3 Things You Need To Know About The Facebook Ad Relevance Score


Rick Liebling

February 12, 2015 3 min read

Updated on May 2, 2017

Yesterday it was announced that Facebook would be rolling out its Facebook Ad Relevance Score to all advertisers. The Relevance Score was originally discovered and reported on back in November by Adweek’s SocialTimes site. In a nutshell, the Relevance Score provides a metric for understanding how positively your ad is being received. A 10 means people are highly engaged in a positive manner, a one means your ads are being hidden or reported as spam.

With more and more social content being pushed with paid advertising to generate reach, it’s more important than ever to know how your content is performing from an organic and paid standpoint.

Here are three things social media marketers need to know about Facebook’s Ad Relevance Score:

1. It’s not just about “Likes.”

The ARS will be calculated by weighing both positive and negative interactions with an ad. According to Facebook’s press release on Ad Relevance Score:

Relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback we expect an ad to receive from its target audience. The more positive interactions we expect an ad to receive, the higher the ad’s relevance score will be. (Positive indicators vary depending on the ad’s objective, but may include video views, conversions, etc.) The more times we expect people to hide or report an ad, the lower its score will be.

Interesting to note their language here. “…feedback we expect an ad to receive…” Sounds like a bit of predictive     analytics are in play here. (Ed. Note: Unmetric is working on some predictive analytics features that we should be rolling out by the end of Q1).

Facebook also notes that, “Ads with guaranteed delivery — like those bought through reach and frequency — are not impacted by relevance score.”

2. It Can Lower the Cost of Advertising. Maybe.

Will the Ad Relevance Score save you money? Perhaps. Certainly it can help you stop running a poor ad sooner than you otherwise might. And if your ARS is high, you might be able to get more exposure even if you have a lower bid (Learn about Facebook ad bids here). As noted in this Ad Age article:

A high relevance score could compensate for a low bid, and it could be the difference-maker between two advertisers looking to pay comparable prices to reach the same audience.    


3. The ARS is Something, But it’s Not Everything

Anytime a complex issue is encapsulated into a single number, it’s easy to obsess about that number (cough Klout cough). Facebook wants to make sure that doesn’t happen here. In their press release on ARS, Facebook notes:

Say, for instance, you own a pizza shop and want to run a campaign that drives people to order through your website. Achieving the desired outcome — in this case, driving sales online — is ultimately more important than your relevance score. If you have an average score but your ad is working, you may not want to change anything. Or you may consider tweaking the ad to see how you can get lower cost of delivery by improving the relevance score. Or you might monitor your relevance score, along with the sales you’re driving, to learn when it’s time to update your campaign.    

So, by all means take a look at your ARS, but remember: it’s a data point, not the data point.

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