“On the business side, Meta also uses AI to help run its main line of business: selling ads. Meta says it’s been improving its AI tools that let advertisers target ads. Because of better AI, the company says it’s improved its “monetization efficiency,” or how much the company makes off of ads they sell on Reels, by 30 percent on Instagram and over 40 percent on Facebook quarter over quarter.”
But what happens when AI gets it wrong, and there’s no apparent want to circumvent and correct the issue?
AI and the Future of Advertising
Listen, as the resident internet geeks in Rochester, NY, and much of Florida; we were excited to hear about the advances in AI – particularly when ChatGPT rolled out for us to play around with. But we’ve also seen what a disaster AI can create when something is off or not programmed correctly. Here’s our latest rant on AI and its impact on our agency:
A client of ours, let’s call them Client V, has been advertising on Facebook for years – a smaller budget in the big scheme of things, but consistently spending money. At some point within the last five years, their ads have been flagged as “low quality” per Facebook. Some articles tell advertisers what to do to make the AI “happy” in terms of what to do with images, and what to do, and what not to do with ad copy. Targeting requirements, etc. For the past four years, we’ve been working with FB “support” to figure out what we need to change in the ads to get rid of this “low quality” rating on the ads.
Most of the time in the first two years of this issue was spent working on fine-tuning the ad copy. The reps at Facebook (ahem, Meta) believed that the language in the ad copy was too “sensational.” So we removed any exciting or engaging copy so that we weren’t trying to “lure” anyone to click on the ad. This went through multiple rounds of support tickets and revisions.
To look at the ad copy now is embarrassing. Every one of my marketing professors from college would shake their head, but in an effort to make the AI happy and not be too “sensational” with our language, we’ve been stripped back to “just the facts.” And still – that low-quality flag shows up every time we start a new campaign.
Low-Quality Ads on Facebook Mean Nothing?
Now – some FB support reps have tried to tell us:
“Well, that low quality is just a system warning, and if you’re still getting leads and impressions, it’s okay.”
But here’s the problem with that as an answer – well, there are multiple problems… firstly, don’t make it a warning if it’s innocuous. But secondly, we run ads for another client in the same industry – with a slightly lower monthly budget. The other client’s ads outperform the clients mentioned above by DOUBLE.
Let me break that down for you – Client V with low-quality ads gets 1/2 the leads as Client C without that low-quality flag. Client V spends more than Client C every month.
We’ve contacted FB business support countless times. I can give you an outline of how it goes.
- First, they tell me that the language in the ad copy is too sensational and that we need to adjust the targeting and bidding. They also send me the same “help articles” explaining what to do – with no information on exactly how to do it. I explain that we’ve pared the language in the ad copy to basically nothing and that we’ve exhausted every option to change the ad text.
- Second, the new recommendation is to adjust bidding and targeting, which we’ve also done.
- They like to tell us to expand our targeting – to which I explain that we can’t and shouldn’t be expanding our targeting outside the local area. This is a local business – we can’t open up the targeting to the entire state because that would target an audience that has no intention of driving across the state to make a purchase.
The bottom line is no combination of adjustments, new ad copy, or images will remove this low-quality flag from the ads for Client V.
A New Leaf to Turn Over – Meta Marketing Professionals for Agencies
Over the last two years, we’ve been communicating with a new team at Facebook – Meta Marketing Professionals that Specialize in Agencies. We’ve had multiple phone calls and countless emails back and forth with various people in this division. At some point, when I’ve exhausted all of their recommendations, they stop responding. Sometimes, before they stop responding, they’ll open up a new “ticket” with FB business support, and I have to repeatedly explain everything to the new person. Then they tell me they’ll email me back with recommendations and solutions – and spoiler alert – they’re the same recommendations that every other “rep” has suggested previously.
Exasperated, at this point, with the new ticket open, I copied in the “Meta Marketing Professional” to try and help explain that we’ve already done everything in the “help” articles, which hasn’t helped. To which I receive no response. That is until the next Meta Marketing Professional assigned to our agency sends the auto-email inviting me to “contact them for help” with our ads! And then, the process begins again.
Flagged Ad Account? Why Not Start a New One?
At one point, recently, I suggested that perhaps this specific ad account is flagged, and we should attempt to start with a brand new ad account for the client. We spent time setting up the new ad account, and low and behold… it didn’t help. Immediately once ads were approved, they were flagged with low quality.
Who Cares About Advertising on Facebook?
So why bother? Because as much as I wish that Facebook and Meta would implode, people still use it, and clients still want to advertise and be visible on Facebook. And honestly, for specific verticals, Facebook can provide valuable leads and brand awareness for the right type of advertiser.
So what’s an agency to do?
Facebook Business Pages, Ad Accounts, and the Nightmare Behind Getting Access
I want to reiterate something here that I’m not sure everyone realizes – these difficulties (actually impossible scenarios) are only the case for clients where we already have access to their page and ad accounts. If we need to get access to a client’s business page and ad account, that’s an entirely different nightmare. I’m not sure my blood pressure can withstand it this week to go into that disaster of a process that somehow has gotten worse every time we onboard a client…
Our Open Request to Facebook, Meta, or Whatever You’ll Be Called Next Year
Fix yourself. Please. Until then, prepare your “support” team to listen to me rant and rave whenever I get them on chat, phone, or email.
Hanging by a thread,
Director of Content & Marketing
Full Circle SEM