Navigating the Facebook Ads Interface

If you've followed the guide this far, by now you'll have set up your first campaign, ad set, and ad. After creating them in the ad creation screens, you will have been taken back into the Ads Manager interface.

The interface can seem a little difficult to navigate at first, so in this article we're going to look through everything you need to know to get the most out of it.

There's levels to this

Before we dive into the interface, we need to quickly run through the levels of Facebook ads.

Account level

Technically the first level of Facebook Ads is account level. At account level you can see account-wide performance metrics, and also see how certain creative assets have performed across your whole account.

Campaign level

The first main level of Facebook is the campaign level. A typical ad account will consist of a number of different campaigns. You'll often see different territories and audience types split out into different campaigns.

You might remember, if you read our guide on creating your first campaign, that you set your advertising objective at campaign level. This means that if you want to run ads for different objectives, you'll need these split out at campaign level.

Ad set level

Beneath campaign level is ad set level. Ad sets, as we covered, are where all of your targeting and bidding options are set. You'll often have multiple ad sets in each campaign. The most common reason to have multiple ad sets in a particular campaign is that you have different targeting set on each one.

Ad level

Within each ad set you'll find one or more ads. Ads are the actual posts that users see in their news feed, or in stories. Typically you'll have multiple ads in each ad set, to allow for ad testing.

Navigating the interface

We're going to start off by looking at the campaign level in the interface, and then we'll move to other levels. You can tell if you're looking at campaign level in the Ads Manager interface by checking that the campaign tab is highlighted on the left hand side of the page:

At campaign level, you'll see your campaigns populate in the table below.

Performance metrics will appear, and will be based on:

You can change the columns that are displayed by clicking the columns button in the top right of the interface. Here, you can choose one of the pre-defined column lists, or you can click Customise Columns in order to specify exactly which columns you'd like to see.

You'll then be able to see figures for all of your chosen columns, for each campaign. Beneath your campaigns, you'll also see account-wide metrics (the sum or aggregate of your campaigns).


You can create and apply filters in the top left, by clicking filters under your account name. This will let you filter based on the attributes and metrics of your campaigns. If you want to filter based on campaign name though, you have to use the search button next to it.


If you ever want to split your data by another dimension, for example gender, age, location, you can do this by selecting the breakdown button in the top right. You'll see three different types of breakdowns here, which will let you see your data in a more granular way.

Editing your campaigns

Hover over one of your campaigns, and you'll see some options appear below its name:

Draft mode

If you create a new campaign, or duplicate a campaign, it will exist first of all in draft mode. When a campaign is in draft mode, it will be highlighted light green:

A draft campaign doesn't actually exist in your account yet, and can't show ads to people. In order to take it out of draft mode, you have to publish it. You can do this by hitting the Review and publish button at the top left of your screen:

The number next to it will tell you how many items you have in draft form, and thus how many there are to publish. The reason this is three, when I've only duplicated one campaign, is that by duplicating one campaign I've also duplicated the ad set and ad within it, meaning I have three things I can publish.

If you don't want to publish your items, you can hit Discard Drafts next to the publish button. This will remove all of your drafts (everything you've added that's now in green), and take you back to where you started.

Ad set & ad level

So far we've looked just at campaign level. The beauty of this, though, is that ad set and ad levels are just the same. Click on either at the top of your screen, and you'll see a list of ad sets or ads, depending on which you've selected:

At these lower levels, everything works just the same. You can filter, breakdown, edit and duplicate to your heart's content.

One quick thing to note is that you can always click on an item to go a level lower. For instance, if you click on a campaign, you'll be shown all the ad sets within that campaign. A blue number will appear next to the campaign icon on the left hand side, to show you that you're only viewing ad sets from a single campaign:


You may have noticed by now that each campaign, ad set, and ad has either a grey or blue toggle next to its name:

This toggle tells you the status of a campaign, ad set, or ad. If it's blue, then it's live; if it's grey then it's off.

Something to know is that in order for an ad to serve, it's not enough for just the ad to be live. The ad set and campaign which it's in must also be live, otherwise it won't show to anyone.

Account level

The last level to cover off now is account-level. You can access this by clicking Account overview at the top of your screen. The first thing you'll see are some account-level statistics, detailing how your account is performing, and who you're showing ads to:

You should also check out Creatives section on the left hand side (hidden under the 'More tools' button), as this will give you aggregated data on how your different creative assets have been performing across your whole account.

That's a wrap

Now that you know how to navigate the Facebook Ads interface, you're ready to launch your campaigns.

Before you go live...

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