This is a common question for both new advertisers and people who have been running ads for a while, but don’t quite have a full understanding of how the ads work.
A key piece of information is to determine if your ads are resonating with the audience you are targeting.
So rather than look at time specifically I look at each step in the ad process and determine if it is working and if I have enough evidence that it is or is not working. This might be 3 days or it might be 7, to begin to get confirmation one way or another.
The simplest answer is that 3-7 days is enough time to see if an ad is working or will work.
It also depends on the budget. You get more data spending $10000 a day vs $1000 a day.
Ad optimization through the Facebook algorithm does take at least 50 conversions so it can happen faster or slower.
For me the first day is just to see what an initial reaction is on the ad. Are people clicking it? What is the click through rate on the ad (assuming that is the goal) or are people watching it if it’s a video view ad.
Understand that optimization will only do so much. It will improve a good ad, but a bad mismatched (audience/offer) won’t be saved by optimization.
If you are getting no clicks and no reactions in the first couple of days, but have impressions and delivery, this is an indicator that your ad is not working. Either your targeting is wrong, or your offer is wrong for you audience.
The other thing to consider is what you mean by “good results”.
It’s definitely possible to have a great ad, audience and offer match, but a poor conversion rate because of ugly user interface, technical glitches or things that are wrong with the website or sales funnel process.
Consider that each action that a person has to take to get to the outcome you want as a place where a breakdown can happen.
The first step is whether they click or interact with the ad. If they do interact and click the ad, then the ad is doing it’s job.
- If the ad is doing it’s job then its worth running it for more time to see if you can work out which of the next steps are working or can be optimized.
- If your initial ad is working and showing promise in the first 3 days, Facebook’s optimization will make it better (usually) over time.
I’ve definitely see where cost per click (for example) can be brought down from over a dollar on day one to under 5 cents in about 2 weeks days. This required, optimization, patience, creating better audiences along the way as well as testing of different optimizations.