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Let’s say you want to launch an ad targeting a small group of people on Facebook. (Last week, we tried this with users who had liked our FBPPC Facebook page.) Curiously, what happens when you prep the ad in Ads Manager is totally different from what happens when you prep the ad in Power Editor.

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Ad Campaign in Ads Manager

Here are the audience settings I used for this test. The FBPPC page had a little fewer than 400 page likes, so you can assume the audience size was around there.

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What happens when you try to launch a campaign with this audience in Ads Manager? Nothing, actually. You can get to where you can launch the ad, but when you create the audience, Facebook tells you with a handy needle graphic that your audience is too small to be shown. Bummer.

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I launched the ad anyway, and after several days here were my results:

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Ad Campaign in Power Editor

Here is the audience I created in Power Editor. It’s almost exactly the same, except I actually narrowed it further (I’m assuming some people liked both of our pages). If anything, this should make Facebook even more hesitant to show my ad.

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However, after creating the audience, adding the creative, and launching the ad, I never received an error message as I had with the ad I created in Ads Manager. In fact, after a week, here are the results of the campaign:

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Does anyone have any idea why this discrepancy between PE and AM exists? Let’s speculate in the comments.

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Ready to learn more? Check out 3Q Digital’s Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising, or contact the 3Q Social team directly.