Posted July 14, 2010 9:05 am by with 2 comments

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By Renée Revetta

Facebook recently enabled a feature that instantly suggests a dynamically created Facebook ad based on a provided URL. I tested it out to uncover how Facebook set up this feature. As with most things, there are some pros and cons to the dynamic ad creation approach.

Facebook creates the ad by searching the HTML of the provided URL for certain tags. Specifically, it pulls the title tag, meta description, and an image associated with the main content, similar to how it pulls information when Facebook users share a link.

Title of ad: pulled from title tag

Ad copy: from meta description

Image: from embedded image

After the advertiser provides the URL, the title, copy and image are generated. Facebook inserts the first 135 characters from the meta description into the ad copy, so web developers should keep this in mind when creating the page, if possible. The title is pulled from the first 25 characters of the title tag. Keeping these character limits in mind when creating your website pages will allow for easier Facebook ad creation down the road. However, if you can’t limit your title and meta description tags, Facebook does allow the advertiser to edit the auto-generated ad content.

When using the “suggest an ad” feature, advertisers are also given several image options. Facebook allows advertisers to cycle through any available images from the page (much like the image feature when Facebook users share links), or advertisers may also choose to upload their own images.

The suggest feature may work well in some cases, however, unless you’re using a targeted page (a landing page, promotion page, registration page), your meta description and auto-generated ad might lack the call to action that is so important for the proper impact.  You’re not likely to have a call to action within the meta description of your home page or about us page on your website, so keep in mind that the “suggest an ad” feature might work best for general exposure ads.

In review, the Facebook Ad Suggest feature works well for marketers wanting to quickly advertise:

  • URLs to a page with a targeted action as the main focus


  • Brands seeking awareness rather than specific actions

Both of these cases depend on the URL provided from the start of ad creation. If the URL provided is a general page but your ad requires a specific call to action, you’ll likely need to edit your auto-generated ad content. For example, if you entered your home page URL to create a “Like Us on Facebook”ad, the meta description and title tag might not be totally relevant for that ad campaign.

Facebook also recently announced PayPal as a new advertising payment option:

“Through a strategic relationship with PayPal, we’re able to simplify payments globally for advertisers purchasing Facebook Ads. In addition to the different credit cards that we accept, PayPal will be listed as another option for payment when you create your first ad. Or, if you’re already advertising, login to the Funding Sources in your Ads Manager and add PayPal as a funding source.”

Instant ad creation along with the PayPal option for payment might just capture that small business owner or Facebook newbie to try out ads for the first time. What do you think? Will you give Facebook ads a try? Or do you feel like Andy? 🙂

About Renée Revetta

Renée Revetta, Search Mojo’s Social Media Specialist organizes social media efforts with the Search Mojo team and monitors daily social media activity. In addition to working on social media projects for clients, Renée manages the Search Mojo blog, Search Marketing Sage, and the company’s overall social media presence.

  • The auto-generated idea is interesting but I don’t think I’d ever craft the title or descriptions of my pages just to save a few keystrokes when creating a new ad. Pulling in a related image is a great step though.

  • hi Renée Revetta,
    the other day i was sitting with my friends and they were talking about facebook ads. they were very curious about it and unfortunately i did not know about it till then. well.. after reading the article, i feel myself confident 🙂 thanks for the article..