The Complete Checklist for Managing Campaigns on Facebook That Will Solve More Than 90% of Your Problems

Facebook is one of the two advertising giants globally, with a significant share of all digital advertising budgets and complete control over social ads. Using Facebook ads, marketers activate their ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

Facebook’s advertising system has become very sophisticated over the past year and now offers advertisers a more comprehensive range of options than ever. This checklist is intended to help experienced advertisers in the Facebook advertising system and set up campaigns while making sure not to omit necessary actions when setting up, managing, and analyzing campaigns.

How can you get the most out of this post? When you set up/run a Facebook campaign, keep this checklist by your side and go through all the sections to ensure that you have not forgotten the essential detail for the campaign’s proper course. Does this list cover all the advertising options on Facebook? No, but it is suitable for most of the common campaigns.

The purpose of this checklist is not only to produce the best campaigns, but to also make sure they are connected to your business goals. If you follow the relevant items for you in this checklist, you will build more successful campaigns over time.

From our experience and tracking issues in the campaigns of other advertisers, keeping track of this list will solve over 90% of the common problems in Facebook campaigns (as of March 2021)

Comments for the checklist:

This checklist is not intended to teach you how to use Facebook as an advertising system. It is designed for those who already run campaigns, know the system, and just want to make sure they build their campaigns optimally and not forget anything. If you feel that you do not know a particular topic – it is highly recommended to learn about it.Is there a V on all the topics in this list? No. But it is also recommended to use it and examine each of your campaigns.

Here’s what this article will cover:

Before you start working on a new account – what should you check? Security Websites Mobile Apps Lead Forms Facebook Catalog (mainly for commerce sites) Naming conventions Before the campaign – what exactly do we want to achieve? Campaign Level Ad set Level Targeting Lookalike Audiences Ads Creative Ad Policies Just before we’re clicking on the “Publish” button. Facebook Advertising Reports Experiments on Facebook Maintaining the day-to-day campaign management. Tests to perform on a daily basis Weekly level checks Monthly Level Testing

Before you start working on a new account – what should you check?

Is there access to the client’s Business Manager account (in the case of an agency), or do you have your business manager (work in-house)?Do you have access to all the advertising accounts and Facebook pages you work with? Is the page/ad-account sufficient for you to create campaigns?Did you check with the client on what first-party data he owns and can share? Do you have customer records? Note that the most popular identifiers will be phone numbers and email addresses.

Security

Do you have verification on each domain you are working on in your campaign? Did you complete the business verification process?

For each of the Administrators and privilege account performance (creating posts, etc.)Have you checked that they have two-factor authentication set up for logging into their accounts (via an app or a phone number)?Did you check that they have two-factor authentication on account of the email they use to log in to Facebook? (Less relevant in a company email that can be easily recovered but definitely in a Gmail email, etc.)Does he/she have a backup of account access codes in a physical location?

Websites

Do you have access to Facebook’s pixels on your account?Do you have access to changes to the website’s pixels or a direct contract with the team that implements the tag?Did you set up and rank the events in the events manager? (especially relevant for an iOS campaign within Facebook’s AEM)?Commerce Sites – Do you have tracking for the most basic operations? (View the product, add to cart, initiate checkout, purchase)Have you checked that the pixel tracking synchronized with your Facebook catalog?Do you use Advanced Matching?Do you have settings of quality users on the site even if they have not performed actions like adding to cart? In many cases, users decide that your product/service interests them but do not perform activities like Leads/sign up. These users can be used for remarketing, Lookalikes, and as a conversion event for the top-of-the-funnel campaigns.

Mobile Apps

Have you installed the Facebook SDK in your mobile apps, or are you using a third-party tracking provider like AppsFlyer?Do you have “smart links” that you can post in organic posts and know how to reference Android and iOS?Do you have conversion tracking for the in-app events according to your business goals?

Lead Forms

Are the lead forms connected to the CRM (customer relationship management) or being sent to the sales team directly? If so – do you have an orderly connection procedure (through Zapier or Integromat or other integration services) between new lead forms and CRM systems?Do the salespeople who are supposed to receive the leads get them properly?Do your salespeople know the messages of the campaign before the potential clients filling the lead? In many cases, leads from the site come more ready to buy, and we get comments from salespeople about low lead quality. Explicit coordination of expectations and an understanding of the salespeople during the campaign can prevent these problems.

