Ultimate Guide To Best Practices For Facebook 2021


Times are quickly changing. Nowadays, almost everyone is using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone because they want to be connected with their friends, family, and colleagues. Since people are using multiple devices and switching between them throughout the day, marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to reach their customers effectively.

More than 1.5 billion people are using Facebook at this moment. Because of this, it is the perfect platforms for businesses who want to reach the right people and get positive results across devices. On Facebook, businesses can easily reach their target audience using Facebook’s advanced tools, reach people on multiple devices and also effectively measure the results of their campaigns.

In this guide we will show you how to prepare your campaign, target your desired audience, choose the right creative, show you how to optimise your ads, and more. These are the best practices when running advertisements on Facebook and setting up an effective direct response ad campaign.


Facebook Direct Response Marketing Solution


Facebook offers businesses advanced marketing solutions that will help them reach their ideal audience and demographics, get the results they want and make better decisions with their ads. Facebook can help you drive sales in your store, get opt-ins on your landing pages, or installs for your mobile app, and the tools that we’ll describe below will make your campaigns efficient and, hopefully, drive your business objective.


Facebook’s targeting solution is unmatched by any other advertising platform. Facebook enables you to target people based on your first-party data (like an email list or past visitors from your website), third-party data from Facebook’s partners, and on data people share on Facebook (their interests, behaviours, etc.). You can also try using the Audience Network to reach your audience outside Facebook on other mobile apps that are part of the Audience Network.

Core Audiences

Facebook enables you to use data based on people’s interests, location, demographics, and behaviour.

This is the core targeting option and it allows you to effectively target people based on all of the information shared on their profiles (gender, location, etc.) and the behaviour they exhibit on Facebook (their spending habits, if they moved, bought a house, got engaged, etc.). You can segment your target audience in many ways by using location, demographics, interests, and behaviours.

Facebook even gives you a way to target people based on their behaviour on other websites and other places. This is achieved through Facebook’s partnership with data providers such as Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon.

Custom Audiences

With custom audiences, you can reach people based on that data you have. Here are a few ways in which you can do this:

  • Target people based on the email list of your subscribers
  • Target people based on visitors on your website and actions taken (e.g. added to cart)
  • Target people based on engagement with your Facebook page
  • Target people based on the percentage of watch time on your videos

Lookalike Audiences

For example, if you have a list of buyer emails, you can upload it and make a lookalike audience and Facebook will go out and search for people who are very similar to those exact people and put them in your lookalike audiences. This enables you to broaden the reach of your ads and target only those who are the same type of people like your buyers.

You can create a lookalike audience from your:

  • Email list
  • Page fans
  • Website visitors
  • Mobile app customers

Facebook Exchange

With Facebook Exchange, you can remarket to website visitors, but only on the desktop. This way, you can buy desktop ad inventory through real-time bidding. Based on the activity your visitors exhibit on your website, you can remarket to them with Facebook’s dynamic product ads. This is available only for a right-hand column and link ads on desktop placement and it can be purchased through a registered DSP (demand side platform).

You can implement Facebook Exchange side by side with custom audiences and make them work together for even better results. Check out the table below to see how they are similar and how you can make them work even better together.

facebook exchange


There are multiple ad units (placements) that you can choose when advertising on Facebook. This way, you can select the placement that will work the best for your campaign. The most effective placement when you are looking for a direct response objective is the News Feed. This is because these ad units are native to Facebook and are in-stream.

Link Ads

Link ads are designed to drive traffic to your store and website. These ads will direct people from the ads to a specific page on your website.

Link ads offer:

  • Call-to-action buttons
  • A large and clickable area in News Feed on all devices
  • You can use image or video in the ad
  • You can showcase multiple products in a single ad


Creative specs for link ads:

  • Text count: 90 characters
  • Image ratio is 1.91:1
  • Image size is 1200x627px
  • Video file size: up to 1 GB
  • Video format: .MOV files
  • Video resolution: at least 720p
  • Video aspect ratio: at least 16:9
link ads


Mobile App Ads

Mobile app ads are used to get installs and engagement for your mobile apps. With mobile app install ads you can send people directly from Facebook to the Google Play, Apple App Store, and Amazon App store where they can install your app.

