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Select a topic below to find answers to your questions.
If you don't recognize activity on your advertising account, here are a few steps you can take to learn more about charges that occurred and what may have caused them:
- View your payment history
- See if you reached your billing threshold or monthly bill date
- Check your daily budget or lifetime budget
- Check for other spenders on your account
View your payment history
To learn more about a specific charge, go to the list of transactions in the Billing section of your Ads Manager and click the Transaction ID of the charge you want to know more about. This will bring you to your receipt for that charge. Your ads receipt will show you things like how much you paid, when you paid, which payment method was charged and which ads you spent money on.
Note: You have to be an admin of an ad account to review its billing information. Learn more about ad accounts and permissions.
See if you reached your billing threshold or monthly bill date
Once you have your ads receipt, you can review the Billing Reason that's listed on it to find out why you were charged. This will let you know if a charge happened because you reached your billing threshold or your monthly bill date:
Keep in mind that it's normal to be charged for ads multiple times a month or even after you've stopped running them. This is because when you create ads on Facebook (like boosting posts from your Page), you don't pay for them right away. Instead, as they run and people see them, they accrue ad costs that you'll be charged for later.
There are 2 ways you'll be charged for these costs:
- Whenever your ad costs reach your billing threshold
- On your monthly bill date
A billing threshold is an amount that you can spend on ads before we charge you for them. Whenever your ad costs reach your billing threshold, we'll charge you that amount. Your monthly bill date is when we charge you each month for ad costs that don't quite reach your billing threshold.
Because of this, you may be charged multiple times or just once in a given month, depending on how much money you're spending on ads:
Learn more about your billing threshold and monthly bill date.
Check your daily budget or lifetime budget
A budget is a cost control tool. It helps control your overall spend for an ad set (or campaign). There are two types of budgets:
- Daily budget: This is the average amount you're willing to spend on a specific ad set or campaign every day. Each ad set will have a separate budget, so keep this in mind if you have more than one active ad set in your account.
- Lifetime budget: This is the amount you're willing to spend over the entire run-time of your ad set or campaign. Our system will automatically try to evenly spread the amount you spend across the period of time that you've selected. .
If you set a daily budget but meant to set a lifetime budget (or vice versa), you may be billed differently than expected.
Note: If you only want to spend a specific dollar amount over the lifetime of your ad, double check to make sure you set a lifetime budget, not a daily budget.
Check for other spenders on your account
If you share either your payment method or ad account with others, be sure to check with them if you don't recognize charges on your account. Often times in this scenario, another person has run separate ads using your payment method or ad account.
If you think this is the case, go to your Account Settings in Ads Manager. In the Ad Account Roles section, you'll be able to see who has access to your account. Contact anyone you know who may have placed an order for ads with your payment method.
You can also review your account history to see recent activity on your ad account:
Need more help?
If you've checked these things, still see purchases that you don't recognize and/or believe someone has hacked your ad account, please let us know.
If you're not getting the results you want from your ads, this guide can help you figure out:
- What might be causing that
- What you can do about it
While this article can't tell you exactly what's causing a given ad's performance issue, it can explain the possibilities, direct you to tools that can help you narrow them down and recommend actions to take. It covers both poor performance and unexpected performance fluctuation.
If your issues is that your ad isn't delivering at all, it's worth doing a quick check to make sure none of the following non-performance issues are causing your ads to not be delivered before proceeding:
- Paused ad. If your campaign, ad set or ad is paused, we don't show it. Learn how to un-pause it.
- Spending limit reached. If you set an account spending limit and reach it, we stop showing all your ads. If you set a campaign spending limit and reach it, we stop showing all the ads in that campaign. If you want us to start showing those ads again, change or reset your account spending limit or campaign spending limit.
- Schedule. Check that your ad isn’t scheduled to run in the future. We'll only show your ad during the time period you choose. To have it start running now, change your schedule.
If none of these are the issue, we recommend refining your bid strategy, targeting and/or creative. We'll explain how in the next sections.
Types of performance issues
There are two general ways to classify performance issues:
- Ad sets or campaigns aren't spending enough. This means your ad is not competitive in the auction or there aren't enough results available in your target audience so we stop delivering your ads or can't deliver them consistently.
- Costs too high. Your ads may be delivering consistently, but the average cost of each optimization event is too high for you to sustainably profit from your ads.
Changes you can make to improve performance
There are three major types of changes you can make to try to improve performance:
- Bid strategy. An uncompetitive bid strategy will prevent you from winning enough auctions to spend your budget. An overly-flexible bid strategy may lead to unsustainable costs. We'll address how to deal with each type of problem below.