Facebook Catalog (mainly for commerce sites)

Do you have an active catalog on Facebook?Is it automatically updated in correlation with your site?If you have several business departments, do you have several catalogs depending on the business activity you can tailor to your campaigns? (For example – children’s shoes, adult shoes, women, men, etc.)Have you checked out products from the catalog that you do not want to display?Does the frequency of updating the catalog match your inventory? If, for example, you have a limited stock, it is worth updating it more often.

Naming conventions

When building our campaigns, ad sets, and ads on Facebook, we have to develop systematic naming for your marketing activities. 

Using the proper naming for your campaigns will allow you to analyze your traffic across different channels and make the work consistent for all the team members.

Is it clear to you who will use this campaign name in the future and how? For example, through campaign names in Google Analytics, names in the lead forms in CRM, the campaign’s name in Data Studio reports, etc.Is there an orderly document with a definition for the correct use of names (Naming conventions) visible to all who maintain campaigns and read the reports?Do you have a shared spreadsheet with the naming conventions for the team members who will work with your campaigns across all your channels?Are all campaigns and campaign names registered with no spaces?Is there uniformity in the manner of registration? You can only use uppercase, lowercase, or uppercase letters at the beginning of a word, but uniformity is essential for all account activities.If the customer works with several advertising accounts – is there a record of the account name?Is there a definition of the purpose of a campaign within the name?Is the difference between the different campaigns indicated in the campaign name? (E.g., a separation between audiences, locations, messages, etc.)Does the date of the start of the campaign appear in the name? Does the campaign’s end date appear in the name (usually recommended for periodic campaigns)? 

Before the campaign – what exactly do we want to achieve?

When we start a Facebook campaign, we need to set clear and measurable goals that will allow us to focus on our business goals and not only on Facebook’s metrics. What, then, are the main goals we can achieve through Facebook advertising?

The highest number of clicks to a site/landing page/app – maximum relevant clicks on a given budget.“Macro” conversions on our site – Purchase, leads, etc. Maximum revenue on the site Amount of “macro” conversions in our business (offline) – maximum actions that happen in a physical framework (in-store purchases) or a sales activity (lead registered for the course) in a given budget.Amount of leads within Facebook in a given budget.Mobile app installsUser activities within apps

Campaign Level 

What do we need to check at the campaign level?

What are the goals of the campaign – do we have clear and measurable goals set for the campaign?Does all campaign activity relate to the same business purpose? Do you have one conversion event on Facebook for the entire campaign?Message/Creative – Do you have a clear message that you want to convey to your target audience?Do we have any special events that we need to plan? (Holidays, Black Friday, etc.)Is it necessary to stop the campaign on certain days? (Remembrance days, Saturdays)Is there a procedure for approving campaigns and ads with the customer/marketing manager?Note that there is a limit of 250 ads per ad account for ads with a spend of less than $ 100,000 per month. Do you prepare for this limitation in all your campaigns?If you duplicate an old campaign, did you check that nothing has changed in all the campaigns, ad sets, and ads settings? Facebook tends to make those changes from time to time (like adding automatic placements and audiences expansion)  Is the budget for the campaign clear and well known?If you have chosen to use the campaign level budget (CBO) – does it matter to you which ad set will deliver most of the budget? 

Ad set Level

Did you check that each ad set will have a clear separation between different types of audiences, different message directions, or other pricing types? (For example – if we have first-party audiences, i.e., past purchases or users who were on the site, we would like to separate it from the wide/lookalike audiences)Did you choose the most appropriate ad types for your business goals and match them to the campaign goals?Did you check the start and end dates in the ad set level?If using Multiple Pixels – Did you select the same pixel for all the Ad Sets?Is the conversion event of all the ad sets within the campaign the same conversion event?Do you have a minimum of at least 50 weekly conversion events per ad set? If not – it is very worthwhile to use a “lower” level such as website engagement or adding to cart instead of purchasing.Have you checked that the conversion attribution set according to your needs? (1-day click, 7-days click, etc.)Do you have a separation between different placements at the Ad Set level? It is highly recommended, for example, to separate campaigns that are intended for Facebook and campaigns that are intended for Instagram and/or between desktop and mobile.Have you set the maximum cost for an action that you are willing to pay? Note that on Facebook, you will always pay for impressions and not on actions.If you duplicate an existing ad set, did you check that nothing has changed in the ad set? Facebook tends to make those changes from time to time (like adding automatic placements and audiences extension)  

