What is Facebook ad scheduling?

What is Facebook ad scheduling?

Facebook ad scheduling, or dayparting, is a Facebook ad scheduling feature that allows you to choose the days and the time frames to run your ad.

Some advertisers prefer to run their ads on a schedule to reserve their ads being delivered at times when their audiences are more likely to take action.

For example, an ecommerce company that sells sleepwear in the UK may want to run ads at a different time than an ecommerce company that sells sleepwear to customers in the United States.

Differences in time zone and user behavior can dictate what days and time advertisers are more likely to get more impressions, views, clicks, and purchases.

However, ad scheduling doesn’t work for every type of business. Some businesses benefit more from running ads all day long, especially if their products have a longer sales cycle or their goal is to get as many impressions as possible. Other companies that might get the bulk of their sales during certain times of the year (like during Black Friday and holidays) may benefit from Facebook ad scheduling.

The most important thing to determine whether Facebook ad scheduling will work for you is to monitor both your cost-per-purchase and purchase volume during your testing.

In the end, there’s no textbook recommendation on whether you should run Facebook ad scheduling or not. There are only suggestions that can guide you in the right direction based on your own campaign analysis.

Benefits of Facebook ad scheduling

So who should use Facebook ad scheduling in the first place and why? Here are the three top reasons to consider it:

  1. Your budget is only used when your target audience is most likely to take action
  2. Reduce your cost-per-purchase (or lead) by reducing “wasted” ad spend
  3. Receive conversions/leads during your business hours when immediate follow up is required

As we’ve already explained, Facebook ad scheduling allows you to only spend your budget during the times your audience is most likely to take an action.

In theory, Facebook ad scheduling will reduce your cost-per-purchase because you won’t be spending your budget during times with a high cost-per-purchase.

Advertisers who’s conversions aren’t completely self-serve (like an ecommerce purchase) can also see a benefit from Facebook ad scheduling. For example, B2B companies who run ads to get leads that they have to contact might benefit from only getting leads when they have staff ready to immediately call the lead. Although Facebook ad scheduling may or may not help with your cost-per-lead, it could help improve the conversion rate of connecting with those leads and therefore reducing the cost-per-meeting.

Brick and mortar businesses that are open only during certain hours could also benefit from Facebook ad scheduling, as can businesses that hold live events.

When you pair Facebook ad scheduling with automated rules, you can do even more powerful stuff:

  • Automatically scale Facebook ad campaigns based on the every-day fluctuations of Facebook ads
  • Reduce wasted budget by automatically pausing or reducing budget on low performing campaigns and ads
  • Get more conversions by automatically increasing budget on days with high performance

Campaigns, no matter how big or small, require daily check-ins and no one wants to babysit their Ads Manager 24/7. Once set up, Facebook ad automation does all the work for you, making quick adjustments that not only save you time but also reduce wasted ad spend.

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Cons of Facebook ad scheduling

Facebook ad scheduling seems like a no brainer… in theory. After all, it seems to be a good idea to only run ads when your audience is most likely to take action. However, this strategy is not without its faults.

  • Limiting spend could prevent the Facebook algorithm from collecting sufficient data to optimally function
  • Facebook may automatically reduce budget during times with low conversions, effectively doing Facebook ad scheduling for you
  • Some campaigns may see low conversions during slow times, but at a low cost per conversion so it doesn’t make sense to do Facebook ad scheduling
  • Although you may see certain times perform better, impressions during slow times may be a critical step for people to take action

The main thing to consider when trying Facebook ad scheduling is it’s not as simple as it seems. Always test it before setting and forgetting. You may see a decrease in cost-per-conversion but you may also see too significant of a decrease in conversion volume. Some advertisers even see a decrease in conversion volume with an increase in cost-per-conversion because running ads during peak hours cost them more.

How to set up Facebook ad scheduling

  1. Open the Facebook ad set you want to set up dayparting on.
  2. Edit the ad set and go to the “Budget & Schedule” section.
  3. Click “Show more options” at the bottom of the section and check the box “Run ads on a schedule.”
  4. Create your ad schedule by marking the boxes on the schedule blue.
Dayparting on Facebook ads through the Ads Manager can only be set up on campaigns that are created with a lifetime budget.

How to set up Facebook ad scheduling with automated rules

Facebook ad scheduling becomes more powerful when combined with Facebook ad automation.

