How long should you run your Facebook Ad? This is one of the top questions I get and here are a few guidelines for when you are first starting your ad campaign and in running ongoing ad campaigns.

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How Long to Run A Facebook Ad in the Testing Phase

In general it’s best to test an ad at least 3-4 days before making a decision on how the ad is doing.  During this time, you shouldn’t tweak any settings because that resets the Facebook ad algorithm.

The testing phase also depends a little on the budget.  Testing an ad at $5/day is different than $100/day and larger budgets can show the better performing ads faster.

Take a look at this post on Setting your Facebook Ads budget for more information.

Significance of Ad Results

When you test your ads, you need to make sure your results have “significance”.  This means there needs to be enough data to be able to say that one ad significantly performed better than another.

If one ad got 25 clicks and had 4 conversions and another ad had 33 clicks and 3 conversions, those results aren’t significantly different enough to say for sure which ad is better.  Use this Split Test Calculator to get more information on significance.

Budgeting enough for the testing phase to always be significant isn’t always an option and often just noticing the trend is good enough.


Learning Phase of Facebook Ads

If you are running a Conversion Ad or Lead Generation Ad, there is a “learning phase” that the ad goes through so that Facebook can learn what type of people within your targeting complete the desired action.

Learning phase Facebook Ads

The learning phase is typically 50 events within a week or if you have more than that the ads can be optimized more quickly.  The learning phase can vary and if you make changes to the ads the ad will have to go through the learning phase again (but it may be shorter depending on how significant the changes were).

Here are some of the edits that will cause Facebook to reset the learning phase:

  • Any change to targeting
  • Any change to ad creative
  • Any change to optimization event
  • Pausing your ad set (or the campaign it’s in) for 7 days or longer (the learning phase will reset once you un-pause the ad set / campaign)
  • Adding a new ad to your ad set

These changes will not reset the learning phase unless the change is significant:

  • Bid cap or target cost amount
  • Budget amount

If you don’t have enough events during the week (50 or more) then you may want to consider changing the type of ad you run – for example change from a Conversion ad to a Traffic ad.

But I have seen ads that don’t have a lot of events still perform well.

How Long You Should Run Your Facebook Ads in Long Term Campaigns

Facebook ad performance can bounce around from day to day.  Set a threshold of performance and watch the trend before making a decision.

Often you will see weak performance for a couple of days and then the ad will rebound so don’t try to tweak things too often.

Have a threshold for your desired results and when you see 3-4 days outside of those results, then stop the ad and refresh the campaign with a new image or possibly test a new audience.

Facebook Ad Performance decline


Take a look at my video for more information!


Ultimately the best way to determine how well your ads are performing is doing a lot of split testing.  Split testing your Facebook ads allows you to see what results are good for you and your niche.
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Hope this was helpful in getting you started with your Facebook Ads!  If you want more information, make sure you grab my free mini-course on Facebook Ads!


Grab my FREE Facebook Ads Ebook and mini-course!