Mobile app ads offer:

  • A large and clickable area in News Feed
  • Call-to-action buttons that will help drive installs
  • You can use image or video in the ad


Creative specs for mobile app ads:

  • Text count: 90 characters
  • Image ratio is 1.91:1
  • Image size is 1200x627px
  • Video file size: up to 1 GB
  • Video format: .MOV files
  • Video resolution: at least 720p
  • Video aspect ratio: at least 16:9
mobile app ads

Carousel Ads

You can use ads in the carousel format with any objective that you want.

The main advantage of ads in the carousel format is that they have more real estate where you can showcase your products and brand. This will most likely increase the number of people that visit your website or install your app. When compared to regular link ads, typical advertiser sees 20-30% decrease in cost per click when using carousel ads.

You can upload 10 different images which are clickable within a single ad, plus Facebook will automatically optimise the order of the images.


Carousel Ads Offer:

  • You can use up to 10 clickable images within a single ad
  • Facebook will automatically optimise the order of images for each person
  • You can check out which

Creative Specs for Carousel Ads:

  • Text count: 90 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Link description: 30 characters
  • Image ratio is 1:1
  • Image size is 600 x 600 pixels



Dynamic product ads let you promote your product catalogue directly on Facebook.

Let’s see how these ads work. First, you need to upload your product catalogue to Facebook. Next, create a custom audience of people who have viewed, added to cart or purchased products on your website. Then, when you create a Facebook ad, you can display dynamically generated products to those people. Facebook will automatically show a relevant product to each person in your audience.

Since advertisers are using Facebook to promote their products, it can be very time consuming to design new creative and select targeting options for each product they have. Instead, you can use dynamic product ads and import your entire product catalogue. This way, you can automatically promote any product to people who visited your website (or performed a certain action on your website) without creating hundreds of separate ads.

You can easily bring potential customers back to your website or mobile app by being top of mind with people who already expressed interest in your products before. This is the ideal for anyone who wants to capture sales from people who already visited their website.

You can create your dynamic product ads once and let them run continually. This way, you will reach the right people at the right time without the need to create and configure each individual ad. These ads will also reach people on any device they use.



Facebook has several bidding options so you can choose the right one for your objective. These bidding options are cost per click (CPC), cost per impression (CPM), cost per action (CPA), and optimise for conversions.

bid types



Facebook offers several measurement solutions that you can use to effectively measure the performance of your campaigns.


Facebook Conversion Pixel

When you implement Facebook conversion pixel on your website, you’ll be able to measure conversions that happen from your ads. The Facebook conversion pixel tracks conversion across devices as well. It also reports on clicks and impressions on ads that happen within a 1-day, 7-day, and 28-day conversion window after the ad was shown.

The Facebook conversion pixel:

  • Allows optimisation for conversions
  • Works with Facebook
  • Lift measurement
  • Measures the actions of people (e.g. clicks)
  • Tracks conversions that happen across devices
  • Lets you create Lookalike audiences


One of the main advantages of the Facebook conversion pixel is that it helps you optimise your ads specifically for conversions. This means that Facebook will use real time data and show your ads specifically to people that are most likely to convert on your ad.

This way you can effectively lower the cost per action because your ads will be shown to people who are most likely to convert at the lowest price. It also optimises the delivery of your ads and this helps increase the number of conversions.


Facebook SDK & App Events

The Facebook SDK gives you the option to track actions taken in your mobile app ad such as installs and purchases. You can also choose a 1-day, 7-day, or 28-day conversion window. You will have rich insights into who are the people that buy most in your apps via App Insights.

You can also use a Mobile Measurement Partner solution instead of Facebook SDK for tracking if you want to do so. Facebook’s Mobile Measurement Partners provide you with cross mobile ad network tracking and more detailed metrics and analytics when, for example, you need to analyse your funnel.



Below you can find our recommended set of options for advertisers looking to get new customers or remarket to existing customers.

solution by objective

Driving In-Store Traffic

driving in store traffic

Driving Mobile App Installs & Conversions

driving mobile app installs




You should always have a plan before you start your campaigns. Start by asking yourself what is the main goal you’re looking to achieve and which objectives you can use that are aligned with your goal. Two main goals are acquiring new customers and remarketing. You should also know which metrics are most important for your goal and how you will measure them. This will help you create your strategy and also analyse the results of your campaigns so you can get the most out of your advertising.

Next step would be to align Facebook with your marketing efforts, meaning, put your current marketing channels side-by-side along Facebook and leverage the same process (account planning and KPIs metrics). It’s always good to think long-term so you should also consider metrics such as average order value, customer lifetime value, and downstream value.