Facebook automated rules are a free feature that allow you to set up formulas that execute an action if ads meet certain conditions. For example, you may set up a rule that automatically pauses low-performing ads or a rule that increases bids for high-performing ads.

Rules work 24/7 without you having to refresh the Ads Manager every hour and can save you wasted budget by pausing ads that don’t perform.

Here’s what you can do with automated rules:

  • Turn on and off campaigns, ad sets, or ads
  • Send notifications when a rule gets applied to your ads
  • Increase and decreasing budget based on ad performance
  • Scale budget based on cost per lead, cost per purchase, cost per add to wishlist, etc.

However, Facebook automated rules can be fidgety and clunky to get them to a point where you can really take advantage and rely on the rules to do the things you manually do automatically.

That’s why we made Revealbot, an ad automation platform for Facebook ads (also Snapchat ad automation and Google Ads automation). With Revealbot, you can still use daily budgets and create automation conditions that mimic how you manually manage your campaigns.

Here’s what Facebook ad scheduling looks like in Revealbot:

Pause and start conditions are paired with a customized automation schedule
Pause and start conditions are paired with a customized automation schedule
The automation conditions in are only checked during this automation schedule
The automation conditions in are only checked during this automation schedule

Based on the schedule, this automation will check the conditions two times per day once at 8am and once at 11pm. At 8am, the time is not greater than 10pm, but time is less than 9am making the second condition true and will therefore start the paused ad set. At 11pm, the time is greater than 10pm making only the first condition true and will therefore pause the ad set.

Not only can this work on campaigns and ad sets with the typical daily budget instead of lifetime budgets, you can also apply this dayparting schedule to ad sets dynamically instead of individually.

You can try Revealbot and this dayparting strategy for free by clicking the link below:

When creating a Revealbot automation, you have the ability to set the scope of what your automation applies to. So we can set it to apply to any existing ad sets, or ad sets created in the future, with “daypart” in the ad set name, like this:

This makes using Revealbot to set up dayparting for Facebook ads much easier than using Revealbot’s native interface, which requires you to use lifetime budgets and set the schedule on every ad set.

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What are the best days and times to run Facebook ads?

Several studies have been conducted to determine the best timeframe for ad scheduling on Facebook.

Buffer found that if you’re aiming to get more likes, comments, and shares on your page, posting on Thursday and Friday may be your best bet, as these two days of the week have an 18% higher engagement rate. Other studies found that engagement was 32% higher during the weekends.

Sales-wise, the highest-earning day of the week for ecommerce stores is Monday, while the weekend brings the least sales.

Claudia Lombana, a shopping specialist at eBay, explains that Monday lunch breaks between noon and 1 pm are the most profitable hours for online retailers, especially for those who advertise on mobile.

Sales also seem to increase at the beginning and the end of the month, a phenomenon called the paycheck effect.

While looking at industry statistics can provide you with some insight, results vary widely from audience to audience. The best way to determine when to schedule Facebook ads for you is to look at your ad set or campaign and breakdown performance by time. From there, you can see when most of the action occurs and you can create your schedule to test.

Remember to add at least one hour of buffer before your schedule begins to give Facebook time to start delivering your ads.

Remember that consumer behaviors can change. If you’ve found a working schedule, don’t set it and forget it forever. It may be something that needs to change with the seasons, current events, or trends. If performance drops after some time, it may be due to your schedule so continue testing 24/7 deliverability every so often.

How do I know if Facebook ad scheduling is working better than running ads 24/7?

Presumably, you’re currently running ads 24/7 and you want to test whether your performance will improve by implementing Facebook ad scheduling.

The best way to measure this is to take an ad set or campaign you want to test and implement your schedule. Take note of the day you made the switch. Depending on your volume, you will need to run the scheduling test for at least a week to two weeks.

Then compare the length of time of the test to the same number of days immediately before the test. Compare not only the cost-per-conversion, but also the total number of conversions.

If you’re getting the same number of conversions (or more) but at a lower cost, then definitely keep running your Facebook ads on a schedule and think about implementing it in more ad sets and campaigns.

If you’re getting less conversions and at a higher cost, immediately switch back to running your ads 24/7. If you’re getting a lower cost-per-conversion but less conversions, or higher cost-per-conversion, but more conversions, you will have to make the business analysis yourself whether it’s worth it.

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