I get it. You dive into the metrics on your latest Facebook ad campaign and you’re overwhelmed by data points. You simply want to find out why the ad isn’t performing to your satisfaction. Let me help you…look immediately at your ‘Relevance Score.’

Think of Facebook’s Relevance Score as the most impersonal focus group you’ve ever attended gently slipping you a note to let you know how much your ad sucks…or how much of a social media advertising rockstar you really are.

Fact is, when it comes to Facebook Advertising, all that matters is keeping the algorithm happy. Zuck-man doesn’t care about your brilliant idea and how you intend to share it with the world. No, your success and failure is determined by a sophisticated string of code that analyzes your decision marking and then rewards it, or punishes it. Facebook has made it easy for us humans to understand how its algorithm feels about our advertising by giving our ads a score between 1 and 10. (10 being Facebook Advertising Nirvana and 1 being Facebook Advertising Hell.)

The truth is you need to kill your Facebook ad campaign if your relevance score is a 5 or less. That’s simply a recommendation. Ideally you should aim for a 7+ Relevance Score ranking.

Easy right? Let’s make it more complicated.

The algorithm works on a 7 day cycle. This means you really won’t have a true Relevance Score on Day 3 or 4…although you may see your ad trending in a direction that will allow you to estimate where things may be headed. Give your ad some time to breathe and don’t run for the hills if your Relevance Score is a 2 at the end of Day 1.

So, what are the best ways to improve your Relevance Score? Here are 3:

Take a hard look at your targeted audience size. If your spending $50 a day on an ad or post, your audience size should be under 800K. If you’re spending $2000 a day, your audience size should stay under 3M. Larger audiences are typically less relevant. Start small and then expand (if necessary) when you’re seeing a strong relevance score. Got it?

Refine your interest targeting. This doesn’t mean less interests…many times, a low relevance score is begging you to hyper target further. Facebook provides heaps of interests and behaviors to narrow your audience. Don’t be shy. Get relevant to the right people.

The algorithm doesn’t care how beautiful your creative is. Or how much you spent to make it. Rather, it cares about action. Are users commenting, liking, sharing tagging friends, clicking through? If the data tells you they’re not, the creative sucks. Although it may be pretty, it’s not making the algorithm happy which means Facebook isn’t feeling generous about serving the ad to its audience. On the flipside, when the algorithm is happy, it can become as generous as…well, the Zuck-Man himself.

Of course, there are other factors to consider when wanting to improve your Facebook ad’s Relevance Score. A quick Google search will reveal tons of other helpful insights. However, these 3 tips will certainly begin to turn Facebook’s algorithm frown, upside down.

BJ Birtwell, President @ The Armory Agency