Facebook Fan Page Ads: Optimized Bidding or Manual?

Optimzed vs Manual Facebook Bidding

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Over the past year and a half or so one of my main interests has been building Facebook fan pages. It all started with a WSO I bought and promoted called Fanpage Commissions. Since then, I have started quite a few very successful fan pages and made well over $10,000 from them. During that time I have learned quite a bit about both what works and what does not work when building and advertising a fan page. For instance, which type of bidding you should use when advertising your fan page or fan page content: Optimized bidding or “Advanced” (manual) bidding?

When you create an ad specifically for a fan page on Facebook you are given a few different options on what you would like to promote with that ad. You can get more page likes, promote page posts, or use advanced options to create your campaign.

Facebook fan page ad options

Get More Page Likes

The Get More Page Likes option simply allows you to create a Facebook ad specifically for your fan page. This add will include the Like button below it to encourage people who view the ad to Like your page.

Promote Page Posts

The Promote Page Posts option is similar to the Get More Page Likes option, but instead of you creating the advertisement that is being displayed it will show an advertisement with a recent post you have made on your fan page. This optional also includes a Like This Page link below the post content to help encourage users seeing the ad to Like your page as well.

Sponsored Stories

Both of these ad types and the Advanced Options allow you to also create Sponsored Stories to help increase your reach. Sponsored Stories allow you to create ads that “Help people discover your business through their friends. No increase in budget is required.” Basically, it will create stories on your fan’s friends new feeds about:

  • People liking your Page post
  • People commenting on your Page post
  • People sharing your Page post

The cool thing about Sponsored Stories is that the CTR and engagement is usually really high and it can drive a ton of targeted traffic to your posts without raising the price of your traffic. You may not get as many new Likes to your fan page, but you will get a lot of Comments, Shares, and Post Likes (likes specifically on the post, not the page).

So, now that you know about the different ad types and you have created your ad, what is the best bidding strategy?

Fan Page Ad Bidding

There are three different options you can choose from when deciding how you want to bid for traffic when setting up your Facebook Ads campaign for a fan page. The three options are:

  • Optimized CPM
  • CPC
  • CPM

The CPM and CPC are basic bidding models. You can bid a CPC (cost per click) or a CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions). Facebook gives you suggested CPCs and CPMs if you choose these options, but you can bid whatever you want.

The Optimized CPM is the option that I use most and recommend. You do not get to choose what you bid with this option, but Facebook will automatically bid the best price for you to get the most engagement possible. You do not have any control over the price, but over time is it usually the best option.

With most Facebook ad campaigns you setup you should notice that over time if your CTR is good your CPM or CPC will drop. Well, the same is true for the Optimized CPM campaigns. I have noticed that it usually takes a little longer, but I have several campaigns that have been running for months and I’m only paying $0.03-0.05 CPM. Here is an example campaign I set up last week and theย fluctuationย on the CPM as time went on:

Day Spend Optimized CPM
1 $10 $6.08
2 $3 $0.84
3 $3 $1.26
4 $3 $0.56
5 $5 $0.80

With those 5 days worth of data you can see that my CPM started out really high. I knew that was going to happen, but I still made the mistake of leaving my daily budget at $10. I usually will start all my campaigns out at a $3 daily budget because this will be enough to give me some data on whether or not this campaign is going to be worthwhile. I like to run the campaigns over the course of a week or so to let the Optimized CPM drop and with a $3 daily budget you’re only going to spend $21 maximum. Well, with this campaign I started to see promising results so I went ahead and increased my budget on the 5th day. I will keep this one running as long as it’s producing new fans and engagement. I estimate that over the next week my Optimized CPM will drop to around $0.20 and then hopefully even more than that in the coming weeks.

Now, if you have been paying attention you may be wondering why I don’t just setup the exact same campaign and bid a CPM lower than what my Optimized CPM is. If all the Optimized CPM is doing is letting Facebook figure out where my best CPM is then why can’t I just setup this exact same campaign with a set CPM of $0.56? I have already seen my Optimized CPM drop to that rate so if I manually bid that I should see traffic right? Well, I decided to do just that so we could take a look.

Optimized CPM vs Manual CPM Bidding

I created the same ad from the table above using standard set CPM bidding. I set the max CPM at $0.77 and let it run for a day. On the second day (which is also day 2 from the table above), I saw the following results for the same exact ad for the two different bidding types:

Manual vs Optimized CPM Bidding

After just 1 day my manual CPM dropped from the maximum CPM I was bidding, $0.77, to just $0.05. My CTR was not great ($0.054%), but I did get 30 clicks for $3.00 and 9 Page Likes.