- Targeting. A target audience that's too narrow may reduce your chances of spending your budget. A high-quality target audience may help increase spend and reduce the cost per optimization event.
- Creative. An ad that doesn't resonate with the people seeing it may have trouble spending its budget and/or have a higher cost per optimization event.
Note: Ad sets that are optimized for conversions sometimes also perform poorly because they can't gather enough optimization events to stabilize delivery and costs. You can get specific recommendations for improving the performance of conversions campaigns in our set of best practices guides. However, the recommendations in this guide are still relevant for conversion campaigns.
Bid strategies to increase spend
If you can't win auctions, we can't show your ad. Increasing the amount we can bid for you isn't the only way to become more competitive, but it's a powerful way that you have direct control over. There are three ways to do this:
- Switch to the lowest cost bid strategy without a bid cap. If you're not already using this bid strategy, try switching to it. It allows us to bid as much as is needed to spend your full budget. This is the simplest way to improve delivery and spend your full budget. It should work for most advertisers, especially if they care more about spending their full budget than controlling cost on a result-by-result basis.
- If you're using a bid cap, increase it. This is likely to increase delivery, since it'll allow us to bid more for you. Make your increase, monitor the results and adjust again as needed. You should think of your bid cap as something that needs to be monitored and adjusted based on results, not as a perfect amount you can find and then use indefinitely.
If you're using a cost target, change it. You're more likely to be experiencing performance issues if your cost target is too low (not competitive). If that's the case, increase it. Aim for an amount that's as low as possible while still getting consistent delivery.
Though less likely, it's also possible you're experiencing performance issues because your cost target is too high (we can't find results that are expensive enough to reach it). If this is the case, lowering your cost target may actually improve delivery.
Bid strategies to reduce costs
If your cost per optimization event is too high and you're using the lowest cost bid strategy without a bid cap, add a bid cap or switch to target cost. This will give you more control over your cost per optimization event. If you're already using a bid cap or cost target but your costs are still to high, lower it. In either scenario, keep in mind that it could lead to less delivery if your bid cap is too low or your cost target is too low or too high.
Whether you're trying to increase spend or reduce costs, be sure to monitor the results of the change and adjust again as needed. If your change is significant enough to reset the learning phase, allow it to end before making another change.
Targeting that's too narrow or not relevant enough
When attempting to improve performance through targeting changes, there are two general targeting strategies you can try:
- Improving the quality of your audience
- Broadening your audience
Improving the quality of your audience
Improving the quality of your audience makes it easier for us to find results and increases the relevance of your ads. This can help you compete in auctions. If you want to improve the quality of your audience using demographic criteria, ask your self questions like:
- Where are my customers? If you're a local business or can only ship items to certain places, don't target, say, an entire country. Target your local area or the areas you can ship to.
- Who are my customers? Think about what basic traits your customers may have in common. Are they likely to be older or younger? Are they likely to be a particular gender? Where are they likely to live?
- What language do my customers speak? Facebook doesn't translate your ad copy into other languages, so make sure the audience you're targeting can read your ad using appropriate language targeting choices.
- Do I have better insight into a given type of targeting than Facebook would? This can be difficult to know in every situation, but when you think you have information that we don't have, you should provide that information through targeting to help us find the best people to show your ads to. If you don't think you'd know better than Facebook, then you shouldn't add that to your targeting criteria. Keep in mind that Facebook's delivery system is trying to show your ads to the people most likely to get you optimization events no matter how broad your targeting is. Because of this, ill-informed targeting choices that restrict our delivery system could end up hurting performance rather than helping it.
- Am I excluding strategically too? Including additional targeting criteria is helpful, but don't ignore your ability to exclude too. Doing so can help us home in on the right people faster.
- Am I using Audience Insights to guide me? If you're really unsure who to target, but also don't want to leave optimization up to Facebook's delivery system alone, use Audience Insights. It can show you relevant information about your target audience that can help you refine your targeting as well as your creative.
- Create a Custom Audience. We can target ads to people who already interact with your business using Custom Audiences. We can add people to the audience who've engaged with your content on Facebook's family of apps and services, visited your website, used your mobile app and/or are on your customer list.
- Create a lookalike audience. If you're already using a Custom Audience on your poorly-performing ad set, you may have saturated it (meaning people in it are no longer responding to your ads). To extend the success of that audience, consider using it as a source for a lookalike audience, which finds people similar to those in your source audience.
