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Want to know what ads your competitors are running on Facebook? Here’s how!

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The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing and recruiting podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page [InSights] Stealing Your Competitor’s Facebook Playbook


Brad Bialy: Have you ever wondered what ads your competitor is running on Facebook?

Matt Lozar: Yes.

Brad Bialy: Matt and I are going to teach you how to steal insights from your competitors by identifying and researching their Facebook ads. What I’m going to have you do, if you want to follow along on your mobile device, is I’m going to walk through really quickly how to actually see what ads your competitor is currently running on Facebook.

Brad Bialy: We’ll give you a quick five second count here. Pull up the Facebook app on your mobile device. What I’m going to have you do, in the top search bar, is type in your local competitor. Maybe it’s another staffing firm that you know is stealing your candidates on a weekly basis. Go ahead and type in their name in the search bar, and then click search. Once you find their page, you’ll click on the page and you’ll pull it up. Then from there, you’re going to scroll their page until you see page transparency. From page transparency, you’re going to click see all. Then from that screen, click on where it says, “Ads from this page.” You’re going to select view in ad library. What that will now show you is a page that is rendering all of the active ads that your competition is currently running across Facebook.

Brad Bialy: Matt, I’m going to ask you, why is it important to understand what our competitors are doing when it comes to our own marketing?

Matt Lozar: I think it comes back to know what your competitors are doing with anything. I mean, you know what they’re doing to get more job orders to get to more clients or clients you want to target. What they’re doing in marketing… I mean, anything you can learn about your competitors, that’s really going to help your game plan. When Facebook announced this about a year ago in 2018 and started to roll it out, it was all for data transparency and to really show what ads are running by certain companies, and to help distinguish between free content and paid content. To bring this back to what your competitors are doing, it’s what’s the message they’re sending to your job candidates? What’s the message they’re sending to your audience? How does your staffing agency… How does your company compete with that? How can your value prop compete with their message? Is it better? Does it need to be improved? If you can see what their playbook is, then you can adjust your moves and be more offensive, and actually, probably proactive is the best word there.

Brad Bialy: Yeah. I love the thought of going on the offense instead of sitting back and hoping candidates find you. If you know what advertisements your competitor is running, you can start to make decisions to counter that so you can go on the offense and say, “If they’re running ads built around X, we should run ads on Y.” Knowing what your competitor is saying and doing on Facebook is critical. With two billion people logging into Facebook on a monthly basis, your candidates are active and using Facebook on a monthly basis. Facebook isn’t going anywhere in the short-term. So, what we need to do is understand what local competition is doing so that you can use that to your advantage when you think about your own advertising initiatives on Facebook.

Matt Lozar: It’s really important to take this almost to that next level of organic reach on Facebook is very low. So, you could go to your competitor’s Facebook page, scroll through their feed, and see what’s being produced and consumed in the free world, but the number of people seeing that free content is going to be multiple times less and fewer than the people seeing the paid content. So, maybe a hundred people saw the organic one. Thousands of people are seeing the paid, and that’s the message we really want to focus on. We don’t need to ignore that timeline content, but that paid content, it’s getting more eyeballs, and that’s another really important reason to know what your competition is doing.

Brad Bialy: Yeah. I want to make a point here. We’re not saying look at your competitor’s ads to run similar ads. Under no circumstances, do we want you to be your competitor…

Matt Lozar: No.

Brad Bialy: … but we want you to be mindful of what others are doing so that you can integrate different ideas into your overall social strategy. There is nothing more disheartening to me than when a client comes to me and says, “Hey, I love what our competitor is doing here. Can we mimic that, or can we do something similar?” I’ve had people send me examples like that. Instead, my reply is always, “Well, how can we make you stand out to be better than that? We don’t want to do what your competition is already doing. We want to continue to have a leg up on our competition. Otherwise, we’re just being complacent and doing what everybody else in the local market is already doing.” So, by understanding what ads they’re running, to Matt’s point, to understand what they’re publishing organically, gives us the opportunity to continue to stay on the offensive and be different.

Matt Lozar: I don’t know if I said this in a previous podcast or just to Brad every day in the office, but it’s not the technology. It’s the implementation of the technology, and that’s what we want to use to really get the best results possible.

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