Earlier this year, we wrote about an internal term we often use in our agency – Line of Sight.

That blog post broke down ‘The anatomy of a search’ and the ‘line of sight’ that Google’s algorithms both judge you on (ie. Adwords Quality Score) and use to either reward/penalise you as an advertiser (with higher/lower ad positions and more expensive/cheaper CPCs).

Line of Sight makes sense with Adwords Search since there’s a clear intention behind the search and an objective for a searcher to arrive at.

Less obvious is that Facebook Ads also have a Line of Sight that an algorithm is judging you on (Relevance Score) and likewise rewarding or penalising you on.

The difference is, people aren’t searching in Facebook.

So how does Facebook’s Ad algorithm judge your line of sight?

Relevance Score

Facebook measures Line of Sight on a scale of 1 to 10 for every single ad in your account in a metric called ‘Relevance Score’, RS.

  • A Straight Line of Sight (high positive feedback, low negative feedback) gets a RS between 7 and 10
  • A Bent Line of Sight (medium positive feedback, medium negative feedback) gets a RS between 4 and 6
  • A Broken Line of Sight (low positive feedback, high negative feedback) gets a RS between 1 and 3

The Facebook algorithm then rewards advertisers who are able to consistently keep straight Lines of Sight (ie. RS of 7+) and penalises everyone else.

Facebook vs Adwords

In Facebook Ads, relevance score isn't based on what people do, but who they are. Click To Tweet

Line of sight in Facebook isn’t calculated on what people do (ie. no search), but who people are.

More specifically, who are people in connection to your brand?

It makes sense that the warmer people are to your brand, the more receptive (higher feedback) they’ll be to your messaging. Conversely, the colder people are to your brand, the less receptive (lower feedback) they’ll be.

For example, people who have visited your website are warmer than people who haven’t. People who are likers are warmer than people who are not. People who are email subscribers are warmer than people who are not. People who have bought from you are warmer than people who have not.

All of these audiences (and more) are able to be segmented and targeted individually with Facebook Ads.

If an advertiser sends the same message to everyone, they are mixing warm and cold leads together, co-mingling straight, bent & broken lines of sight together – and effectively penalising themselves.

Outrageously, this is what Facebook encourages by asking advertisers to use the ‘Boost‘ button. In most cases, advertisers here are handing Facebook an open chequebook.

Exceptional Facebook advertisers who understand the algorithm, realise they can’t send the same message to everyone – but instead, must do the hard work in Power Editor to send different messages (ads) to different segments (Ad Sets comprised of different audiences), otherwise be penalised.

Once again, we are incentivised to deliver the Best for the Least for the Most.

Facebook Line of Sight
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About Adam Sugihto

Founder of Intentional - a specialist Pay Per Click Advertising Agency based in Melbourne, Australia. Member of Perry Marshall's Marketing Mastermind since 2011. Google Adwords Qualified Individual since 2010.

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Connection Economics