Facebook Ad Scheduling: What Marketers Need to Know

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Do you use Facebook advertising?

Do you want to control the times when your ads run?

Facebook recently introduced an ad scheduling feature to let users choose what times of each day their ads run.

In this post we’ll explore what ad scheduling is, where to find it and how to use it.

About Ad Scheduling

In the past you’ve been able to specify the starting and ending dates and times for Facebook ads, but you couldn’t schedule specific times of the day to run your ads.

facebook ad scheduling

Find out how to use Facebook’s new ad scheduling feature.

To prevent your ad from running all day long, you had to manually pause the campaign. With several campaigns running at once, it’s been a hassle.

Now with the new Facebook Ad Scheduling feature, you can:

  • Specify what days and times you want your ad to be served
  • Combine run times with independent budgets and audiences
  • See how your ads perform at different times of day
scheduling clocks

Facebook ad scheduling is now part of Power Editor’s features.

Although it’s new to Facebook, this type of ad scheduling isn’t new. Google ads have been offering this feature for a few years now. If you’ve never heard of it, that may be because it’s also referred to as dayparting—the practice of dividing the day to show your ad campaign within specific blocks of time.

Activate Facebook Ad Scheduling

Although I believe this feature will eventually be offered on the Ad Creation Tool most people work with, at the moment you can only use it through Power Editor.

Ad scheduling is configured at the Ad Sets level. This is what allows you to combine times with budgets and audiences.

To find the feature, head over to the Power Editor dashboard top navigation bar and click on Ad Sets.

power editor menu

Ad scheduling is configured within the Ad Sets tab of Power Editor.

Because this feature isn’t available for daily budgets, you’ll need to change the budget to lifetime.

budget dropdown

Change your budget to Lifetime.

The first time you use ad scheduling, you’re taken through a quick tour.

ad scheduling tour

Begin exploring this newest feature by watching the Ad Scheduling tour.

Once the tour is over, the Ad Scheduling option is activated and you can switch to the Run Ads on a Schedule option.

ad scheduling

Switch to Run Ads on a Schedule to get started with scheduling.

Below that, you’ll see a chart to select specific days of the week and times you want to serve your ad.

ad scheduling grid

Use this grid to schedule which days and times to serve your ad.

Scheduling Your Ads

Important: One thing you need to consider is that your ads are served in relation to your audience’s time zone, not your local time. If you’re on the West Coast and you select to serve your ad from 9am to 5pm, your audience on the East Coast will see your ad 3 hours ahead of you—starting at 6am your time. Plan around different time zones carefully.

You have three options to set up your times:

First, you can simply select full days by clicking on the All Day column.

ad scheduling grid full day selection

Select full days.

Second, you can click and drag through the grid cells to select specific blocks of time. Your scheduled hours will show in blue.

ad scheduling grid specific hours selection

Click and drag for specific hours of the day.

Third, you can select the same blocks of time for every day of the week by clicking and dragging the Every Day row at the bottom of the chart.

ad scheduling grid same hours daily selection

Click and drag the Every Day row to select the same times every day.

Once you’re done, you can move on to create the ads inside your set as usual.

Is Ad Scheduling Right for You?

While some people are calling this feature “revolutionary” or a “game changer,” I’d like to take it down a notch and look at a couple of different scenarios to show where it can be useful (or not).

Use Facebook ad scheduling if the nature of your business means it could benefit from advertising at specific times of the day. For example:

  • When an ad click from a user requires a responding action in real time on your end.
  • When your restaurant is open only for lunch and dinner and you don’t want to advertise at 7am when people aren’t likely to want a good steak.
  • When you need to promote an event or TV show a couple of hours before, but not after.
  • When a B2B company needs to target their audience only during business hours.

If you’re targeting your fan base, you might be tempted to serve ad campaigns based on the “When your fans are online” chart on your page Insights—thinking your ad will reach more people at those times.

when your fans are online graph

“When your fans are online” chart on page Insights.

Because this metric is no indication that your fans who are online at other times won’t also engage with your ad, scheduling ads to coordinate solely with when your fans are online might be a mistake.

How do you know?

You guessed. Just like audiences, budgets, days and pretty much everything else in marketing, you test, gather data and analyze the results to make an educated decision.

Run independent ad sets with the same creative, copy and budget at different time blocks and observe their performance to mark any significant differences.

How About You?

