Everything we learned at Facebook HQ, Sydney

Inside Facebook: Tricks, tips and secrets from our May Workshop at Facebook HQ, Sydney

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to Facebook HQ in Sydney for an intimate, small-group workshop with our rep from Singapore, Amanda.

Are the offices cool as *ship*? Oh yes.

Did I get a photo with the “what’s on your mind?” wall? Awwww yes indeed I did.

Did I miss an opportunity to write something hilarious on said wall, thus disappointing my husband and everyone around me? Also yes.

But I made my mark. (I literally wrote our names…lmao)

Anyway, you don’t care about my clever little intro where I try and showcase my *amazing* (truly) sense of humour and wit, do you?

On with the show.

Facebook ads specislists and experts audtralia Jess Riches Enriches Business
It’s ya girl, Jess Riches! Posing like a clown at Facebook HQ, Sydney. Sorry the photo looks like it was taken with a potato, I didn’t want to check it and ask them to take it again 🙈


Do you have a list as long as your arm smattered with questions about Facebook Ads? Check out the recent blog: Literally just a massive list of Facebook Q&As


What did we learn?

I got a lot of validation. Nope, that’s not a #HumbleBrag [see here for brags]; We spend hours upon hours every week (or day!) studying what’s new, learning from some of the best coaches around the globe and I work on anywhere between 15-30 accounts in a week. Knowledge I got. Clarification? Difficult to come by! (anyone who works on any Facebook product would agree 😉).

I did also learn new tricks and, although I was afraid, I worked them into my funnels immediately upon returning to work.

And by jingo, they converted. FAST.

Of course, after prepping our team and implementing changes to our client accounts, the time has come for me to share these lovely lil’ nuggets of glorious advice and best practices with you.

I’m going to list them out. Have questions? Join us in the Facebook Ads Made Easy Facebook group here. You’ll be welcomed with open arms and your questions shall be answered (you’ll also get access to our case studies, advice, updates and learn from some very cool people in there).

Here we go…

Actually, a disclaimer: Yes, this is direct advice from the Horses mouth. Yes, Facebook knows more than we do and it is up to us to absorb what they share and teach.

But Facebook doesn’t know your product, your account specifically and there are always instances where the weird, whacky and wonderful methods of testing and converting work differently for us all. So with the below in mind, test, review, tweak, repeat (that’s our little mantra). See what works for you – then share it in the group!

So now without further ado…here we really go:

Whenever you see this: * it means if this is part of an overall funnel, obviously take this with a grain of salt. Obvs. 

Stop running PPE (pay per engagement) campaigns

Facebook is seeing the pools of people within this targeting getting smaller. Facebook is advising that we set engagement as an objective less, if at all.*

KPIs Facebook is listening to

Facebook is focussed on measuring the friendliness of your ads.

  •       Users stop scrolling and view the ad for longer
  •       A low relevance [now rolling out as quality scoring] = ad will not be as competitive
  •       CPM (Cost Per Mille/1000 impressions) & video views
  •       Ad recall lift

Funnel (ecom) best practices

  •       10-15 second videos however longer can be effective for the right business/audience*
  •       Automatic placements with creative tweaked at ad level (bear in mind text on stories and formatting issues – I suggest breaking out the stories placement in its’ own adset)
  •       Stop running PPE and boosting posts for engagement (remember, Facebook isn’t using engagement to measure the ‘friendliness’ towards your ads)
  •       Use brand awareness (cheaper)

Facebook conducted a test recently with its alpha test partners. They tested Brand Awareness against PPE objectives. They then calculated the estimated ad recall lift across both for comparison: across all studies, Brand awareness came out as the more effective method by 60%

Optimise your campaigns for the business goal, not on-platform behaviour

For example, Facebook’s reach objective can help you reach as many people at the lowest cost per impression, but this can come at the expense of longer video views. The video views objective optimises for 10 Second video views and beyond but optimising for views can limit your reach and increase CPMs.

Facebook sydney headquarters australia facebook ads jess riches enriches business best facebook advertiser queensland facebook workshops queensland
Facebook Sydney gives the meeting rooms names that resonate with local culture. Naturally, one such room in Australia’s HQ office references tomato sauce. #Cultured

Use Campaign Budget Optimisation!

