Facebook to make change to ad reach estimations

Posted on October 11, 2021

 

Social media giant Facebook recently announced a change to its advertising platform, which will affect advertisers’ knowledge of the potential reach of their ads.

Currently, when setting up a Facebook ad, the social network provides a reasonably specific figure it believes an ad campaign will be viewed by, with this based upon the targeting options selected. This is the same for when advertisers are setting up an audience using interests and demographics.

With the planned change, however, this specific figure is set to be scrapped and scaled back to a broader estimation.

In a statement, Facebook explained:

“In order to make the presentation of those pre-campaign estimates consistent, we are changing Potential Reach and interests into ranges instead of specific numbers, which is how Estimated Daily Results are already presented. As part of this update, we will also be changing the name of Potential Reach to Estimated Audience Size.”

It also said that this new range-based figure was more in line with how audience estimates are given on other online advertising platforms. An example of the new Estimated Audience Size is below:

As the example shows, this figure is much broader, with this particular example being shown to between 10 to 20 million people – a ridiculously large range, with the 10m figure in the balance having the potential to make all the difference to the effectiveness of an ad campaign.

This could have a significant impact on ad campaigns. Just last week, for example, I was reviewing some Facebook Ads that weren’t converting as well as they could, and I believed this was because the audience was too small. Facebook told me the audience was around 1,000 people. By making one small change and adding a new interest to the audience targeting, I was able to bring the audience figure up to 6,100 people. This is a significant audience size change, and one that made a difference – the reach, impressions and link clicks of the ads started to rapidly increase once I’d actioned it.

With the new estimation system, I may not have made this change, especially if I was presented with an estimated audience of 1,000-10,000 people, for example. When I added the new interest, this figure wouldn’t have changed, and I may have wondered if there was any point in changing the audience at all – this is something advertisers are now going to have to carefully bear in mind.

The new Estimated Audience Size will be used in place of the existing Potential Reach and Estimated Daily Results sections, alongside being shown when selecting interest criteria for an audience.

When it comes to the Potential Reach section of creating an ad campaign, this should always be taken with a pinch of salt anyway – Facebook often displays a low figure just to get advertisers to increase their ad budgets, and so the switch to estimation likely won’t make that much of a difference.

If you need help in setting up and managing your Facebook Ads, we can help here at Engage Web. Speak to our team today and we can discuss how an ad campaign could benefit your business.

Digital Marketing Executive at Engage Web
Emily is no stranger to the world of online content. By the age of just 14, a novel she wrote on the story-writing website Wattpad had amassed more than a million views!
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