Working with the Facebook Algorithm
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Working with the Facebook Algorithm

Emma Bunsness

Paid Media Manager in our Denver Office. She enjoys long hikes in the mountains with her dog, going to a brewery with her dog, and sitting on the couch watching Love Island with her dog.
Jan 28, 2020

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when planning or optimizing a social campaign on Facebook; what is the main KPI, who is the audience you are trying to reach, what placements and ad types perform best for your brand, etc. But an important component to take into consideration that is often neglected is how your strategy works with the Facebook algorithm, not against it.

According to Facebook, “Advertisers with ~20% of spend in the learning phase see 17% more conversions and a 15% lower CPA than advertisers with ~80% of spend in the learning phase.”  Knowing this, we at Movement Strategy, a Denver social media agency, plan and optimize our campaigns in order to ensure the algorithm has all of the information it needs to learn, and most importantly learn quickly.

It takes a minimum of 50 conversions in order to exit the learning phase. If your campaign is struggling to meet this minimum, we recommend taking a look at these five main factors.

1. Targeting


It seems obvious, but a factor in preventing the algorithm from leaving the

learning phase is that the audiences being utilized are too small. For example, we try to steer our clients away from keeping all of their audiences separate. We often find separating interests like “NBA Final” and “Stephen Curry” into different ad sets leads to overlap and hinders overall reach. We recommend bundling all interest targets into one ad set.

2. Placements

According to Facebook, the more placements the better. We know this is often unrealistic for most clients due to creative restraints and that some brands do not have the bandwidth to create assets sized for each placement. So, we recommend a minimum of four placements to help reach the 50 conversions necessary to leave the learning phase.

3. Budget

Another factor restraining the algorithm from gaining necessary learnings could be budget. As a Denver social media agency, we know budgets can vary based on the

client, so we plan media based on what is available. For small budgets, we recommend fewer audiences and creative assets to ensure your budget is not being spread too thin.

4. Bid

The bid is an important part of auction and algorithm. We recommend starting with an auto-bid. However, if you are still not seeing any conversions, try switching to a bid that is 3x your average CPA.

5. Optimization Event

As I mentioned earlier, the algorithm needs a minimum of 50 conversions in order to exit the learning phase. This is usually the last lever we pull, but if you are optimizing toward conversion and not seeing at least 50 conversions within your attribution window, consider adjusting your optimization to one higher in the funnel—like Landing Page Views—in order to allow the algorithm to gain enough learnings.


Overall, as with any social platform, it is important to test and learn, again and again. Every brand is different, so continually test into new things and see what works best for you!


We’re ready when you are.

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