Facebook Relevance Scoring Debunked

24/03/2015

In February Facebook rolled out relevance scores for campaign ads. For a lot of advertisers this is the opportunity to see how well their creative is performing in terms of relevance to their audiences however it’s worth noting that this shouldn’t be the only measure of success for your campaigns.

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Similar to the Newsfeed, Facebook wants to ensure that the ads being shown to users are the ones most relevant to them as well as helping ensure better results for advertisers. Whilst this is a new function that will appear within the advertising UI it’s important to keep in mind that this has always been a part of the platform and running in the background. The below screenshot shows how the Relevance score will appear within the ad reporting tools.

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The score shown above is calculated on the Positive or Negative feedback that an ad is expected to generate from the target audience. Positive feedback depends on the objective of the ad but could be video views, conversions etc whereas negative feedback is the result of users reporting ads or hiding it. The scores will be updated as people interact with the ad, as a result if more people click on the ad the higher the score will be where as if lots of users are hiding the ad then the score will decrease. I believe this could become a potential trap for advertisers as they become too focused on trying to generate a high relevance as opposed to measuring the impact that the ad is having on their marketing campaign goals. This is similar to the strong emphasis that is placed on getting ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ on organic posts, the total level of engagement with that post isn’t necessarily reflected in that number (think Dark Social).

The relevance score feature will provide benefits to advertisers in that it can allow for ad copy / creative testing with specific audiences to measure which ones achieve better results. When the best performing ad is identified it can then be rolled out to the wider audience or used to improve ads in the future.

It’s worth noting that relevance is only one of the factors that the Facebook ad delivery system takes into account. Understanding the relevance scores of campaigns will have a positive impact for advertisers and planners alike with regard to creating more relevant and engaging ads, however it’s important to not use it as a key measure of success for all ads. Take the below example into account;

If you own a shop that sells products through an online store, then the goal is to drive sales online – not achieving a high relevance score. So if you were to be running an ad campaign and the ads are driving sales, but the relevance is low it’s likely you’d not want to change anything as the ad is delivering on the desired goal.

In the above example there is no need to change the ad unless you wanted to try and increase its relevance, but you also run the risk of altering the ad to the detriment of sales.

Overall we believe that the use of relevance scores will help to make for more engaging ads based on a test and learn feedback cycle however we need to ensure that this is weighed against the goals of a campaign and the impact that the ads are having.

 

                                                              

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