Broadening your audience
No matter how big your audience is, we're always showing your ads to the people we think are most likely to take the action your ad set is optimized for. Because of this, it's usually a best practice to not restrict targeting unless you have a good reason to do so (see above). If you're not totally sure who to target and can't use a Custom Audience, start with a broad audience, see who responds to your ads, refine your audience based on what you learn and monitor performance to inform further changes.
Note: Remember that any change to targeting resets the learning phase. We recommend waiting until it ends before judging how effective a change was and/or making another.
If you want to broaden your audience:
- Ensure you're targeting every location your product or service can be shipped to or used. Take advantage of our targeting system's ability to help you find the populous areas near your business or to deliver your ads worldwide or regionally. Doing so can greatly expand the reach of your campaigns, opening them up to a range of new (and potentially better) results.
- Use targeting expansion: This feature gives us the option to expand your interest-based targeting if we think doing so will get you better results. (Note that this feature isn't currently available for all marketing objectives.)
Consolidate ad sets so you have larger audiences for each one. Having too many similar ad sets in your campaign could lead to auction overlap (meaning your ad sets are ending up in the same auction so we have to remove one) or too little data for each ad set (we usually need about 50 optimization events each week to ensure consistent delivery). If your ad sets that are performing poorly are targeting similar audiences or are optimized for the same result, consider combining those ad sets and their budgets. This will help increase delivery.Be sure to check Delivery Insights (more information later in this article) to find out if auction overlap is causing performance issues, or check how much your audiences overlap ahead of time using the audience overlap tool.
- Use automatic placements. We can deliver your ads across the Facebook family of apps and services, and we recommend taking advantage of this. It helps us find people in your target audience in more places and opens your ad set up to more (and potentially better) results. By selecting automatic placements during ad set creation, you enable us to deliver your ads to all available placements, finding the best results across them. This can help increase delivery and control costs.
Remove unnecessary targeting restrictions. If you've used the Narrow Audience or Narrow Further option in the “Detailed Targeting” section of ad set creation, consider moving those interests to the regular “Include” section. This means people will only have to meet one of your criteria to be included in your audience, not all of them.
If you're excluding anyone unnecessarily, remove that restriction too.
If you're using a Custom Audience or lookalike audience, we recommend not using any additional targeting on top of them.If it makes sense to at least try expanding your age or gender targeting, do so. For example: Say you were only targeting people under the age of 30 because you thought people in that age group would be the most likely to be interested in your product. If this was just a guess and your ads aren't performing well, it's worth expanding that age range. Even if most of the people interested in your product are under 30 years old, we may be able to find a worthwhile number of people over that age too.
Creative that doesn't resonate
Because we consider user value in addition to advertiser value when deciding which ads to show, having creative that resonates with your target audience is an important aspect of ad performance. We offer two products to help optimize your creative:
- Dynamic creative. This enables you to give us creative components that we'll test and configure for the best results from each impression
- Placement asset customization. This enables you to use one ad set with assets customized for each placement, reducing the number of ad sets needed
We also offer resources for making qualitative improvements to your creative:
It's also possible that your ad's issue could be caused by a combination of these restrictions. We recommend thinking about them in relation to one another. For example, if you're sure you have great creative, you may not be targeting an audience that's receptive to it. Conversely, if you're sure you're targeting the right audience, you may not have the right creative to capture the audience's attention. (A useful tool for refining both your targeting and creative is Audience Insights, which can help you find a more receptive target audience or gain a better understanding of your current one.) When choosing which ads to show, we consider the value to users as well as advertisers. This means that your targeting and creative matter at least as much as your bid strategy. If your targeting is appropriate and your creative is relevant, this will give you a competitive advantage. If people seeing your ad don't like it, that puts you at a disadvantage.
Further, if you're sure your creative and targeting are right, you may need to adjust your bid strategy so you that audience can see your creative. Conversely, if you can't afford to change your bid strategy, refining your targeting and/or creative is another powerful way you increase your competitiveness.
Causes of fluctuating or unexpected performance
Sometimes your ad's performance will change even if you haven't made changes to your ad. In this section, we'll discuss why that happens and direct you to tools to help diagnose the specific cause.
When confronted with fluctuating or unexpected performance, it's important to remember:
- Your ads exist in a dynamic marketplace where many advertisers are competing to reach the same people you want to reach. This means that ad performance may change even when you haven't made any changes to your ad. Sometimes competition increases, which may lead to fewer and/or more expensive results. Sometimes competition decreases, which may lead to more and/or cheaper results.