You can also leverage your current Facebook fans. You can do this with Audience Insights which you can access from your page. There you can see geographic, demographic, and interest information that will help you to target the right people in your Facebook ads and improve the results.


Campaign Structure

Facebook has a specific campaign structure that will help you organise and optimise your ads. The structure has three levels and they are a campaign, ad set, and ad.


The campaign is on a top level and it is where you select the advertising objective that
will be applied to all ad sets and ads within that campaign. You can create multiple campaigns in your ad account and they are great for organisational purposes.


Ad set

Ad set is where you organise and select your audience, pick placements (mobile, desktop, audience network, Instagram, etc.), set budget, etc.


Ads are nested in each ad set and you can create multiple ads within a single ad set but it is recommended to use only one ad per ad set in order to properly test the ads.

campaign prep

Measure Your Results

The key to advertising is carefully analysing the campaigns and measuring what works and what doesn’t work.

1. First, you should select the objective for each campaign and define KPIs for success.

You need to have a clear objective in mind if you want to properly track the success of your campaign. The most common metrics that you might want to track are return od ad spend (ROAS), conversion rate, lifetime value (LTV), and the number of conversions.

2. Install Facebook conversion pixel on your website

Since people are using Facebook across devices, it is important to install conversion pixel on your website. This way you’ll be
able to track conversions on both website and mobile website. If you need to track conversions in your mobile app, then use Facebook SDK. You can also add conversion value to your pixel if you are tracking purchases so you will know the exact value of those purchases for each Facebook ad.

3. Use the conversion pixel to track your ads

Be sure to configure your ad to track your conversion pixel.

4. Check out your cross-device reports

You can check ad reports in Facebook Ads Manger while the campaign is running or when it has finished. There you can see which ads got the most conversions and
at what cost and then you can intelligently allocate your budget. You can also check the placement of the ads to understand which device your customers are using the most. This will help you get the most out of your ad campaigns and understand your customer shopping behaviour.

5. Set up tracking for lifetime value (LTV)

It’s always good to think of long-term goals so consider tracking metrics such as LTV and downstream value.

6. Sign up with a third-party measurement provider

Facebook reporting measures real people and their action so you can always rest assured that the actions of your ads are attributed to people instead of cookies. To complement this, consider signing up with a measurement provider that can help you further explore other attribution models beyond just a last click.


Facebook provides you with unmatched targeting capabilities that will enable you to reach the right audience and drive scalable results.

First, you should think about the goal that you are trying to achieve with Facebook ads (e.g. remarketing to existing customers). This will help you pinpoint the kind of audience you will target. Here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself in order to develop a proper targeting strategy:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How can you further segment your audience?
  • Think about what data you have about them.
  • What is your key focus market?
  • How are you using your CRM for marketing purposes?
  • Do you have any offline data that you can use for targeting? You might be using it for targeting in other campaigns so be sure to leverage it.

Best practices for targeting

Let’s take a look at several best practices that will help you reach the right people in your target audience.

1. Utilise lookalike audiences

You can upload a list of buyer emails to Facebook and create a lookalike audience. This seed list is most likely in line with the objective you’re trying to achieve. Facebook will find people who look like your customers and show your ads only to them.

2. Minimise overlapping audiences

Audiences can overlap when you have multiple ads that are targeting the same audience so they are competing for the same auctions. This has a negative effect and possibly lower delivery of your campaign. To avoid this, you can group target audiences together and have fewer audience segments.

3. Exclude current customers

When creating a new ad set, be sure
to exclude custom audience of current customers and this will prevent your ads from being seen by those people.

4. Reach people based on where they are in the lifecycle

Not everyone in your audience is in the same lifecycle. You can leverage this to your advantage and target existing customers again, remarket to people who only visited your product pages, and target your highest LTV customer again to keep them engaged.

5. Utilise Audience Insights and App Insights

You can learn valuable information from Audience Insights and App Insights and identify new audiences that may be interested in purchasing your product.


By now you should have a target audience in mind but you still need to draw in their attention and drive them to your website or mobile app.

Great creative can also lead to cheaper ad costs and higher delivery besides driving engagement. News Feed gives you a visual and native canvas that will drive your ad objectives.


Best practices for direct response creative

1. Make your ad noticeable

The creative needs to capture the attention and stop people from scrolling any further.

