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  Article updated: December 21, 2023

Set optimization rules for your Facebook campaign

You can set up optimization rules to trigger actions on your campaigns based on predefined performance measures. Optimization saves you time by ensuring that you get the highest possible return on your advertising budget, without having to analyze your campaigns every day.

You can create your own custom rules, or let Hootsuite Ads' automatic optimization feature track your campaign’s performance and optimize it for you. Just remember that you cannot apply automatic optimization and custom optimization rules to the same campaign.

Create custom optimization rules

Using optimization rules, you can automatically increase or decrease your bid, or pause your ads, adsets, or campaigns. Custom optimization rules can run hourly or daily.

Rules are If/Then statements that govern the desired campaign behavior. They're grouped together in rule sets, and can be applied at the campaign, adset, or ad level.

See the following examples:

  • IF the Ad has clicksgreater than 100 and has a CPC greater than $5 THEN pause the ad.
  • IF the Campaign has an average Frequency greater than 10 THEN pause the campaign.
  • IF the Ad has a Cost per Conversionlower than 10 % of the campaign’s average THEN decrease the bid by 20%.

You can create as many rules as you want to have in each rule set. Do some initial research into your campaign's performance to understand what type of rules would be valuable to you. Once you create your rules, Hootsuite Ads takes care of the rest!

  1. On the Hootsuite Ads home page, select Tools, and then select Optimization Rules.
    Tools list with optimization rules highlighted.
  2. Select Create new set, or select an existing rule set to expand it, and then select Create new rule . Variables are underlined with blue and can be changed to build your rule.
  3. Select each underlined item in the statement and make a selection to build an IF/THEN rule, and to select when to apply the rule.
    Create new set, create new rule, and save this rule highlighted.
  4. Select Save this rule.

Enable automatic or custom optimization

Hootsuite Ads automatic optimization includes rules that specify a frequency cap, and examines all the ads within your campaign by CPA (cost per action). It then pauses the under-performing ads and allocates budget to the best-performing ads in the campaign. You can always track the changes being made to your campaign on the campaign's Timeline tab.

Automatic optimization shouldn’t change your campaign budget, except in the rare case when your budget might be close to Facebook’s minimum acceptable budget, in which case there could be a small increase over time. We recommend adding a spend cap to your campaign. If you manually pause or activate ads or adsets, you'll have to redistribute your budget from the campaign dashboard, or your campaign may run with a different budget.

You can turn on automatic or custom optimization rules in three places: during campaign creation, on a published campaign’s dashboard, or from the All Campaigns page (where you can enable it for multiple campaigns at once).

You can identify which campaigns have optimization enabled on the All Campaignspage:

  • displays beside the campaign name when Auto Optimization is on.
  • displays beside the campaign name when custom optimization rules are running.

Apply optimization to a campaign

During campaign creation:

  1. On the Budget & Bidding page of campaign creation, select No Optimization, Automatic Optimization, or a custom rule set to apply to the campaign.

    Note:You cannot apply multicampaign rules during campaign creation. You must apply them after publishing.

From the published campaign's dashboard:

  1. On the Hootsuite Ads home page, select Your campaigns, select Select a campaign, and then select a campaign from the list.
  2. On the campaign Dashboard, then select Enable Auto Optimization or Select a custom rule.
    Optimization rules with enable auto optimization and select a custom rule options.
  3. Select a rule set, and then select Apply.

In bulk:

  1. On the Hootsuite Ads home page, select Your campaigns, and then select Facebook campaigns.
  2. Select the box to the left of each campaign.
  3. Select Start Optimization.
    Example of a selected campaign with start optimization and stop optimization options.
  4. Select Enable Auto Optimization or Select a Custom Rule, select a rule you created, and then select Apply.


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