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‘It’s super wonky’: Ahead of Black Friday, ad buyers and brands are having issues with Facebook’s Ads Manager

November 18, 2019

By Kristina Monllos

Ad buyers are frustrated (again) with Facebook Ads Manager. 

Reasons vary: Some buyers are encountering numerous error messages while setting up campaigns, delayed approval times for ads (especially for dynamic creative), as well as reporting inconsistencies. That’s led to lower returns on ad spend, around 1.5X or below, for some of the buyers’ clients, according to agency sources. While Facebook Ads Manager has had issues over the past year, it has ramped up over the last two to three months, according to buyers who say they are anxious yet hopeful that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will make up for it.

Buyers are unsure of the cause as Facebook hasn’t sent out a communication to account for the issues or why they may have increased in frequency in recent months, according to agency sources. Facebook Ads Manager is notoriously unpredictable, as it has gotten worse before, but buyers say recent months have been more difficult than in the past. That’s left buyers — especially those working for e-commerce and direct-to-consumer brands — to come up with their own theories as to why the platform seems to be more frequently glitchy or buggy. 

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

“The rough consensus is that people think Facebook is doing major updates to the platform,” said Zach Stuck, founder and CEO of Homestead Studio, an agency that manages between $500,000 and $750,000 a month spent on Facebook Ads Manager for clients. “We just have to deal with it while they figure it out on their end. It truly feels like they are doing major updates to the ads platform and that’s what’s causing the majority of the errors we’re running into.” 

Gil David, a Facebook ads specialist for e-commerce clients in Ireland, has found that when comparing his clients’ performance on Facebook Ads Manager year over year, there’s a significant drop in performance, with one down 30% year over year. “They’ve had problems throughout the year, and there have been more outages on a regular basis,” said David. “There’s been a lot of change on the back end of Facebook Ads Manager, too, which could be part of what’s going on.” 

As they make tweaks to their system, things break or slow down and you see weird things happen to your accounts,” said Metric Digital CEO Kevin Simonson. “Facebook tools are inherently imperfect; they break. I have no data to back this up, but I have a lot of conversations, and it [seems like this is happening more now.]” 

One example of those “weird things” might be that the manual bid strategy set will stop working, said Simonson. “Say you have a manual bid strategy to stop spending money if the bid goes over $75. You’ll go to bed, wake up and it’ll have spent a shit ton of money, way over $75 dollars. You’re like, wait, that’s not what I told …read more

Source:: Digiday