2. Stick to one point

Your creative needs to have a very clear and obvious message. Your audience needs
to be able to clearly identify what you are promoting.

3. Insert brand personality

You can also insert your logo into the creative or use colours from your brand.

4. Always use call to action

All direct response campaigns need to have a clear call to action that will lead people to perform a single action.

5. Use emotions

You are selling to people so it’s always good to implement emotions like humour.

6. Create informational reward

Only promote something that your audience might be interested in. For example, if you are running an event business, then you can sell concert tickets to people who have previously bought tickets from your website.

7. Keep in mind where your audience is in the sales funnel

Your funnel consists of several steps so be sure to differently target the audience depending on where they are at in the funnel.

8. Create consistency

Keep your path to conversion congruent and maintain the look and feel of the experience from the ad all the way to the conversion page.

9. Refresh the creative

Ad fatigue happens over time when you have been running the same ad for a long time as this increases the frequency with your audience. Be sure to watch performance over time and refresh the creative as needed.

10. Keep testing

By rigorously testing, you will find the best performing creative over time.


Facebook works on an auction system which will try to give you the least expensive delivery and cost. Facebook looks at the bid as the value of each click, action, or impression (e.g. how much revenue does it produce for you).

Facebook calculates the price of your ads based on the position that your ad won in the auction and the weighted average of competitors’ bids. Because of this, the price that Facebook charges you is usually less than your bid. You can find the max bid by calculating the profit that you get from a click or action.


Best practices for bidding

Find high LTV users

Find users that have high lifetime value and adjust your bids for those segments.

Bid your true value

Always bid the maximum amount you’re willing to pay per objective.

Set end times for your ad sets

If you don’t set end time for your ad set, Facebook may think that it has to spread your spend out over a longer period of time and this can result in slower delivery.

Increase your bid

This can maximise delivery if you are willing to pay more per objective. Facebook will almost always charge you less than your bid.

Don’t change bids or budgets too often

If you do so, it can affect delivery negatively.

Don’t try to get the cheapest clicks and impressions

Sure, you might reach more people but you won’t necessarily reach the people that provide the highest LTV.


To get the most out of your efforts on Facebook and to have the best insight into your ads, you should implement a combination of solutions below:

  • Use Facebook conversion pixel and SDK to track your ad performance
  • Track effectiveness of ads for apps with Mobile Measurement Partners
  • Utilise lift tests to measure the incremental lift you receive from ads on Facebook

Track Ad Performance Online and In Mobile

Constantly analysing and optimising ads is the key to success with Facebook ads. You should place Facebook conversion pixel on each key aspect in the conversion flow. By tracking each step in your funnel, you’ll be able to test different things that could lead to improved results. By doing this, you can also measure the downstream effect in contrast to main conversion events.

Facebook Conversion Lift

With Facebook conversion lift, you can measure any additional business that was brought by Facebook ads. This way you can measure the true impact your Facebook ads have on people. By implementing Conversion Lift, you can track the additional business driven offline or online from people who you reached through Facebook.

The Facebook conversion lift is cross-platform and it measures real business outcomes and not proxies. This allows you to make smarter marketing decisions by looking at the additional business that Facebook ads brought you.

Conversion Lift enables you to:

Optimise campaigns: Gain insight into results and improve performance.

Prove ROAS: See if your campaigns are successful.

Understand which channels are most effective: You can examine your channels and see how Facebook impacts your desired outcome.

Make better budgeting decisions: See which campaigns drive your desired income and allocate budget to them.

Step 1: Identify your objective

Step 2: Facebook randomises and splits audience into control and test groups

Step 3: Run campaigns to your target audience. Facebook will deliver these ads to the test group only

Step 4: Use Facebook pixel to pass your conversion data

Step 5: Facebook calculates lift by comparing the results in the control group to results in the test group

conversion lift


We hope that this guide has helped you gain more insight into how Facebook ads work and how you can get the most out of your advertising as part of a complete Digital Marketing solution. One of the main things to keep in mind is that you should always structure your campaigns according to Facebook’s best practices in order to avoid any problem down the road.

Eye-catching creative is very important as you need to stop people from scrolling and read your ad. Next, implement a strong call to action in the copy to drive action. Be sure to install the Facebook conversion pixel on your website so you can efficiently track your ad performance and optimise over time. Last but not least, always test – there are many things that you can split test like creative, targeting, placement, and bids in order to optimise your ads and get better results.