How To Research Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads

May 2019

Analyzing your competitors’ online behavior is a great tool when creating and executing your own digital marketing strategy. What they do on social media can be used to find inspiration, learn from their mistakes and help your brand navigate the next steps in your plan. With so many active consumers on social media, being aware of their activity will help you stay in the game and attract the right audience.


Keeping up with their online presence means more than glancing at their Facebook profiles. Businesses do the real work within their ads.


Find Them On Facebook Ad Library

The Facebook Ads Library is a great tool that provides advertising transparency by offering a comprehensive, searchable collection of all ads currently running from across Facebook. Anyone can explore the Ads Library, with or without a Facebook account. You can access all active ads, even ones that may not have been shown to you because you weren’t part of an advertiser’s intended audience. You can search by name, topic, and organization and filter your results in specific ways.


In this example of a searched fitness brand, Facebook displays information about the company along with every ad that is active or inactive. You can find any ad from any date and see exactly how it is presented to their targeted audience.



Another way to navigate to the Facebook Ads Library is through their business page. When you reach their page, scroll down to “Page Transparency” on the right side. Once you click this feature, you will be able to see if they are running ads, how many users manage the page, and a summary of the page’s history.




Get Insight Through The “Why Am I Seeing This Ad?” Feature

If you follow your competitors’ business pages, you are able to get additional information on their ad strategy in your News Feed. Once you see their ad on your feed, find the feature that says, “Why Am I Seeing This Ad?”.


To locate this feature, navigate towards the three dots on the right side of the ad. You will then see a flag icon with the title “Why Am I Seeing This Ad?”. This will give you insight into the brand’s targeting strategy. In this example, the company is targeting users who are similar to their existing consumers. They are also aiming for users who are within the ages of 18-39 that live or were recently in the United States.



As Facebook continuously creates more ways for users to see how brands advertise on their platforms, businesses also have a better idea of what their competitor is executing within their social media strategy. This type of insight provides companies with significant data that can steer ad strategies in the right direction.



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