Facebook ads/ad sets/campaigns are driving me batty.
August 3, 2017 1:36 PM   Subscribe

I don't know if I am misunderstanding how ads, ad sets, and campaigns are used to group and organize paid Facebook ads, or if my understanding is right and I just can't figure out the how. Fellow professional social media managers, please help.

I have one overarching campaign, and want to have multiple ad sets within that campaign. I am able to set up the campaign and the first ad set and the ads for that set. But when I create a second ad set within the same campaign, it automatically includes all the ads from the first ad set in that campaign. Deleting them from the second ad set deletes them completely.

I want group A ads to ONLY be served to group A ad set audience, and group B ads to ONLY be served to group B ad set audience. Everything I've read (like here) says that's the point of ad sets - to have different targeting for different ads within the same campaign. But it doesn't let me choose which ads are in which ad set, it just lists them all in all the sets. What am I doing wrong? Or am is the problem conceptual, that you can't actually group ads by ad set? Do I really have to create a separate campaign for the same product just because I want to have a different set of ads for a different audience target?

I'm using Power Editor because it seems slightly less confusing than the usual Ad Manager, but I'm not doing any of the fancy spreadsheet uploading stuff. I've asked a question in the Facebook Ads help community but I don't trust that it'll get any timely answers and y'all are likely smarter.

posted by misskaz to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Deleting them from the second ad set you create should not delete the original ads you copied from.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 2:53 PM on August 3, 2017

The way it works is definitely 1234 in your diagram, not 1212.

I wonder if it might be a little confusion in the way FB is displaying the ad sets / ads in their 'tab' format - by default it is showing all the ads in your account when you switch from one tab to another. If you create a new ad set, and tick that ad set to filter it, then switching over to the ads tab will show you just the ads that are in that set. (which will either be 0, if you have created the ad set from scratch, or a number of ads if you duplicated the other ad set)
posted by Gordafarin at 3:47 AM on August 4, 2017

Thanks so much for helping me not feel completely insane. I think I figured out what is happening.

As you can see, I only have one ad set selected (this ad set should have 3 ads).

When I click over to the ads tab, however, it *is* listing all ads in the campaign (4 ads so far).

But look what I found and didn't notice before! A column that indicates which ad set each ad is in.

So display-wise, it is not acting like I expected or as Gordafarin described. But it is functionally separating ads by ad set. This also explains why when I deleted an ad from what I *thought* was the wrong ad set, I was actually deleting it from the original ad set and thus it disappeared entirely. If it were in both ad sets I assume it would either be listed twice or both ad sets would be listed in that Ad Set column.

Facebook is so dumb.
posted by misskaz at 6:10 AM on August 4, 2017

Facebook is indeed, really dumb. (And constantly changing for no apparent reason.)

They keep your unposted changes visible no matter what filters you've got on - that's the 'always show new items' tickbox. Untick that and it will show you only the one set's ads.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:27 AM on August 8, 2017

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