Why are my Facebook and Twitter ads delivering very low impressions?

Hello, So I setup a campaign to rent a desk at my web agency. No one's using the desk, so we figured we could rent it out to someone in the area. So I setup a Facebook CPC campaign to a very specific target audience: • Location: Within 25 miles radius of my location • Behaviours: Small business owners • Age: 24 - 65+ • Desktop: News Feed or Right Column Results Day 1: Max Bid: $0.70 (suggested was between $0.56 - 0.86) Clicks: 2 Frequency: 3.48 Reach: 601 Results Day 2: Max Bid: $0.70 (suggested was between $0.56 - 0.86) Clicks: 4 Frequency: 2.95 Reach: 632 Results Day 3: Max Bid: $0.70 (suggested was between $0.56 - 0.86) Clicks: 0 Frequency: 2.51 Reach: 336 (decline begins) Results Day 4: Max Bid: $0.70 (suggested was between $0.56 - 0.86) Clicks: 0 Frequency: 2.36 Reach: 55 (huge decline) Results Day 5 (today): Max Bid: $0.70 (suggested was between $0.86–$1.77) ---> They doubled Clicks: 0 Frequency: 0 Reach: 0 So looking at this, Facebook's ad platform essentially said this to me: "Look buddy, you don't want to spend on a CPM model, so we'll force you to start to pay more for your CPC because your offer is so niche, that you'll waste our impression inventory and not even make us a penny -- pay up or we don't help you." It seems like no matter how you try to setup your offer to be advantageous for yourself, Facebook's ad platform forces you to pay up to get a chance to sell what you want to sell. In this case, would it be worth keeping the CPC model if they'll just keep on raising the price for me? Or should I switch to CPM and hope that I'll find a buyer before I run out of budget? The same problem is happening with Twitter. I setup a Lead Generation campaign, and due to the niche-like offer, we're not getting many signups. Twitter dropped our impression count from 347/day to less than 50 a day now. I wasn't interested to take a CPM model for this campaign, because I found that running it through a CPC model guarantees you a better chance that you'll spend only on individuals somewhat interested in the offer (and I'm building my retargeting lists in the same time as tracking pixels have been setup). In a CPM model, you technically just assign a budget for XYZ impressions, and hope for the best. P.S. I also have a Google AdWords + Search network campaign running which is hyper segmented (single keyword ad groups), so that's been taken care of. I wanted to give Facebook and Twitter a shot for this offer given that we can target quite nicely in those networks -- but it seems like they're not really keen on helping offers like ours flourish in their inventory just yet... Any thoughts from other professionals?


Your interpretation of Facebook's ad platform is pretty accurate and it may not be the best fit for your purposes. This may not be the answer you're looking for, but I don't feel that traditional FB and Twitter ads offer the quality or quantity of leads you are looking for.

Given that you are hyper focused on location, you want to target groups / events / organizations in your area. You are targeting small business owners so you may want to target professional networks like LinkedIn. Posting into local groups or running ads should be more successful than FB and Twitter. You are targeting business minded people while they are on a business minded network.

I'm sure you are targeting ad networks because they are automated and light touch. But you may want to look at listing on websites like

Lastly, there's always a good old fashioned Craigslist post! :)

If you would like to talk more about your options, feel free to give me a call. Best of luck!

Answered 10 years ago

Yes-- Facebook's main goal is to make money using their real estate. Your ad is so niche that you are going to have trouble with "cheap" ads either way.

My question is why bother with "cheap ads"?

If someone is interested in your ad and if your ad is WRITTEN WELL ENOUGH to get targeted leads, then even two dollars per click should be an INSANE ROI once you lease out that desk.

Either your offer is bad, you ad is bad, or something is going wrong.

A buck per lead to sell a desk for 12 months is insanely profitable. I would sell desks every minute of the day at those rates.

