What's up with Facebook's 'Recommended' audiences

9 0 3

Before going hardcore into super focused targeting for ads, I wanted my first ad campaigns to be reasonably generic since facebook had a ton of 'recommended' settings, and I figured this would mean they would do a better job than me at choosing who to show my ads to. I spent $300 on 4 campaigns to test the waters over the space of 4 days. I used my own product mockups and text but everything else was the 'recommended' setting.

At the end, under the ad manager, the 'quality' of every ad was 'below average' and the CTR of half of them was 'below average'. The end result was a single website purchase, 100 likes on my company facebook page, 20 followers on instagram, and 400 total website sessions. So how exactly do these ratings work in your experience? I figured 'Recommended' meant "We know your audience and will show your ads to the best people" yet their own settings give a 'below average' result.


Further, when i'm now looking at focused audiences (based on analytics from my earlier ads) facebook still recommends 'Ages 18-65+' over any of my own targeted ads which are for ages 18-30. Am I missing something? Why is facebook trying to recommend every age group?


Some insight would be appreciated. I was willing to blow some money to get my own analytics so i'm not really bothered I 'Lost' $300 but I am somewhat confused as to why their 'recommended' settings seem to be so useless

22 0 3

What products are you selling?


Facebook essentially want to make money, so they will show a generic audience as a recommendation in the business manager. I suggest the following:

  1. Create an audience list first using an existing email database and create a lookalike audience
  2. Setup a funnel campaign (Target broadly) with a video ad and those who engage in the video, add them to a remarketing list. Retarget them with an offer
  3. Split Test different creatives and messaging and see if which message is resonating well
  4. Finally, add Facebook remarketing tag in your website and use Facebook to retarget the visitors


Shopify Partner
64 2 18

Here are the audiences I normally use:

And here is my campaign structure:

Essentially I split up my audiences into 3 buckets:

  1. Past Purchasers
  2. Remarketing (site visitors & social engagers)
  3. Prospecting (never purchased, and never visited the site).

The initial audience for prospecting would probably be a 1% look-a-like audience based on your purchase pixel.

Then Prospecting feeds Remarketing which feeds Past Purchasers


Digital Marketing @ Manitobah Mukluks
Shopify Digital Marketing Blog: business.czarto.com