- Fluctuating performance should be expected when your ad starts running (for the first time or after a significant edit). There's a minimum amount of data we need (usually about 50 optimization events) to start to stabilize the delivery and costs for your ad set. We call the period before we have this data the “learning phase.” We explain it in more detail below.
- No ad can sustain high performance forever. Even if you create an ad that couldn't be more relevant to your target audience, it'll become less effective after they've seen it enough times. You should also expect costs to rise if you significantly increase the budget of an ad using the lowest cost bid strategy because of pacing.
- The more control you choose to have, the closer you have to monitor your performance to make adjustments. There are various points in ad creation that allow you to either take more control over specific aspects of your ad performance or empower Facebook's delivery system to control those aspects for you. For example, the lowest cost bid strategy without a bid cap let's our system automatically bid whatever is needed to try to spend your full budget. Choosing this option saves you management time in exchange for some control of your costs. If you add a bid cap you have more control over costs, but you'll need to spend more time managing the ad set to maintain performance by adjusting the bid cap.
We offer two tools to help you understand fluctuating or unexpected performance:
Delivery Insights can help you understand if you've exhausted your target audience, if some of your ad sets are competing against each other due to similar targeting, or if auction competition has increased. Though these issues are not as directly in your control as other issues outlined above, they are related to them and you can use to same strategies to deal with them.
The learning phase
The learning phase tells you when we're still gathering the data we need to stabilize your delivery and costs. We show it in the “Delivery” column in Ads Manager. During this phase of your ad's delivery, we recommend not making significant edits. In other words, if you're not satisfied with performance during the learning phase, we recommend against using any of the strategies we outlined above. Wait until the learning phase ends (either because your ad set got around 50 optimization events or failed to get enough), then you can evaluate performance in an informed way and make adjustments as necessary.
Here's a general framework you can use for evaluating ad performance and making changes to improve it:
- After creating or significantly editing your ad set, allow the learning phase to end.
- Once it has, evaluate your performance based on what specific goal you're trying to achieve.
If you're not satisfied, check Delivery Insights.If you are, continue to monitor your results and return to this guide as needed.
If Delivery Insights helps you diagnose your problem, use that as guidance as you make changes.If it doesn't, determine whether your issue is with the amount of budget spent (under-delivery) or costs.
- With what you're trying to improve in mind, adjust your bid, targeting and/or creative based on what you think will be most impactful and what you have the most flexibility on.
- If your changes reset the learning phase, let it end and evaluate again.
Still having problems troubleshooting your Facebook ads? Find additional support on our resources page.
Before ads show up on Facebook or Instagram, they’re reviewed to make sure they meet our Advertising Policies. Typically most ads are reviewed within 24 hours, although in some cases it may take longer.
If you get an email or notification from us saying your ad wasn't approved, take a look at our policies to understand how you might revise your ad and try again.
If you're worried your post won't be approved on time, you can always schedule your post early. In the How much do you want to spend? section of ad creation, click Set a start and end date next to Schedule. You can set your ad to start at anytime in the future.
If you think your ad account was disabled by mistake, and that it follows our policies, please let us know. If you were notified that your ad account was flagged for unusual activity, you can contact us with this form.
You can also go to your Ads Manager, and follow the instructions in the red box at the top of the page.
If you've already contacted us, we appreciate your patience while we investigate.
If the payment method you're using to run ads on Facebook fails, you can try one of these options:
- Contact your payment provider for help.
Most payment failures happen when your bank or payment provider experiences an issue processing your payment.
If your ad payment fails, we'll:
- Try to charge your primary payment method again.
- Try charging another payment method you've set up on your ad account.
- If all of your payment methods fail, we'll stop all the ads you're running until your balance has been paid.
If your ads are stopped, you won't receive any additional charges until your balance has been paid. Once your balance has been paid, we'll resume any active or scheduled ads and attempt to make up any lost time to meet the original campaign dates and budgets you've set.
If you're seeing a problem with how Facebook appears in your web browser, you could have a cache or temporary data issue.
You may be able to fix this issue by clearing your cache and temporary data. You can do this from your web browser's settings or preferences. You'll need to use instructions specific to your browser version and your operating system (ex: Mac, PC):
If this doesn't solve your issue, it may be because you're using third-party browser extensions. We recommend disabling these add-ons before accessing the site again. You can also try using a different web browser.
If you believe that your issue is due to a problem with Facebook, you can let us know.