Facebook Ads dropped with 20%, Mark Zuckerberg calls you and ask you to fix it. What do you do?
+1 vote
in Problem Solving by (725 points) | 407 views

3 Answers

+1 vote

Seek clarity


When you say Facebook ads dropped:

- Is it ads created or ads consumed(viewed), assuming it's ads consumed 

- Is it on a particular FB platform or across all of FB owned properties that runs ads, since there is the option for FB ads to adverstise cross platform I'm assuming it's across platforms


Let's start investigating

See if the problem actually existgs


- what's the drop relative to - what are you comparing with, is it a WoW drop or MoM drop or YoY drop? assuming it's WoW

- Is the data accurate? did we deploy any changes that could affect the data and how it reads- Are the ads created unchanged? 

- is it specific to a platform (android or iOS) or country or region or cohort (phone,android version or iOS version or ISP or app version)

- Are the ads dropped across all types of ads or a certain format of ads only 

- Are any of the other FB metrics down

- Are the ads being displayed as expected

- Are there any spikes in any of errors related to ads

- Were there any major product deployments over the same period, that could affect ads

- Were there any issues reported in customer reports? what do our reviews say over the same period


- Did the competition have any major changes

- Were there any major external events ? down time in a country or region?

- Was a similar drop there last year?

- Was the traffic last week unusually higher than usual which creating this artificial impression of a drop 

- Was there a major OS release or major feature deprecation that lead to this 


by (135 points)
0 votes



To fix it I need to find out what is going on first.


So ads is a very important part of the FB, actually the only part that FB makes money, so it is obiviosly very important. To figure out what is going on I would look at the external factors first then I would think about the user funnel to find out if it is sth internally. So I will ask you some questions about that if it is okay.


Ok I am listening


So the external factors could be:

  • Is there any regional thing going on? So is the drop woldwide or only on one region? -> Worldwide

  • I guess if the servers are down or sth we would have known for it by the minute so probably thats not it either

  • And is the previous week and this week is the same? Because I know for example before Black Friday everyone will be advertising and it is normal to get a drop afterwards -> Nope just two regular weeks

  • And there is nothing new in the competition scene either I guess because those do not really affect suddenly

  • Are we observing this in all channels? For example instagram and fb is the same?


  • And if is there a way to figure out the competitive landscape? Just to figure out if it is only us or sth going on.

  • Before going into that detail, I would look at the mobile/desktop versions and compare that.

  • Also if I realize there is sth going on mobile I would dive into IOS/Android and look up external os relases


So it is not sth external I will try to find out the internal factors.

  • Did we ship any new features that might affect it?

  • And there are two user journeys here, one from the creator side and one from the consumer side, I think a good indicator to figure out which funnel to focus is is there a drop in the number of ads cretaed? No that is fine.

  • So I guess the problem is ion the ad consumption or the revenue so to foucs I wnat to write the customer jounrey here:


    Existing user: User comes to FB > Scroll downs to feed > See ads > Click ads and company makes money

  • New user: User finds the app/page organically or via ads > Registers > Goes through the onboarding funnel > Sees the feed> rest isthe same with existing users


    I believe this sharp drop comes from the existing users because probably FB does not acquire new users that fast, due to scale.


  • So are the scroll data is the same? So peopel are seeing the simialar number of posts per session?

  • And are the number of sessions same so we know that people are coming to FB

  • How is the number of ads shown per session? Because it might be a structural change in the feed

  • How is the click rate for the ads? Also the overall clickrate for the feed is there a drop in one or in both?

  • Finally how is the average revenue per click seems? Maybe sth change in the way it is calculated?


0 votes

clarification questions:

  • what platform the Facebook ads droped? 
  • what ads metrics droped? is the customer who clicks the ad droped or the business who buying ads on FB droped? 
  • how long has it been droped? mom or yoy? 
  • in which region ads droped? US? global? 
  • how did the data come up? 
  • only FB or other FB products included? like INS? 
then will analysis from technical vs business
  • technical: 
    • one specific platform dropped? web, app? android or ios? something wrong with that platform? can be web down but app is fine, or only ios because some changes from apple
    • client or server? 
    • ISP?
  • business:
    • any specific region? sales region may vary
    • any specific ads category?
    • time when it is down (some season may just not be peak) 
    • any competitor news
    • any marketing event
    • any operation process change for customer to use ads?
    • do we use a different way to measure the data? 
by (49 points)
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