Save Time and Costly Mistakes with Facebook’s New Automated Rules

by | Jan 27, 2017 | Facebook, Social Media Marketing Tips

Automation won't replace you...but it can help youVoice activated kettles and lightbulbs aren’t exactly what I had in mind for the future when I was a kid. Growing up watching the Jetsons promised so much more.

Colm, AIM’s in-house SEO expert is also passionate about automation. Armed with his beloved Google Home he is determined to create the smartest house in Ireland. If nothing else he provides plenty of amusement for us in the office with his fast boiled tea and lightbulbs that cost as much as my first car.

Automation may not have reached the imaginings of my childhood, but it is becoming increasingly sophisticated.

As a marketer, you may fear and love automation in equal measures. Rest easy. It may be 2017, but there are no signs of Hal 9000 taking over your marketing job anytime soon (if you’re too young for the 2001: A Space Odyssey reference…the machines don’t look to rise Terminator-style anytime soon).

Like most automation, there’s still a need for the human touch so marketers should embrace these tools and recognise they’re there to help, rather than try to make you redundant.

Mike Kelliher – from Threefold Systems, our sister development company (also an Agora business) – and I are giving an automation presentation at our conference in Florida in a couple of weeks. We’ll be looking at how consumers are using technology like voice search, and how you might be able to make the most of those opportunities.

While it’s all interesting stuff that we need to stay up-to-date with, we’ll be more focused on the practical aspects of automation, and how it can assist marketers and developers to be more efficient and productive. Or let’s be honest: how we can be strategically lazy.

Colm and other colleagues will be joining us for a workshop later in the day too, where we’ll dive a little deeper into the automation – how it affects, and can help, you. So be sure to hit Colm up about his obsession with automation (and while you’re at it ask him what became of his Smart Polish Wallet in Paris).

Introducing…Facebook Automated Rules

Spoiler alert: one specific tool we’ll discuss at that workshop will be a new innovation from Facebook that has just been rolled out to all advertisers.

If you manage FB ads, it should be a welcome addition to your toolbox. Likely you have multiple campaigns, adsets, and ads to keep an eye on. And as FB tries to focus on a better user experience by reducing bad ads and fake news, it’s more important than ever to monitor those efforts on a daily basis.

Say hello to FB automated rules…

They allow you to set up very specific alerts – and even automated actions – based on a range of variables including CPAs, daily spend, frequency and reach. This may help reduce some of your more mundane daily tasks or at least reduce the chance you’ll miss important changes to your KPIs that may be problems or offer opportunities for scale.

Rules can be applied to specific – or all – campaigns, adsets and ads and for various time ranges. The current actions you can take if the rule conditions are met are:

  • Turn off
  • Send notification only
  • Adjust budget
  • Adjust manual bid

You can choose to be notified on FB directly or via email. You can also select other people with access to the ad account to receive notifications.

How to Create a Rule

Creating rules are pretty simple. You can set them up via the regular ad manager or in the Power Editor.

In Power Editor you’ll see the “Create Rule” button at the top middle of your screen. In the regular ad manager you’ll see the option in the right hand side after you click into a campaign, adset or ad, like so:

Create Rule in FB Power Editor

Once you click create rule you’ll be presented with various options, as below:

How to create a rule in FB Power Editor

The other option is to select the check box at the campaign, adset or ad level. That will bring up a menu with a “create rule” option for that specific selection, like so:

Creating specfic rules in Power Editor

Have a play around with a few different options based on core metrics that you focus on (likely that’s based on results or spend).

AIM tip: start with notifications before having FB take any actions. If you do let the FB machine take-over, be very careful about making bid adjustments which can have a significant impact on your potential reach and results. That’s often a time when the human touch may be superior.

Jon Loomer wrote a good, very detailed article about FB rules here. And you can read more on FB’s help centre for automated rules. Or feel free to reach out to me with any questions.


Grant Perry Agora

Grant Perry,
Marketing Director, AIM

P.S. Natalie wrote a more recent article on ad platform automation and how it can save you time and money. You can read it, here.