Do Facebook Ads Really Work? What You Should Know in 2022

Updated: Jun 9


Facebook ads can feel like hit and miss. We've seen and heard many mixed reviews and results on using Facebook Ads to drive sales or sign-ups. What we've discovered is: Some of it is timing, sometimes relevancy, sometimes it's just the product, placement and price (Facebook Ads on Marketplace).


If you have a small business or are just starting out, you might be wondering if Facebook ads are right for you.


In 2021, Facebook was sued because of how they measured their reach. Not only that, but Facebook's personalized ad campaign to overcome Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT) hit a real heavy blow (to the sum of over $12 Billon).


But the truth is that Facebook ads do work if your app, products, and services are a good fit for the platform and if your ad creative and targeting are on par with your audience. 


With updates like exclusion controls, a new Conversions API that lets you pull data directly from your server into Ads Manager, and transparency about the data Facebook collects, this social network ad space is still relevant but requires a deep understanding of creating the right kind of ad.


Do Facebook Ads Work?


It depends. There is a catch: Facebook ads only work if they are a good fit for your business. Depending on your industry, you should think about whether Facebook fits your products, services or with the way you do business.


Consider also, a good-performing post that goes viral can be more powerful than an ad. Such was the case with this social post we did for a client in 2017 that received 1.7 Million views and over 3.8K Comments, 5.6K Shares:




Facebook ads are not always the best way to get more visitors, customers, or sales. If you run a low cost of entry business, like an Etsy shop, a virtual assistant, event planner, or a SaaS that's driving sign-ups, it can be challenging.


Key: Concentrate on quality content first.


If you're unsure about how your product or service will do on Facebook, start small with low ad spend budget of $5-$10 per day for 1-2 weeks. Most business advisors and marketers will recommend test marketing your products in various ways before even launching to confirm viability. Facebook Ads is a good way to test your products in front of a variety of audiences.



Meaningful Interactions: Why this is important



When Facebook first started running ads, their performance was based on an auction. It gave the most weight to the highest offer -the higher bidder got the top visibility market share. Mark Zuckerberg decided in 2018 that Facebook would change its focus to "meaningful interactions." (i.e. remarkable or noteworthy content). Facebook then moved more toward the user experience model.


Why is a Facebook 'meaningful interaction' so important?

If you want the overall score of your content to be high you’ll need to focus on creating meaningful interactions and quality. You can do this by encouraging active response signals, such as:

  1. Likes

  2. Shares

  3. Comments

  4. Replies


When you cultivate these four things, you promote meaningful interactions, increase ad rank and relevancy, which is important to the Facebook algorithm for your organic visibility and paid Facebook ads.


How Facebook Ad Auctions Work

  • Ad rank

  • Ad quality and relevance

  • Bid by advertiser

  • Estimated click-through rates



Number One Way to Use Facebook's Algorithm to Create Meaningful Interactions

The main way you can use the Facebook algorithm to your advantage by promoting meaningful interactions with your content (and later ads):


Most important: Get people talking!


If you want to cultivate meaningful interactions, the best way to do so is to get people talking! Get people talking about your products, their experiences, and their thoughts. This might mean creating a targeted ad for people who already like your business, or who have already bought your products.


Or it could mean creating an ad that's targeted exactly to the right audience. When conversations are happening as comments on your content, you’re creating meaningful interactions and Facebook is likely to show your ads or posts even more.


Advertising on Facebook is Changing, Are You?


Because of the growing number of lawsuits against Facebook ads and Apple's security policies, Facebook will look for more ways to profit.


One way we've seen is Ads on Facebook Groups. Since 2019, Facebook has been testing these in the background. Facebook is going to slowly stop offering some of its core targeting options because it cares more about how its users feel. But this means more ways to advertise and a bigger push toward video.


Businesses should keep working to learn more about their customers and how to connect with them best. Continue seeking better ways to lead conversations, connect in authentic ways on and off Facebook. Try other platforms such as TikTok or LinkedIn. In the coming years, it will be very important to narrow down your value proposition and know your customer persona and needs.

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