Nathan Greef

Nathan Greef

Helping Small and Medium Businesses Achieve Their Full Marketing Potential | Digital Marketing Expert

The Facebook Learning Phase

The Facebook learning phase is often surrounded by rumours and misconceptions but fear not. The learning phase is there to help your campaign. It’s crucial to know how the learning phase can help and what approach you should take to set up your campaigns for advertising success.

With a little bit of patience and the help of this blog, you will become unfazed when it comes to the approach you take next when it comes to the learning phase. Or look for a Social Media Agency in London to help you along your way.

What Is The Facebook Learning Phase?


Where it all startsFacebook will use its machine learning process to figure out which people and places to best serve your ads and who are most likely to take action on your chosen campaign objective to get you the best results.

Facebook Isn’t Against You – You might find success happens from your campaign quickly or that it takes a little longer. Facebook wants you to have good results because they want you to spend more money. If they are providing you with good outcomes, it’s a win for them as much as it is a win for you.

Do Not Fear/Trust The Process – Many Facebook marketers fear the learning phase, but it’s actually a really good thing since Facebook will optimise your campaign based on the information you supply about targeting, conversion events, and ad spend. 

The learning phase will test out different groups of individuals in your audience. Performing tests to see when the optimum times are to run your ad and experiment with different placements to see whether your ad performs better on Facebook, Instagram or both.

During the learning phase, Facebook is modifying your campaign on the platform to discover what would produce the best results. Whilst you are in this process, you might get results that lead to inconsistency and higher prices. But trust the process, as the end result can assist in achieving the lowest cost per action possible on Facebook.

It Doesn’t End There – Facebook will continue to learn what performs well after your campaign has exited the learning phase, but the most intensive time of learning is at the start of the campaign.

How Long Does the Learning Phase Last?

Once you’ve generated 50 optimisation events, Facebook’s learning phase is generally over.

Your objective determines the type of optimisation event.

For a lead ad campaign, 50 optimisation events equals 50 leads. A conversions campaign with 50 events would result in 50 conversions.

It’s worth noting that if you’re optimising for conversions, the 50 conversions must happen during the conversion window. You have chosen a 7-day conversion window; this means you’ll need to generate at least 50 conversions each week for your campaigns to be successfully optimised. 

If you’re running a conversions campaign that is resulting in less than 50 conversions per week, it might be worth considering to a different objective, such as traffic. 

After the learning phase, Facebook will continue to collect data and optimise your ad settings. The more optimisation events you create and the longer your ad sets remain live, the easier it will be for Facebook to optimise your campaigns. As a result, the cost per optimisation event should be lower, and the results should be more consistent.

Why Does the Learning Phase Matter?

You must go through the learning phase in order to get consistently good results from your Facebook marketing campaigns. During the learning phase, It’s critical that you don’t make any significant changes to your ad sets. This might result in the learning phase being reset before you’ve generated any valuable data.

It can be difficult but resist the temptation to make changes during the learning stage. You probably don’t want to hear this, but your Facebook ad campaigns will be at their least successful, and the results are likely to fluctuate considerably. Though it is not all bad news, it’s best to wait until the learning process is complete before making significant changes.

Don’t be too quick to draw a conclusion from your ad sets’ performance; wait until the learning process is complete before evaluating the success of your ad sets. You’ll get a considerably more realistic picture of the performance of your ad sets after they’re finished.

What If I Can’t Resist The Temptation In Making Adjustments To My Campaigns

In an ad campaign, it’s often a good idea to test new audiences or creatives. Testing and tweaking your campaign might result in a far better overall result. However, because making changes to your ad creatives or audiences might send your campaign back to the learning phase, many marketers are hesitant to do so – even when they should!

This shouldn’t make you afraid or put off by the learning phase. If you want to try out new things, you can make changes. Just don’t do it all the time. At The Good Marketer, we make minor edits to our campaigns around once a week – or if there are many adjustments to do, we do them all at once in a single change. 

If your campaign is on a low budget, you would be better off making any necessary changes over a longer time, no more than every two weeks.

We did warn you. Once you make changes, your results may become inconsistent for a while before settling down.

Take it easy – Now you know that you can make changes to your campaign. After you have made improvements, you’ll want to allow your campaigns to exit the learning phase. Giving you the opportunity to observe what the consequences of the changes are. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your campaigns.

Why Does The Learning Phase Restart When I Make Changes?

Go easy; now you know you can make adjustments make sure you are making the right ones that don’t cause the learning phase to restart – leaving you feeling stuck and not progressing with your campaigns. Knowing what can cause this will ensure you are all set for campaign success. 

Making tiny changes to your Facebook ad budget or setting a bid cap, for example, will not restart the learning period.

However, the majority of adjustments, especially those that are extremely significant, will cause the learning phase to be restarted.

According to Facebook, the following changes are considered to be significant edits and are likely to resume the learning phase:

  • Any change to targeting
  • Any change to ad creative
  • Any change to optimisation event.
  • Adding a new ad to your ad set.
  • Pausing your ad set for 7 days or longer.
  • Changing bid strategy.
  • Adding a new ad to your ad set.

Don’t allow the learning phase to get in the way of campaign success. If you need to make big changes to your ad set or individual advertisements, go ahead and do so. Just make sure you do it once, and then monitor performance through the learning phase, be patient and make changes once the process has finished again.

Congratulations, Your Campaign Is Out Of The Learning Phase, But Is Now Stuck In Learning Limited.

After your campaign has successfully progressed through the learning phase, it may become trapped in the learning limited phase. You might now be thinking, will I ever get out of the ‘learning’ messages, and Facebook will likely give the following reason: 

“This ad set isn’t generating enough leads to exit the learning phase. This usually occurs when your ad set is limited by audience size, cost control, budget or other settings. Consider making changes to your ad set to improve performance.”

At The Good Marketer, we often see accounts displaying learning limited, this is often due to having a relatively small budget or targeting a small audience. When you receive the learning restricted warning, don’t assume that Facebook ad campaigns can’t be effective – they definitely can. And here at The Good Marketer, we have numerous accounts that are still delivering profitable results despite remaining in learning limited. 

If you’re getting amazing results, don’t get caught up in trying to get the learning limitations message removed. The changes you can apply could potentially backfire, increasing your cost per optimisation. For example, you might triple your budget, which gets you out of learning limited but will also increase your cost per conversion. You will be left kicking yourself that your focus wasn’t spent on optimising and scaling the account.  

Though, if you aren’t seeing great results, then consider implementing some of the suggested changes to your Facebook ad campaigns to see if you can get rid of the learning limited warning and, more importantly, improve your results.

The Bottom Line, In Summary… 

Although many marketers fear the learning phase, it is crucial in setting the foundations for a successful campaign. You can test and make changes without worrying about your learning being constrained. 

You may not be able to escape the learning phase if you do not generate enough optimisation events, and you will receive the learning restricted notice. Embrace the learning phase, you may be able to achieve a lower cost per conversion. 

If you found this blog useful, then consider reading through the many other blogs written by our team of marketing experts at The Good Marketer. Our blogs cover all areas of digital marketing and will help to bring you closer to your goals. Or if you’re looking for a full-service marketing agency to help support your business, then we would love to hear from you.