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Relevance Scores - Emer Kelly Digital Marketing and Graphic Design

Relevance scores, how relevant are they?


Advertising on Facebook can be a tough game. Many advertisers tear their hair out over why Facebook seems to favor some ads over others. Lucky for us, Facebook has just implemented a new change that should eliminate some of the guesswork. They have rolled out relevance scores that will score your ad from 1-10 and help determine how many people will see your ad and how much it will cost you.

Facebook’s official update on relevance scores reveal that they are nothing new. They have been used for a long time to determine how often Facebook will show an ad and to whom. What’s new is that we’re now being invited to see them. The score is calculated on how much positive and negative feedback they expect to see from an ad. Although it’s not made quite clear, it seems that Facebook will base its projections on past interactions. Each ad in an ad set needs to have reached 500 impressions before its relevance score will be displayed. The score is updated in real time, and will likely change throughout your campaign as users interact with it.

Facebook defines positive interactions as clicking, liking sharing or commenting on a post. Hiding or reporting an ad it is regarded as a negative interaction and will lower you relevance score.

*Note that ads that have been bought through reach and frequency will not be impacted by the new relevance score. Those affected will be advertisers with specific objectives such as website conversions and app installs.

This is a fantastic new tool for businesses as it can lead to significantly lower advertising costs. The closer you can keep your relevance score to 10, the less your campaign will cost. If your score dips, it’s a sign that something isn’t working and it might be time to update or rethink your creative. Relevance scores also widen the field for experimentation and will give you a very solid metric by which to compare different ads within an ad set. As I have said before on this blog, experimentation is key.

How relevant are Facebook’s relevance scores?

Although important, relevance scores will not become the only factor in determining an ad’s success.  A high relevance score is not a replacement for a high bid. An ad with a high relevance score and a high bid will still fare the best, and if you ad seems to be faring well with just an average relevance score, it might be best to leave well enough alone. As Facebook puts it:

Say, for instance, you own a pizza shop and want to run a campaign that drives people to order through your website. Achieving the desired outcome — in this case, driving sales online — is ultimately more important than your relevance score. If you have an average score but your ad is working, you may not want to change anything. Or you may consider tweaking the ad to see how you can get lower cost of delivery by improving the relevance score. Or you might monitor your relevance score, along with the sales you’re driving, to learn when it’s time to update your campaign.

To view your relevance score, head on over to ads manager, go to the reports section, click on ‘Customize Columns” and add relevance scores. You might also find it helpful to add columns for positive and negative feedback.

Relevance scores have been rolled out globally this week and it will be interesting to see how they start affecting digital marketing. Have you had an experience with them yet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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