Targeting

Do you have a separation between audiences at different levels? For example:a completely cold audience An audience with engagement at various levelsA very hot audience to buy (add to cart, subscribe to email)An audience that has already made a purchasean irrelevant audience (employees, dissatisfied customers, etc.)Do you have a dedicated campaign/ad-set for each audience according to its behavior? The basis will be remarketing for those who visited the site and interacted with the brand on Facebook. Still, it is highly recommended to build different user messages according to his marketing funnel position.Have you examined the user behavior with the business departments? (For example – if a lead typically buys within a maximum of 14 days from the moment he/she first interacted with your brand, there is no point in continuing to target this visitor after those 14 days from his/her visit on your website)Do you have audiences based on your followers and engaged visitors on Facebook pages, Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook stores?Do you have audiences that have opened lead ads and not sent leads? It is highly recommended to pick up a campaign with a slightly different message that will direct them to the website (for example).Have you explored the options in geographical targeting? (Living in a specific place as opposed to where you used to live).Customer Lists – Did you upload both a mobile phone and an email? This use usually increases the match rate versus the use of a single figure.Do you have a segmentation of low-quality users on the site and in the application? Some of the users on your site are not relevant for business activities, and it is worthwhile to exclude them.The highest-quality users will not always perform actions on the site (like “Add to cart”), and it is worth understanding what behaviors on the site indicate quality users.Do you have conversions and audience tracking through the Conversion API in addition to the standard pixel? – Facebook recommends this tool, and in Fixel, we saw it can identify 7-20% more audiences than only the Facebook pixel.Do you have audiences that are based on your CRM? (Possible through uploading records or through the Conversion API),Did you exclude customers who have already received your offer/bought on the site, and you do not want them to see it again?Do you have dedicated campaigns for existing customers? You can run Upsell campaigns for them or just give them more value to use your products.Have you checked that you did not combine too many different targeting types and reach a tiny potential target audience? It is important to note that combining several types of targeting is more of an “and” (AND) to reduce our target audience. If we want to run several different targeting types (e.g., categories or interests), we should separate them into different Ad Sets.Do you have a separate target for each country?Have you used the “Save Audience” option in case you want to use it again?Have you made a separate Ad Set for Android and iOS? In using lookalike and interest targeting (highly recommended!), Do you have enough volume of users to target? Audience Expansion on Facebook – Have you checked that you do not mind getting audiences outside of your interests? 

Lookalike Audiences

Have you checked that the audience’s size on which Lookalike is based (Audience source/seed) is between 1,000 and 10,000 users? This size is the idea for the source of the audience (according to Facebook).Do you have an audience based on your best customers? Do you check when your audience has exhausted itself? (“Ad fatigue”). In many cases, a specific audience performs well, but after a period in which it has decided whether your business interests it or not, there seems to be a significant decrease in an audience’s performance that has worked great for us.Do you have quality audiences based on recent business activity? One of the benefits of using lookalike over a relatively “short” period is that they are updated frequently and used for a more extended period. If you have over 1,000 purchases from a particular segment on the site over 3-7 days – it is recommended to use them. If not – you should use the lookalike source in an audience with very high engagement on the site.

Ads

Have you checked that you are using the right Facebook and Instagram pages for your campaign?Do your Facebook and Instagram pages’ logos and names appear to the user when he/she sees them in the feed? (The size is tiny, and it is not recommended to use it in too much detail).Do your ads match the brand language? (Colors, fonts, wording, etc.).Have you checked that all the ads are in line with the optimal ad sizes and guidelines? Facebook changes these sizes relatively frequently and you should stay up to date in this area. You can find the dimensions for ads image, video, carousel, and collection in these links. Is your landing page compatible with both desktop and mobile? If not – you have to separate your campaigns as they should be built for each of the platforms.Is there continuity between the ad creative and the landing page? Remember your business goals and create a precise sequence for the user, which will last from the moment they saw your ad until they completed the action you wanted them to perform. For website ads – do you have a (mostly UTM) tagging of the links? Do you use dynamic parameters like {{campaign.name}} to move it to a site for analysis in Google Analytics?Did you check the ad after it was created in the feed to verify its visibility? (It recommended to use the “Share a link” option and check the ads both yourself and let your customers/colleagues check the ads before airing)Did you check not to add the tagging parameters in the link but only at the ad setting itself?