Separate targeting segments into individual adsets but if some of them are very small, pair them together to avoid feeding out issues.  Play with creative, offering different forms of media to attract different pockets of your audiences. Facebook will optimise for the top performing ad based on format; images, links, text and videos.


Pssst! Want to learn more about Facebook Advertising AND tap into experience, expertise and hand-holding on the daily?  Click here to learn about FAME Premium (Facebook Ads Made Easy). A simple membership for just $49/month, FOREVER. Videos, Hand-holding, emails and patience included 😉

Don’t you wish that when you had a problem or questions (or a tanking ad account) you could just dump a screenshot somewhere and get the answers, IN REAL TIME? Now you can.

Join FAME Premium and get exclusive ad account audits, videos, emails and live group calls!

Your FAME Membership is waiting right here. 


Relinquish some of the control – Use Dynamic Creative more

You can take the winning combination post ID and use it in future campaigns against vetted targeting options and optimisation.

Understanding Objective versus Optimisation

Objective: The goal. What you want people to do. This should align with your overall business goals.

Optimisation: The efficiency; You’re telling Facebook to get you as much of that result as is possible, as efficiently as possible

How does Facebook optimise?

Facebook picks up signals from user behaviours. For example, if you click on a brand ad and explore the website, you’re sending the signal that you’re interested. You will also fall into a pool of people identified by them as likely to become website traffic for advertisers. If you were to click on a retargeting ad, and add the product to cart this time, Facebook starts to pick up signals that you are active in upper funnel events (such as view page, view content). They may also start to pick up that you are a user who is likely to become a paying customer. This means you may start to fall into pools of people who are likely to activate lower funnel signals (such as complete registration checkout, or purchase).   

 Optimisation tactics Facebook sees as working now

The three pillars of best practice.

Optimal spend: Branding

Why: Create a positive brand experience, by placing ads that strengthen your story and build upper funnel audiences.

Optimisations: Reach, Video views, Ad Recall Lift

Optimal spend: Performance

Why: when ads are optimised for the true business objective, better audiences are served and results are likely to produce

Optimisations:  Landing page views, Lead generation, message replies, conversions with lower-funnel signal

Optimal Liquidity: Efficiency

Why: Campaign achieves incremental reach and delivery is optimized to the best performing placement at a given time

Optimisations: Adsets should opt into 2 or more placements (auto placements is strongly recommended) & campaign uses CBO. Cross placements such as in-stream + stories, feeds + in-stream, stories + feed are effective


Facebook is focussed on liquidity. This is a focus on ensuring every dollar is spent on the most valuable impression and allowing the system to select the most valuable impression + creative.

In other words? Learn to relinquish a little control and the ‘book distribute your budget based on the insane intelligence of their software.

Facebook HQ Sydney offices inside look advertisers facebook queensland jess riches best Facebook advertiser australia
I’m pretty sure the Zucc flew to Sydney to paint the walls in person. The main takeaway was this: If your walls aren’t Instagrammable, tear them down.

Signals explained

Facebook uses the signals it detects to learn about user behaviour and optimise campaigns.

Upper Funnel Signals Include: Page view, view content, search, add to wish list, achievement unlocked, completed tutorial, Rate app, activate app.

Lower Funnel Signals include: add to cart, initiate checkout, app install, add payment info, purchase, complete registration, lead.

As you can see, upper funnel = lower intent, lower funnel = higher intent


Optimise delivery for the website actions you care about, rather than the action in Newsfeed


Lookalike Audiences

Seed audiences should be at least 1000.

Store Visits objective

Currently, we are only able to optimise for foot traffic in our local area which can be achieved with brand awareness and reach. Big companies such as Maccas, Burger King etc. have access to further which is being tested and possibly rolled out further. Currently not recommended as optimisation basic.

CBO is the new black

(For those who don’t know, in September 2019 CBO will be forced. Use it now)

CBO is focused on driving the budget to the targeting, placements and with the creatives that will drive the most results for the lowest cost.

CBO is dynamic, meaning it is machine-learning in real-time.

