Creative, Social

When it Comes to Facebook, Relevance is the Name of the Game

Written by Tim Edmundson

“There will be days when I walk in an arena and people will cheer and then there might be days when I walk in an arena and people might boo, but it all sounds the same to me because it’s all just noise that lets me know that I’m relevant.”  – Drake

Unlike Drake, Facebook has a different take on relevancy. When people “boo” your ad in Facebook, it definitely counts against you. Here’s what we mean: After an ad has been served more than 500 times, Facebook evaluates your ad to see how it fared with your targeted audience. They then assign your ad a daily score, ranging from 1-10 with 10 being the best, based on how they expect your ad to be received. Facebook splits this up into “positive” and “negative” feedback; positive being whether users will like, share, view your video or click on your ad, and negative being whether they will hide or block future ads from you.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how Facebook determines its relevance score, how you can ensure your creative will score high, and why it matters.


Facebook is a pretty big deal in digital advertising — there are nearly two billion active users — which means there are plenty of people waiting to click your ads. But along with those billions of users are over three million advertisers all vying for attention. Your relevancy score matters because it is the best way to know your ads are the ones getting in front of all those potential paying customers.


The best way is to increase your ad’s relevance score — the value Facebook assigns to each ad that is submitted to run on their site. The better the relevance score, the better chance your ad has of getting in front of your audience — and helps you pay less to reach your audience. So needless to say, you better have a strong score if you want your campaign to be a success.

We’ve briefly touched on relevance score before, and applied its concepts towards improving your general display ads. For our purposes here, let’s drill into what exactly will help your Facebook ads be relevant. According to Facebook, this is what you need for a strong relevance score:

> Specific Targeting | If your audience is too broad, your targeting isn’t up to snuff. Focus your targeting with the options available to you through Facebook segmenting, and narrow down your audience to a group that are more inclined to click.

> Image and Messaging | Low quality imagery is a great way to turn off your audience, and copy that doesn’t resonate with your finely tuned targeted audience isn’t going to do your ad’s relevance score any favors. Keep it simple but engaging, and if you can, use video in your ad since it has much higher engagement rates than static imagery.

> Refresh Your Creative | According to SteelHouse data, a creative refresh on Facebook can result in a 4x increase in your relevance score. A good way to tell when it’s time for a creative refresh is when your daily relevance score drops and stays low for a stretch of time.

> Test to See What Works | This is good advice regardless of where you are running creative. Testing your ads against one another by showing them to the same audience is the best tried and true method to discover which one drives more clicks and resonates with your audience.

> Don’t be Offensive | This should go without saying, but the fact that Facebook needs to list it as a way to improve your relevance score means that it probably does need to be said. What a shame.


Facebook wants you to run good ads on its network — it’s that simple. This is born out of two main reasons; the first reason is that they want their users to have a good experience when visiting their site. If users are bombarded with bad advertising, it discourages people to come back. The second reason is tied to the first — they want to drive as much ad revenue as possible (as do you), and bad ads just do not perform as well as the good ones, rather they keep people away and drop performance.

So your campaign will benefit two-fold with ads that have a higher relevance score. They will not only drive more clicks, signups, and conversions, but they will also cost you less when it comes to bids. Your CPM will benefit with a higher relevance score.

Here’s how that works. As you know, every ad that appears on Facebook is there because it won an auction. Bids are pit against one another, and generally speaking, the highest bid will win the day. But, with Facebook’s interest in serving good content to its users, the highest bid won’t always win. Ads with a higher relevance score are actually given an edge, which means if you’re competing against bad ads with higher bids, there’s a chance you can still win the auction if your relevance score is superior.

It pays to serve better ads than your competitors, and you should have a solution that makes it easy. The Premier edition of the SteelHouse Advertising Suite has a built-in Facebook ad builder that dynamically populates your product catalog straight into your ad, with no product feed required. What you get are great looking ads that showcase your products the way you want to, using images straight from your product page. That way your audience sees your products exactly the way you intended them to.


No matter what business you operate, you want to be relevant in the eyes of your audience. And when it comes to Facebook ads, you definitely want your relevance score to be better than the rest. So take Facebook’s guidance to heart, and build beautiful ads that best represent your brand and mean something to your audience.