On the other hand, the Optimized CPM bidding campaign got 859 clicks (including Photo Views, Post Shares, Post Comments, etc) with a 24% CTR after just $3 spent. I also got 40 new Page Likes from this campaign.

It’s easy to see from these campaigns that Facebook favors the Optimized CPM bidding campaigns. I only got a 10th of the exposure (reach), but the people I did reach were much more engaged. Although my CPM is quite a bit more, it’s already dropping and will continue to drop. I may not reach the $0.05 CPM, but the increased engagement will more than make up for the higher CPM.

I recommend the next time you are creating a Facebook Ads campaign for your fan page that you split test this yourself. I think you will find similar results. I am going to stick to the Optimized CPM bidding because I have seen the amazing results it can give.

Million reached on FacebookFan pages on Facebook can be powerful tools to reach a very large targeted audience. Knowing how to build, maintain, and advertise pages can lead to a very profitable and long term business. I have several large pages (including the one from the screenshot on the left) that I am doing all those things on and the results have been very promising. Over the next month I plan to post more about fan pages and will be releasing my own product to show you exactly what I am doing. If you’re interested in being first in line to give it a try join my mailing list. Until then,ย let’s make some money!

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63 thoughts on Facebook Fan Page Ads: Optimized Bidding or Manual?

  1. Good stuff.. I do a lot of Facebook adverting and I always shied away from CPM. I’m going to split test whatever I’m currently running (CPC) with a a CPM version. I’ll let you know how it comes out and thanks for the tip

      1. There are many ways you can monetize people on fan pages besides promoting affiliate offers directly to them.

  2. I found these exact results myself (with some of my own results on my blog); Facebook have effectively done the bidding-work for us to leave us more time to split test our ads!

  3. Hi Luke, thanks for the helpful post. I’m looking forward to your Facebook product. Have you set a specific date for its release?

  4. Very interesting post. I have been thinking about promoting some posts & stories to see how they would do. After reading this, I’m going to test it out! Thanks Luke!

  5. Luke you always amaze me with your knowledge and experience , well I believe you about making money with face book . had seen many guru courses but was not really believing them to much , there always after one thing draining your wallett with bull shit . thanks I will look into this a little more .

  6. Hi Luke,
    Can you guide which is best option to promote Facebook fanpage or website from the following.
    1. Get More Page Likes
    2. Promote Page Posts
    3. Sponsored stories

    Ahmed Mobin

    1. I usually will setup a campaign for both “Get More Page Likes” and “Promote Page Posts.” I also include Sponsored Stories on both and watch to make sure they have similar stats as the regular ad campaign.

  7. Hey Luke, awesome results with Optimized CPM! How long did that CTR last? That’s less than a penny per click!

    Also, I’ve had a similar campaign on facebook – as high as 22% CTR on a promoted post. But lately I’ve seen a drop to about 7% CTR. Should I use a different post to promote?

    One more question: You used CPM Bidding and input your own bid? Why didn’t you just click the “Your bid will be optimized to increase engagement with your post” button?


      1. I have a pretty big audience as it is – I’ve narrowed it to age, an interest, female, and in the US. That gives me between 200k and 350k audience for each age group of women. I know which age group has the high CTR, so right now I’m focusing on those.

        What did you mean by “sponsored stories”, I dont think thats an option when you are creating an ad is it? Or are you using promoted posts?

      2. Sponsored Story should be an option when you are creating the ad for your Facebook Page (under where you choose if you want more Likes or Promote Page post).

  8. Hi Luke,
    I know that we can not promote Peerfly offers with direct linking.Is it okay if we redirect the user to a lander and promote the CPA offer there?

  9. Hi Luke!

    Is it possible that we can promote a PeerFly offer which allows social promotion through a FB Fan Page Tab? Meaning that, we create a tab landing page and promote the link to the FB tab which would include an image from the offer. I noticed a discussion about this in the WF and was wondering about it.


  10. Hello Luke,

    Thank you for sharing your experiment! How much did you spend average daily? I tried $2 for 7 hours but the results are not good maybe because the Optimized CPM had not the time to drop, right? So i think is good to spend for example $3 for a whole day but what if i want to increase my daily budget? If the budget is bigger, CPM will not have time through the day to drop. How to control that so can achive to have proportionally the same results with bigger budget?


    1. You would just increase your daily budget once your Optimized CPM dropped. When you do this is up to you. With these campaigns I’ve found it’s good to be patient ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I had a great optimized CPM campaign going getting tons of new likes. My cost per like went from $.62 down to $.17 over 3 days so I increased the budget and it went back up to $.63. Should I expect this to go back down over the course of a few days?