Audience overlapping within Campaign: With CBO, if one ad set is getting heavily de-duped, that budget can still be spent in another ad set. Without campaign budget optimization, the deduped ad set may have under delivered and total spend for the campaign would be lower.

CBO continually explores opportunities. It does not “choose” an adset.

If you kill an adset, you can layer in a new adset. It will start in its’ own learning phase however the adset may be able to lean on the learnings from the overall campaign.


Group ad placement (ads within a group feed) is not on the radar. Groups are intended to become more private and protected, although ad placement may change down the road.

Automatic placements are preferred by Facebook.

When you enable automatic placements during campaign set-up, you elect to run ads across the entire Facebook family of apps and services in order to deliver ad content on the platform most likely to drive campaign results at the lowest possible cost at any given time.

Stories, stories, stories. Customise your creative for stories and make use of them (select specific creative at ad level so you can still use automatic placements, should this work for your campaign)

Creative best practices

  •       Shorter is better
  •       Design for sound off
  •       Frame the visual story (correct ratios for different placements)
  •       Highlight the brand early – first 3 and last 3 seconds
  •       Provoke – ask questions (avoid clickbaity BS)
  •       Static + video campaigns achieved a 17% higher conversion lift vs. static images alone
  •       On average, a higher portion of static-only (53%) or mixed static + video DR campaigns (56%) drove statistically significant incremental conversion lift, compared to DR campaigns using only video assets (44%).
  •       Long form content (video) with collections a good support for long form
  •       Collapse the funnel to drive conversions

Phew! I know, it’s a long list. But it’s paved with gold!  

We also discussed at length how we can implement these best practice tips into our own campaigns both current and future, some strategies outside of the norm that is killing it and how to revive campaigns that are starting to fall.


Looking for Strategy? This might help.  Or, you can try this blog, where we share a simple (SO SIMPLE) tip and case study of how we achieved 16x ROAS for a client in a week.


Oh, and I got to take snacks from the common area and free juice. Thanks, Zucc *love heart eyes emoji*

All in all? A pretty fabulous afternoon/evening. 

No, I did not get to meet Mark. Nor did we get the photo of me sitting on a desk, giving advice. (Which is a shame as we were planning to photoshop him in so it looked like he was taking our advice. #NextTime)

We were so chuffed to be personally invited to Facebook for this workshop and equally as chuffed to be able to bring it to you!

We have already started implementing some of the strategies and in many cases, the changes have improved our client’s campaigns really quickly! Other tests and experiments are planned.

Ad Management got you tired, sick and sad? Give it to us. Fill in the form below or head here to arrange a chat.

Ad Management got you psyched, but you need some support? Join the FAME Membership wait list. Just $49/mo for hands-on support and feedback (irl). Click here for more info. 

Facebook ads speciaslists and experts audtralia Jess Riches Enriches Business - Facebook worlshops Sydney, Brisbane, Queensland
Ty, Facebook. ty.


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7 thoughts on “Everything we learned at Facebook HQ, Sydney

  1. Great read!
    Definitely going to play around with these ideas and see what changes I can make.
    It’s actually kinda inspiring to know that Facebook is enthusiastic about sharing this knowledge, it’s obviously a goldmine for them to have us use FB ads but it also gives us autonomy and control over our own interactions with the software. To think that I can do all this for my business within a social media app is mind blowing. Yep, I’m officially old. The future, man!

    1. it is SO good to know they want to empower businesses with this info! And not just agencies: I was in the presence of small business owners plus employees of a huge Corporate. There is almost no end to what you can do, Jazmyn. Don’t forget to hmu when you need support!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your insights from your day at Facebook! Definitely going to play around with the suggestions and see how they perform for me.

    Btw was there tomato sauce in the meeting room? Or they just have quirky names?

  3. Thank you so much for this – We found this article super insightful and are looking forward to implementing loads of these tips and strategies!
    We’ve gotten ourselves onto your FAME waitlist as well 🙂
    We are currently coaching with the Entourage so have access to alot of info that you might find helpful as well – happy to chat and share info!
    Thanks so much for the awesome blog post and for sharing your day.
    Look forward to connecting soon!

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