Answered 10 years ago

Look at the ad itself. Is it native for the platform? Does the copy fit for your audience? Is there a photo included? Does it make the target market want to say "yes" immediately to your offer? Perhaps, if you try a few different ads with the target market on the offers that the space provides that people want in the space (coffee in the morning, etc)? Just a few thoughts. Hope it helps!

Answered 10 years ago


"Look buddy, you don't want to spend on a CPM model, so we'll force you to start to pay more for your CPC because your offer is so niche, that you'll waste our impression inventory and not even make us a penny" - love it!

As you probably know, Facebook advertising is based on the auction principle - every single minute Facebook holds thousands, even millions of mini auctions for the limited advertising space on the platform. The same way your ads get a 'quality score' on Google Adwords, Facebook will also use plenty of algorithms to give some kind of a quality score to your ads - if they're good, you might pay less, if they're worse, you'll need to pay more to get your ad shown, otherwise you'll loose the auctions and your ads won't be shown at all.

The reason your ads stopped being displayed, is, quite obviously, that something changed and you started losing the auctions. A) Maybe the competition for the same target audience increased tremendously during those days - if there are 100 more advertisers that want to reach those people, it will naturally increase the minimum bid. B) or, the quality of your ad campaign decreased. One of the big factors of the ad quality score is the click-through rates - and I'm assuming it is the main reason your ads weren't showing up anymore.

Meet Facebook Ad Fatigue. The problem/challenge with Facebook ads is that they're very short-lived. Just by looking at the results that you shared, the campaign peaked on the 2nd day - and that happens for 90% of ad campaigns. If you're reaching the same small audience, which doesn't engage with your ad during the first few days, there are very high chances they won't engage with it at all. After a few days people get tired of ads, the click-through rates decline, your ad quality score declines accordingly, and you either stop winning the auctions or you need to increase the bids to keep them going.

I generally go with the oCPM bidding type and find it very effective. If the local audience is very small though, maybe you can try out CPM instead of CPC. However, the most important thing is to deal with the ad fatigue - by always rotating the ads, changing the visuals, the ad copy, even the campaign objectives - so that the audience doesn't get bored and continue to engage with the ads.

Hope that helps, and if you'd like to discuss it further, feel free to get in touch.


Answered 10 years ago

I don't think facebook or twitter are appropriate for what you are trying to do. You would be better served with a Backpage or Craigslist ad for the space. You really are looking for an insurance agent, or a someone probably in sales that works primarily by telephone and in the field but may occasionally need an office to meet clients . Facebook and twitter just do not have the target market for this. Backpage or craigslist is where your target market goes to look. In my opinion your just wasting money with facebook and twitter ads. You might even try running an as in your local newspaper for a few weeks .

Answered 9 years ago

I will try to explain this question from Facebook perspective. To understand what had happened let us look at the reasons and their resolutions one-by-one.
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #1:
If your ads have been disapproved, Facebook will send you a notification, with the reason of disapproval, to the email address that you have registered with them. If you cannot get into your e-mail, or just can’t find the notification, you can also check your status inside Facebook’s ad manager Disapproved ads will be marked by a red circle with a white line through it. If your ad has been rejected, there are a lot of reasons why that may be. Here are the most common ones.
1. The ad features or promotes tobacco, drugs, and drug-related products (including pharmaceuticals)
2. The ad promotes unreliable and/or unsafe diet supplements (what qualifies as unreliable and unsafe is unfortunately up to Facebook and their discretion)
3. The ad is selling weapons, ammunition, and explosives
4. The ad features sensational, excessively violent content
5. The ad promises counterfeit or fake documents, such as degrees, passports, or immigration papers
6. Malware and spyware, surveillance equipment (spy cams and cell phone trackers, for example) can be found in the ad
7. The ad uses unlikely or exaggerated “before-and-after” images to promote weight loss (ads for health and weight loss products must be targeted to people over 18 years old)
8. The ad features “Adult Content”
9. Unrealistic claims or get ‘get rich quick’ schemes

Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #2:
A simple problem that is easy to forget (and fix!) is exceeding your account’s spending limit. When you are working inside of Facebook, each ad account has an individual spending limit that you can put in place. Usually, this is done to make sure your campaigns do not go over their intended total budget. You would not believe how easy it is for someone to set a spending limit and then simply forget about it as the campaign goes on. That is why it is always best to double check your spending limit before you get into the real nitty gritty troubleshooting. Once that limit has been reached, your ads will simply not spend. But luckily, it is a simple fix to make.
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #3:
When it comes to advertising on Facebook, there are a lot of rules; some of them are written down and many more are not. Among these hundreds of written and unwritten rules; one of the most forgettable, yet vitally important ones, is the 20% Text Rule. Well, according to Facebook standards, the images in your ads cannot exceed an image to text ratio of 20% – this includes logos, slogans, watermarks, and any other text that may be on your image. To put it another way, you can’t have an image for your ad that’s a giant wall of text. If your image is deemed OK, that means you have the right amount of text and your reach will not be restricted. If your image has been given a Low, Medium or High rating; that means your ad has too much text on it and that its reach, in varying degrees, will be reduced.
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #4:
Another issue that might be affecting the success of your ad is whether your bid is too low. Now if the word ‘bid’ instantly brings up images of an auction house, you are right on the money. Whenever you send your campaign out into the great advertising beyond, your ads are competing against thousands of others, at the same time, in what is more or less a giant digital auction. When it comes to picking the winner of these “auctions,” Facebook does not always look at the price. The 3 major things that factor into Facebook’s decision are:
1. Bid price – The price you are willing to pay for the desired action.
2. Estimated Action Rates – How likely your audience is to take the above action.
3. Relevance and Quality – How interesting your ads are to your audience, and the quality of those ads (which is determined by the amount of negative/positive feedback)
Based on these three factors, Facebook calculates a “total value”, and this total value is what is used to determine whose ads are shown and whose are not. Naturally, if you want to achieve the highest value possible, your goal for every campaign should be to maximize all three factors. Later, we will discuss a little bit more about Estimated Action Rates and Relevance and Quality, but for now, let us focus on the bid portion of this equation. To determine how much you want to pay, you have two options: Lowest cost or lowest cost with bid cap. By choosing “Lowest cost” bidding, you’re allowing Facebook to choose the best price for your selected action and bid competitively. For 90% of advertisers, this is a great option as it ensures that your bid price will never be set too low (and under deliver). Adding a bid cap, on the other hand, is a different case. When selecting a bid cap, you are the one telling Facebook what you are willing to pay for your action, which is accomplished by designating your average or maximum bid. Facebook even mentions that you will have trouble with delivery if your bid is too low.
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #5:
It is true what they say: you get what you pay for. There may be thousands of ‘gurus’ out there preaching that $2 campaigns can make you a billionaire with their ‘1 secret trick’ – but for 99.9% of us out there that sort of a strategy simply will not do. While your actual campaign budget has several factors that play into the cost (billing event, target audience, etc), the basic price for campaigns ranges anywhere between $2 – $10 per ad per day. This amount usually gives Facebook enough money to be able to deliver your ads to a wide enough audience to gather data that is statistically significant. A critical error that you want to avoid is running numerous adsets with multiple ads inside of them – all of which are sharing a tiny budget. The correctly budgeted campaign had far more impressions (almost 3x more) than the campaign in which I did not properly allocate enough budget.
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #6:
