Should You Click the Audience Expansion Box in Facebook Ads? - Carney
The Daily Carnage

Should You Click the Audience Expansion Box in Facebook Ads?

We’re getting reeeealllllyyyy specific with today’s Listen. We’re only talking about one tiny little box on Facebook — the interest targeting expansion checkbox in Ads Manager.

You’ve probably seen this before when you’re building a new audience, it’s right under the detailed targeting section. It’s automatically “checked” when you’re building a new audience, but of course that raises the question: should you leave it checked or should you manually uncheck it?

Molly Pittman conducted an experiment to find out what you should actually do. She created two identical ads — the copy, creative, targeting, budget, etc. were all identical. The only difference was that one ad had the box checked and the other did not.

Guess. What. Happened? Turns out that checking the box actually made her ads perform worse. Here are the most important stats:

  • Number of leads — Checked: 1,665 vs. Unchecked: 1,987
  • Cost per lead — Checked: $3.24 vs. Unchecked: $2.58
  • Unique clicks — Checked: 2,864 vs. Unchecked: 2,984

But perhaps the most damning evidence that checking the box isn’t worth it, is in their conversion rate on the landing page. In cases where they checked the box, their conversion rate was 58%. But, when they unchecked the box, their conversion rate was 66%. That’s a huge difference. 

Daaaang Facebook, ice cold. And to think we trusted you!

Molly thinks the reason that checking the box made the ads perform worse is because she lost control of her audience targeting. Facebook automatically targets people similar to her audience when that box is checked, but Facebook doesn’t know everything.

Moral of the story? Uncheck the box. 

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