Facebook’s Ad Scheduling feature will let you target delivery of your ads with greater precision. In addition to setting begin and end dates for your ads, you can now choose specific hours of delivery for each day.

While this feature is certainly a welcome addition to Facebook’s ad tools, use it with care and consideration. What you view as a “game changer” for your business might actually play against you if you don’t use it correctly.

What do you think? How might Facebook ad scheduling be right for your business? Have you experimented with ad scheduling already? Share your thoughts and comments below.

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About the Author, Francisco Rosales

Francisco Rosales is the founder and author of SocialMouths, twice winner of Social Media Examiner's Top 10 Social Media Blogs, Likeable to Profitable, the Ultimate Guide to Master Facebook Advertising. Other posts by »




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  • http://beta21.circussocial.com Avtar Ram Singh

    To the point guide, covers pretty much everything. The ad scheduler definitely is an interesting one to use, I’m pretty sure after some time marketers will figure out that at different times of the day they’re actually able to get better CPC/CPM/oCPM rates than at other times and we can only hope that perhaps the click-through and the conversion rate at that time will be higher. Hey! We can hope alright!

    This does open up a number of avenues to talk about though. One of the clients I work with runs a ticketing business, and when they have an event coming up and tickets are about to go up on sale, they can schedule the ad to sell tickets to run from the time the ticketing options open up for a few hours and then see how well the bookings go, then decide if they want to run them longer.

    Similarly, I’m fairly sure many e-commerce stores will realize that the majority of their sales take place between X-Y PM, and that’ll prompt them to run a couple of ads at X-1/1.5 PM to target those people who are most likely to buy and therefore generate a far higher ROI.

    … key here? Measurement. You have to MEASURE to be able to truly take advantage of these new features.

  • http://linwrightdesign.com/ Linwright

    Great information!

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Thanks for the question. Yes, you can always break down the data., but like I said, you can create separate ad sets for different times and individual reporting.

  • http://darbistolk.com Darbi

    Thank you for answering my questions about scheduling in the article. I’m a life coach and my target clients are up at all hours. It makes sense to run my ads all day and night long.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Absolutely. I think the main point here is to be able to make that decision, maybe in some cases that answer is obvious and for others it will require some testing.

    I’m curious, how are ads working for you? I’ve had a couple of clients in the life coaching industry…

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Agreed, the key is to measure, and understand that there are a lot of different aspects of the campaign that can affect ROI. I suggest running several campaigns before coming to a solid decision.

    The example you shared of your client is a perfect example of a scenario where this feature could be key.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • amin

    amazing

  • Alicia Henderson

    What are the best times to run ads to reach people all across the country?

  • http://navneetsau.com/ NavNeet Sau

    Great article Franscisco. Facebook ad scheduling tool will be really cool to target right people at the right. It will be really helpful for the audience who spend their time on Facebook specific time of the day. Thanks for sharing this awesome guide.

  • http://darbistolk.com Darbi

    I’m using the ads to ultimately generate interest for a class I’m giving the end of this month. I’m only paying for “website” clicks. So far, ROI is lousy but I only have to convert a few more to turn that around. This is the first time using them for a big campaign. We’ll see!

  • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

    Thanks for the concise guide Francisco!

    I’m glad to see both of you speak. Avtar is active in the Singapore social media scene.

  • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

    Have you tried website conversions?

  • http://www.mkshft.ca/ Mark Shannon

    This is a great addition, and you’ve covered some excellent points here. One of my concerns with the implementation however, is that it the ad set still looks at start/end dates when calculating budget instead of total running days. For example, if I scheduled an ad set to display on Thursdays only for the next 6 months. At $1 minimum per (Thurs)day, the minimum required to run the ad should only be $26, but Facebook still counts every other day in the tally, for a total required budget of $179.

    This may be fine for large advertisers, but small businesses may not want to dedicate this large of a budget to a post schedule like this. If the advertiser wanted to put a $2/day budget onto their Thursday posts, it would only cost $52. Instead, Facebook will automatically split the $179/26 for $6.88 per Thursday.

    This could be easily fixed by defining a Daily budget at $2 a day, setting the end date for 6 months into the future, and choosing on which day to run the posts (Thursdays). This way, the ad would only run one day a week and would therefore only be charged for the days it runs. But for some reason, Facebook has decided to only allow scheduled ads to run with Lifetime budgets.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Thanks Jason!

  • nimis

    Has this tool been introduced in India?

  • Junaid

    & Pakistan too??









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