Facebook Ad Frequency - How Much is Too Much

Is your Facebook Ad Frequency too high?  How do you know when it’s time to vary your ad and when you can keep it running?

Have you seen those Facebook Ads that just keep running and running and you wish they would stop already?  No one wants to be that guy – do you want to buy my stuff, how about now, what about now?

Your Facebook Ad Frequency combined with your actual results and First Time Impression Ratio can tell you a lot about when it’s time to change your ad or your strategy.

What is Facebook Ad Frequency?

Facebook Ad Frequency is an estimated number and is calculated as impressions divided by reach.  It’s an average.

Which means that someone may have seen your ad 3 times and another person saw your ad 1 time and then your Frequency would be 2.

The narrower your Facebook Ad targeting, the more likely you will have a higher frequency (depending on your budget).

Where do you view Facebook Ad Frequency?

You can view Facebook Ad Frequency in the reports in your Ads Manager.  Either use the Performance and Clicks columns or customize your columns to add in Frequency.

Customize Facebook Ad Report Columns



The ONLY Question You Need to Answer:  Is Your Ad Still Working?

The only metric I really care about is the metric that tells me if the ad is meeting the goal we set for it.  It might be Leads, Link Clicks (optimized by link click cost), Video Views, Purchases or whatever the KPI (Key Performance Metric) is for that campaign.

Cost per Result Facebook Ads

Things to consider with Facebook Ad Frequency:

  1. Placement – Some placements like the Right Sidebar are going to have higher frequency naturally because not as many people are accessing Facebook on Desktop.
  2. Audience Size and Budget – If you have a narrower targeting, adjust your budget so you aren’t burning out your ads too quickly.
  3. Length of your Campaign – The longer you run your ads, the more your overall frequency will go up.  This isn’t a problem if your ads are still converting or performing the way you want.
  4. Type of Campaign – If you are running a sales ad or have a short window of promotion you may not be as concerned about frequency since the campaign will be over soon.
  5. Retargeting – A retargeting audience of people who are familiar with your product or service may be more forgiving of seeing your ad more often than a cold audience.

In general, I don’t like ads to get above a 3 or 4 in frequency but I will keep it running if it’s still performing.

For small audiences such as retargeting audiences, make sure you aren’t setting your Facebook Ad Budget too high or you will have a high frequency and may have poor conversions.

High Frequency Retargeting


But that isn’t ALWAYS the case.  You can still have high frequency and still see good results.  That’s why the only number you really need to watch is your Key Performance Indicator – which in this case is Purchase ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).

In this case, the ROAS is declining to 1.33 and so the bottom ad will be turned off.  We are still seeing good CTR and cost per link click so we know the ads are still driving the traffic we want but with the top ad performing better, we will keep that running.

High Frequency in Retargeting ad

Is Your Ad Getting Negative Feedback?

Unfortunately there isn’t a way to see Negative Feedback on our ads anymore.  Facebook has replaced Negative Feedback with a Quality Ranking that has replaced Relevance Score.

You can view the post and see if people are making angry faces on it or see negative comments – which I delete by the way – you don’t have to keep a negative comment on your ad!

But you can’t see if people are hiding or reporting your ad.  Facebook takes that into account in their “Quality Ranking” score.

Just like Relevance Scores, you don’t know exactly how Facebook is calculating these rankings and you may not see a correlation between their “Quality Ranking” and how well your ad is performing.

Quality Ranking on Facebook

First Time Impression Ratio

The First Time Impression Ratio can tell you what percentage of your audience is seeing your ad for the first time.  This is found in the Delivery Insights area when your ad is running.

The First Time Impression Ratio is the percentage of your daily impressions that comes from people seeing your ad set for the first time. So if you see that less than 20% of your audience are seeing it for the first time, that means they may be burned out on your ad.  BUT again, watch your metrics to see if your ad is still performing.

Facebook First Time Impression Ratio

The bottom line is that Frequency is important but your only measure of how well your ad is doing is your KPI.

Watch your Frequency and First Time Impression Ratio to see when it might be time to refresh your creative or adjust your strategy but don’t turn off an ad that is continuing to perform just because it has a high frequency.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


Facebook Ads Management Course

Want to go further?  My Facebook Advertising Secrets Course will be opening again sometime this year.

Get all the details and get a free gift here:  https://fbadvertisingsecrets.com/