Creative 

Have you checked that your title attracts the customers it needs to attract? Have you checked that your message best suits your audience?Are your photos attractive and of good quality?Do you explain to the user what will happen after clicking the link?Does your text or image include a clear call to action?Did you choose to use the correct emojis? Some emojis are not supported on Facebook and Instagram and it is worth checking their visibility in the feed as the ad airs.Have you checked what the ad looks like in all the different placements and checked that the text has not been cut problematically? Note that in-feed ads, the user will see “Continue reading” instead of ads in other placements that will be cut completely.Do you take care not to exaggerate with the same message to the same audience? Remember that the creative needs to be refreshed more frequently when working with relatively small audiences than in campaigns with a broad audience.Instagram – Have you checked that there are no links within the body of the ad? Note that they are not clickable.Videos – Do you have vertical, horizontal, and cube videos? It is worth checking out the different sizes on Facebook, and you should take these issues into account already at the stage of producing and planning.Videos – are the first 3 seconds attractive enough for the user to continue watching the content?Videos – Do you have transcripts of the content? Keep in mind that most users do not use sound when they go through a feed.Carousel ads – have we only used images that match those ads? Please note that they can only be used in pictures or square videos.Carousel ads – does the order of appearance of the products matter? Note that you can control the order or let Facebook choose the best for you (this is the default).Stories – Do we have a dedicated creative for the Stories? Notice the difference in size (towers) and call to action (swipe versus click).Mobile apps – is it clear to the user that he is going to download an app?Mobile Apps – Is there continuity between your ad and the app download page? Mobile apps – Did we use an image that includes the user’s device (an iPhone/Galaxy/iPad frame according to the appropriate targeting)?Messenger/WhatsApp Ads – Do you have a bot that can filter the initial responses? Messenger/WhatsApp Ads – Is there a human, on behalf of the customer or on your behalf, who knows how to answer real users’ questions about your product/service if the bot failed to respond? Despite improvements in the field of AI, there will still be users with additional questions, and the topic needs to be evaluated before launching a campaign for these tools.Collection ads – have we selected the appropriate catalog for the ad? Are the products in the collection connected to the creative we uploaded?

Ad Policies

In many cases, Facebook disqualifies ads, campaigns, and even advertising accounts if they do not comply with its advertising policies. It is highly recommended for anyone involved in the field to read all of Facebook’s advertising policies once in a while.

Note the key points from Facebook’s advertising policy and the fact that it applies to both ads and landing pages.

Pay attention that Facebook has a very clear language on specific topics and a very ambiguous language on others. After reading the list here, note that you are simply doing your advertising in good faith. 

These are the main points to pay attention to:

You should not promote landing pages that surprise the user and do not match what they expected when they click on the ad.Do not promote illegal products in your country.Do not produce discrimination between genders, ages, and areas of ??residence. Note that advertisers in real estate areas and job offers have different restrictions, which should be examined according to your activity.Identifying information about the user should not be used. For example, according to Facebook rules, it is forbidden to upload a complete list of customers calling them “John” and then build an ad with “John, We have a special offer for you.”You must not tell the audiences that you’re targeting his interests. For example – you should not say, “We know you’re a fan of the Lakers,” but you can say “special offer for the LA Lakers fans.”It is prohibited to promote drugs or drug use.It is prohibited to promote Weapons.It is prohibited to promote adult content.Your ads should not be violent, brutal, or cause discomfort to viewers.Your ads should not be misleading.Do not promote functionality that does not exist in your products/services.Do not promote “before/after” images (especially in health) or guarantee results that are not considered reasonable for most users of your service.Do not promote short-term loans, repayment of checks/salaries, and guarantees.Do not promote cheating or infidelity.Do not promote multi-layered marketing. Do not promote scams or fraudulent activities.Advertising against vaccines is not allowed.It is forbidden to promote systems that bypass Facebook’s advertising system (note that if you have a redirect within the landing page, you are immediately suspicious)Do not infringe upon the intellectual property of businesses or individuals.

