assigns all funds to that Sponsored Story because the CPM cost is much higher, thus they're making *much more money* with it.   I just read an article stating that Facebook's stock quote jumped 20% since they implemented this strategy.  I just need to confirm that it's the cause of my problem here.

LVL 53

Accepted Solution

Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 700 total points
ID: 38784934
if your question is how to control one add from eating up all of your budget, make them 2 separate campaigns.   There are more people in your first target then the 2nd by 5 times so you would expect that add to go 5 times faster.  However, the type of campaign obviously has something to do with how much it is acted on.   There is not going to be a direct correlation with potential and actual.  To ensure your 2nd campaign get's used, give each different budgets.

Author Comment

ID: 38784935
Also, please note that when you create an Ad, Facebook automatically creates a Sponsored Story with the "Friends of people who Liked..." setting.  Your explanation doesn't work because it would mean that each time Facebook does that, it prioritizes the Sponsored Story, rendering your main ad useless.  In the ST's, there is no way to remove that setting...it's a tool to cater to the friends of your friends and it should be able to run on its own without affecting the main ad.

Author Comment

ID: 38784940
I just read your last post, thank you.  I will try this and it was basically what I was asking at the end of my initial post: does Facebook sucks all the $ for the ads that are more profitable to them?  I think that it's what they're doing...

I'll test your theory, now my issue is that I'll have to kill one of those two ads to put it out of the campaign, in another campaign, losing the aggregated stats for it in the process. Arhgmp.  Will get back to you ASAP on the result.
LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38784979
Hopefully you are tracking the actual results of each campaign be it facebook or google or bing or whatever.   Personally, I don't understand paying for "Likes".    If you buy an ad on google for instance, you can target multiple landing pages and do A/B tests to hone in what is actually bringing in the $dough.   I am interested if you can trace the $80 bucks to anything.  What happens to your bottom line if you kill facebook ads and do a google adwords campaigin?

Good luck.

Author Comment

ID: 38785116
Hi Padas,

Let me first answer our issue: you were correct, I paused the sponsored story and data started kicking in for the main ad:


My next step is to create a sponsored story in a separate campaign in order to control its budget like your suggested.  Excellent!  Awarding you the points right away!

About your last post:

Likes are important.  We're promoting a movie here (a very good one btw hehe!) and we needed to build a community, we started from scratch.   To do so we had no choice  but to invest in FB ads.  About Adwords: I much prefer the platform, it's far superior than Facebook's, but it is a known fact that you cannot create an Ad with Google for which the landing page points to Facebook.  When you try that, you're competing against other bidders for what Google sees as the same landing page, facebook.com/.  It ignores the fact that facebook.com/xxx is different than facebook.com/zzz.

You could also argue that Adword could serve bringing people to your website and creating a community there: I think this is more and more difficult.  People at large and our public in particular live on Facebook.  The time-on is ridiculously high for Facebook and this means that they do a lot of things while in there, one of them is interacting with Pages like ours.  

I'm not a Facebook afficionado, rather pro-client and their best interest is on that platform at the moment.  Hopefully it'll change as others emerge and are better (with a better overall philosophy, I mean).  Facebook has managed to convince the world to go back to a closed AOL platform.  People are trusting them with their messaging and chat and entire life. It's ridiculous but it seems that it's what people want.

LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38785258
@melkiades my contact info is on my profile area here http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_5984857.html

I'm working with some folks on an indie film and would like to hear what has worked/not worked for you. https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoRot

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