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As I've written before, Facebook has a great ad network and one of the best tools to build and deploy ads - Power Editor.

Though it's more difficult to use than the standard ad tool, Power Editor offers all sorts of extras which make it worthwhile to spend the time learning it.

One recent addition to Power Editor which I find extraordinarily useful is the ad scheduler.

Before

It used to be that when you created an ad in Facebook, whether in the standard tool or Power Editor, you only had the option to schedule a start and end date.

If you want it to run at particular times of day, then you had to manually turn them on or off.

Perhaps this was possible for someone who had very few campaigns to monitor, but it was too much of a hassle for professional marketers to do regularly.

So, we typically ran our campaigns 24x7 and probably wasted impressions for times when conversions were very low.

Now

Now you can schedule what hours on what days your ads display - so that you can hit your target audience during peak conversion times.

The ad scheduler is a simple addition to the Power Editor which is not hard to figure out, but here's a step-by-step guide so you can see how it works: 

1) Go to Facebook's Power Editor

There are many guides to getting started with Power Editor - including this one from Facebook - so if you're not familiar with it, then consult one of these first.

2) Create a campaign

All ads have a campaign, so start by creating one.

3) Create a new ad set

Once your campaign is created, then you need to create the 'ad set.' Facebook introduced this middle layer between ads and campaigns earlier this year and they are required for every ad you launch as well.

Ad sets let you combine multiple ad collections into one campaign - each with its own budget and, now, schedule.

4) Set a lifetime budget

So here is where using ad scheduling becomes a bit tricky. In order to have the scheduling feature, you have to input a lifetime budget for a campaign and set the start and end dates and times.

I'm not entirely sure why Facebook insists on this as surely it would be better for everyone to be able to set up camapigns indefinitely, but that's how it is. (If anyone can think of why Facebook insists on this, please leave a comment!)

5) Select scheduling

Then switch 'Ad Scheduling' to 'Run ads on a schedule' and you will see a weekly calendar with hourly blocks.

With this interface, you can specify hour by hour when the ads in this ad set should run. For the example above, my run times are from 6pm to midnight, Monday to Friday.

And, as Facebook helpfully points out, your ads will run at these times for the timezone of your target - not your own timezone - so you don't need to worry about timezone adjustment.

6) Create your ads and upload

At this point, you can make an ad, upload them and they will run according to the schedule.

And when you're using the standard Ad Tool you will be able to see your schedule, but in order to edit the schedule you will need to go back to the ad tool.

And that's the ad scheduler. It may be simple, but it ensures that your ads run only during ideal times for conversions - which helps you keep your costs down, and clicks up!

Jeff Rajeck

Published 7 August, 2014 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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Comments (9)

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AZ

Thanks for the tip.

Based on my previous experience, I feel Facebook ad is more targeted, intimate and cost effective. I believe more businesses will use its platform in the future, so definitely it's a space worth paying close attention to.

over 1 year ago

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Rick Noel

I love it! Facebook bringing day parting to the masses! For restaurants and bars, you can imagine that timing for ads is everything. Very cool! I appreciate the detailed how to.

over 1 year ago

Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck, Research Analyst at EconsultancySmall Business

Thanks!

Until I researched this post, I had never heard of the term 'day parting' - now I can't believe I ever lived without it...

over 1 year ago

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BookaHotelDeal.co.uk

Lifetime budgets would perhaps help in forecasting total ad revenue they can achieve. If Im not mistaken Google has a similar field.
Facebook advertising can be very targeted and has an upper hand on search engines as its more personal and companies can get more demographics including visuals of their customers

over 1 year ago

Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck, Research Analyst at EconsultancySmall Business

Ah yeah, I can see how lifetime ad figures will help Facebook, but it makes life for me more difficult. And I've already had ads end because I forgot to renew them.

Never mind - if we don't like it, we can always go back to the 24 hour ad cycle, eh?

over 1 year ago

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Leesa

A great guide for Facebook marketing.
Some really helpful steps by steps procedures explained. Ad scheduler has been explained very nicely. great Job.
very useful for the starters.

over 1 year ago

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Depesh Mandalia, Head of Digital Marketing at Lost My Name

Thanks Jee - About time Facebook!!! Day parting is a no brainer for many businesses.

3rd party tools that use the FB API have been offering dayparting for some time now however the issue has been in how this affects budgeting. I've used 3rd party day-parting and it doesn't help your KPIs...

So if your campaign is GMT and you run a campaign elsewhere in the world, or maybe only want your ads showing during office hours/evenings etc the issue is, that FB's algorithm is programmed to either run on a start/end schedule you set or a 24 hour period (ie no end date).

The 3rd party APIs could control the starting and ending of an ad set or campaign, however the issue was that if you started a campaign lets say at 0900 GMT to finish at 1700 GMT, the algorithm is going to spread your spend from 0900 to 2359 GMT, not knowing you planned to pause at 1700 GMT (through the third party tool). Facebook didn't know this previously.

By having this in Power Editor one would assume (as Google do through Adwords) that the planned budget for that day would be equally spread within the time period you plan to spend it. Eg if running 24 hours, the budget would need to last 24 hours so auto-bidding is spread (unless, as in Google, you set it to maximise clicks). That bid pattern changes if you only plan to display ads for an 8 hour period, meaning you spend the same but more intensely focussed in the 8 hour period.

I'll definitely be putting FB's day parting on trial to see if this rings true!

over 1 year ago

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James

needless to say Facebook is a favorite place for every marketer.
they are keep on bringing new things which makes even more ease to for everyone to promote their sites or fan pages very accurately and timely manner.

thnaks @jeff for sharing this wonderful article.

over 1 year ago

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Tim Allen

I can't get to the point in creating the ad where I can do the scheduling of what times it will show. Can someone help me with that?

tim@reflectionsphotos.net

over 1 year ago

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