  12. i have started a new online shopping page on facebook,is it worth to take FB advert?? if yes,then how much money initially?? i have 450 likes on my page!

  13. going for it as we speaking, 1st day 0.25 per like, 2 day 0.8, 3 day 0.2, ofcourse because the CPM keep dropping.

    thanks for the good tip.

  14. Great article Luke. I have one question.
    My ad campaign was getting CPM of $.10 cents but when I started sharing links on the page, it started to raise and touched $.30 cents level.
    Does the cost of the ads also depends on the content you are posting on your page?

    1. I believe the main factors are your targeting, competitions, and engagement. More engagement should decrease the cost as long as you don’t get more competition.

  15. how about for split testing? what pricing is the way to go to test? cpc, cpm?
    I notice there’s also optimize cpc. Not sure how would ocpm vs optimize cpc compare ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Can I use Facebook paid Ad to drive traffic to Peerfly affiliate link directly?
    or I need to use Facebook paid Ad to drive traffic to my landing page first and let the visitors to click the Peerfly affiliate link or clcik the Peerfly affiliate banner on my landing page?

  17. Hi, Luke, I’m actually searching for this topic and I found this article. Lately, I’m also make comparison between manual bid CPM and optimized CPM and the result is just same with what you’ve got. But after reading your article, I still don’t get it…

    Why two same ads with same target (although one is manual and another one is optimized CPM), can have so much difference in its performance? Does facebook show these ads in different way or what?

    You can also read my study case here and I hope can get explanation from you: http://www.warriorforum.com/social-media-marketing-forum/862638-strange-facebook-ads-study-case-comparison-inside.html

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Hi, Luke. Would you please tell me if I can promote Clickbank product directly through facebook Ad (Ad type: click to a website)? The way I did is that first I created a fan page, then use this fan page to create a Ad (I chose “click to a website”). After that I pasted Clickbank Hoplink into the website address box which is the destination website address. Facebook accepted it, but after I fill in all required box and click submit, there was a error message pop up, which said that the contents In my Ad iare blocked since it has been reported by someone and it is abusive. I don’t understand what it means. I created all my contents and graphic. More important, when I click on the link which is my Clickbank Hoplink in the fan page “about” session, it was blocked too. Moreover, facebook didn’t allow me to post a message include my Clickbank Hoplink. Hi, luke.
    Can you tell me how to solve the problem? Thanks!

    1. Honestly, I have not promoted any products directly from ClickBank using Facebook Ads. I can’t say whether or not it would be allowed. I would reach out to ClickBank directly and ask their experiences or post on an affiliate forum like AffiliateFix ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Nice post, Luke! I started promoted my page yesterday and using optimized CPM I am getting $0.38 and I have a CTR of 1.2%. Hopefully, I can get in pennys if I let it run for while. When should I start monetizing my fan page?

  20. WoW! I thought for sure if you did a manual CPC you’d get the cheapest traffic and likes! I guess I was totally wrong. I am working on building out my fanpage right now on Facebook and will definitely have to try this optimized CPM option to see what kind of results I can get compared to manual bidding.

    Thanks for sharing Luke!

  21. That’s good to know. I was thinking about monetizing my page too but only have 3000 likes and they aren’t very active. I’ll keep building.

    How do you recommend we monetize our Facebook fan page?

  22. Hi Luke I would be interested in signing up to peerfly but at present I only have a fan page, I’m working building the website. Would I still be accepted with just having a fan page?

    1. Yes, that should be fine as long as you are honest on your application and give us an idea of how you plan to promote our offers.

  23. Can you comment on auto google or FB bot clicks? have you tested authenticity, example, I ran an FB ad which FB reported about 130 visit clicks to my website but my trustee counter on that landing page only reported about 40 visits. Also, my friend is a marketer and has also caught google and FB playing not nice, whats your take?

    1. I’m sure it happens, but it hasn’t been an issue for me and I’ve had very few complaints from my publishers.

  24. You must have been targeting Asian/South American demo…. because I doubt you could get $0.05 CPM targeting the US.

    In which case… kinda useless – the real money is in the US/UK/CA/AU … so what CPM are you getting for the US?


  25. Nice Post Lucke, actually when you have a fan page and you want promoting say a teespring tee do you start by posting to your fan page and after obtaining likes and shares as a social proof then you start promoting the post or you just start by targeting you fan page users directly ?

  26. The only reason why you didnt get good result is because your bid was too low, if you want to get result from manual biding you need to bid high, here is what happens if other people bid 0.06 cent they win the auction and facebook will give them the best out of the audience and you will only get what’s left..that;s how it works when ever you bid manually and you doont bid high and loose the option you just will not get what you are looking for

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