There are certain areas where advertising policies need to be examined in-depth. They have additional limitations, and a Facebook representative should be consulted before advertising to get approval for your campaign. Found among these areas are:

Political ads AlcoholGambling and casinos Pharmacies and drugsRegistration for subscribersBranded contentCrypto services (Bitcoin, etc.)Treatment of addictionsCosmetic product and weight loss

For lead ads, some parameters should not be asked of the user. These include:

Account numbersFinancial information about the customerID numbers, license, passport, and any government certificateHealth status Insurance statusSexual orientationUsername and password for various services

Please note that this list changes and does not include all Facebook prohibitions. Enforcement on this list varies, and it is recommended to go through the complete list (including the additional information in the relevant sections for you) at https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/.

Just before we’re clicking on the “Publish” button.

Have you checked that the upload ended successfully and without errors?Have you checked that the campaigns, ad groups, and all relevant ads are active?Have you checked (every few hours and/or days) that all your ads have been approved and there are no issues with them?

Facebook Advertising Reports

Did you first check the results that are important to you at the business level? When analyzing the reports, it is worthwhile to consider the realization of the campaign’s business goals.Do you have enough information to make decisions? In many cases, we may make decisions according to information that is still within the statistical error (For example, a campaign with four sales is not necessarily four times better than a campaign with one sale) or make decisions too late. Then we spend too much of the budget on the test part.Do you have a way to test the impact of campaigns for a “cold” audience? For example, in many cases, we will get quality traffic, but the conversions will be from a retargeting (website custom audiences) campaign. Do you check for signals that indicate the quality of traffic to your site?What is the primary reporting tool where you analyze conversions from all the platforms on which you advertise; and have you made an informed decision whether Facebook will measure in the same measurement solutions (e.g., Google Analytics/CRM/eCommerce reporting/other tracking systems) or do you rely on Facebook reports? (Hint – Don’t rely only on Facebook)Do you have offline conversions that allow you to analyze your actual activity in-store or via your sales team’s results?Did you check the results of the campaign according to the creative?Did you check the campaign results by placements?Did you set up Facebook conversions according to your needs? Note that the Conversions settings can be changed under the Attribution Window Settings option only to get conversion information after a click and not necessarily after viewing the ad.Do you keep the reports you use regularly?

Experiments on Facebook

Have you defined precisely why you are doing the experiment and what you will do with the information you receive?Has a sufficient budget been set to test what you want to achieve in order to have statistical certainty?Do you test only one variable, and all the other campaigns are precisely the same?In the case of testing audiences – have you checked that there are no other campaigns that run on those audiences?

Maintaining the day-to-day campaign management.

Tests to perform on a daily basis

Are all campaigns active?Have campaigns that should have ended, ended?Was the budget used the day before?Is there an increase or a significant decline in the indices of exposure?Did you detect any particular anomalies in conversion or click-through rates (CTR)?Did you let the campaign run for at least 48 hours before making decisions about its results? Note that you can start analyzing your campaigns once they have completed their learning mode.Are there any disapproved ad alerts or any other exceptional alert?Did you check that there are no unusual comments on the posts that require reference? (Recommended by the page content manager regularly).

Weekly level checks

Do you check your Google Analytics results and try to compare them with Facebook reports (Usually for post-click attribution)?Did you check the results on Facebook against the data in CRM or your eCommerce dashboard?Have you checked volatility in your key metrics and that your creative team is working on a creative replacement if necessary?Have you checked that the frequency of impressions/user suits your needs and does not abuse the user with too many ad impressions?Did you make the necessary adjustments to the budgets for each campaign/ad-set?Have you removed campaigns/ad-sets that do not perform well?Have you started working on new campaigns instead of the ones that are not working well?If you have Offline or Conversion API conversions that are not a conversion event in your campaign – have you checked the data against actual sales?

Monthly Level Testing

Are you learning which audiences respond best to you and use them for future campaigns?Is it necessary to prepare separate landing pages for audiences or messages that have worked exceptionally well?Have you invested resources in examining the activities of your competitors?Have you checked the loading speed on your landing pages?Is there a need to change the geographical/gender/age targeting in your campaigns? Are there segments that work significantly better or worse than others for Exclusion purposes? Are there days and hours when your assets are better converted, and you should adjust campaign times?Should specific changes be made next month? (Holidays/Elections/Sales Days)Were there any particular changes in ad sizes this month? Should there be any changes, or does the creative department need to be updated?Were there any changes in the team that runs the Business Manager, and should changes be made? Are there any new Facebook formats or tools worth exploring/testing?Automatic rulesWhat automatic rules worked this month?Is it necessary to add, change or download new rules?

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