When you select an optimization goal, you are telling Facebook exactly what type of action you are looking for your audience to take. This, in turn, allows Facebook to target your ideal audience with even more precision. For example, let us say you’ve chosen to optimize for link clicks. Essentially what you’re doing is telling Facebook that, out of your selected audience, you’d like to target those who are more likely to click on links than others, based on their history of engagement with similar ads. This is how the Estimated Action Rates (that we mentioned earlier) are factored into the equation. Using the proper optimization goal for your campaign objective is a crucial component to narrow down your audience. However, when you optimize for conversions, problems tend to arise. Now, optimizing out of the gate for conversions isn’t necessarily the wrong thing to do – but when you do, delivery issues can occur. Typically, these problems are due to a lack of conversions. When you are optimizing for conversions, Facebook uses conversions as a “source” for finding good targets for your campaign. But if you have no conversions, the campaign ends up running for a few days and then just stops. Why is that? The simple answer is that Facebook does not know who could be interested in your campaign because it has no data (i.e. conversions) to work with.
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #7:
An often-overlooked part of the delivery equation is your Relevance Score. This score (which ranges from 1-10) is Facebook’s way of telling you how interesting your ads are to your audience, and how they are engaging (positively or negatively). Someone on Facebook can either engage in a positive way (i.e. likes, comments, shares) or negatively (hiding the ad from their newsfeed, reporting it as spam, etc…) and each of these actions will contribute to the overall score. The better the score, the more likely your ads are to be shown than others (and you will also pay less). To see your score in Facebook, just go to the Ads Manager and select your campaign. Once you are there, you should be able to edit your columns so that your Relevance Score is displayed. Once you have accomplished that you will be able to see your score, as well as positive and negative feedback (Low, Medium, or High).
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #8:
Remember that giant digital auction I mentioned earlier? Well when your audience has nearly identical interests across your campaign adsets, Facebook tries to prevent your ads from competing with one another during the “auction process. “Consequently, Facebook will prevent some of your adsets from running; while at the same time running the ones that it thinks performs better, based on adset’s previous history. When your audiences have nearly identical targeting across your campaign’s adsets, Facebook tries to prevent your ads from competing against each other during the auction process. If your ads are running like they are supposed to, and none of the previously outlined solutions have worked for you, then it is checking your targeting options to see how similar they are. Thankfully, Facebook created something called the Audience Overlap Tool to help us do just that.
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #9:
As mentioned above, each ad is reviewed by Facebook’s team to verify that it meets the advertising Terms of Service. This process is handled by a combination of Facebook’s automated review systems and manual reviews done by members of their support staff. If we check Facebook’s documentation, they state that *most* ads are reviewed in 24-hours, “although in some cases it may take longer.” This means that your ads can get stuck in the review process for longer than that time frame (especially in Q4 when ad load is high).
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #10: To stop spammy and ‘clickbait’ ads, Facebook has started to disapprove and reduce the reach of ads they deem as low quality.
They have separated these low-quality types of ads into 3 main categories: Engagement Bait, Withholding Information, and Sensationalized Language.
• Engagement Bait:
We have all seen ads that ask for people to ‘like and tag your friend’ for one reason or another. What you might not know is that this is against Facebook policy, and can impact the delivery of your ads.
Facebook defines these as “Ads with spammy content asking people to engage with it in specific ways, such as requesting likes, comments, and shares” as in the example below.
• Withholding Information
You might have seen headlines like, “This ONE WEIRD TRICK cures cancer – doctors hate it!” which indicates that you will not find out what the weird trick is until you clicked. This is considered withholding information and will also reduce delivery or get you out-right disapproved.
• Sensationalist language
Facebook states that sensationalist language is “Ads that use exaggerated headlines or command a reaction from people but don’t deliver on the landing page”.
If you’re claiming that cabbage is THE MOST POWERFUL ANTI-OXIDANT KNOWN TO MAN!!!!!!, chances are you’re going to get reduced delivery.
Facebook Ads Not Delivering Reason #11:
Facebook made some game-changing moves for those who run ads with political content or on behalf of politicians. While the definition of ‘political content’ can change from country to country, one thing is certain – those who are running ads around any of the topics must carefully toe the line to be compliant with Facebook’s ToS. Facebook also states that they ‘expect these issues to change over time’, meaning that what may be considered non-political today could easily change next week.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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