Frequent mistakes with Facebook Ads

Avoid the most frequent mistakes people make with Facebook Ads.

A few weeks ago, I started having very frequent conversations with entrepreneurs to understand what their pain points are. One of the topics I ask them about most often is: what are you doing around Facebook Advertising.


Because Facebook ads are the most cost-efficient way to grow your business.

I used them every day while running my e-commerce to automate sales. What do I mean by “automate”? By focusing my time and effort on fine-tuning my Ads, I optimized them to run mostly on autopilot. That way, I secured a steady stream of traffic to my site and I could focus my time on other parts of my business, without worrying when my next lead is going to come in.

I then helped others manage their Facebook ads. To create leads, bring people to events or through the door of the local business, promote services, special offers, get people enrolled on email lists, etc.

And through all my interactions I saw a few patterns bubbling up. Mistakes entrepreneurs make that hold them back.


Facebook Ads Mistake #1: No guts

I heard far too many times: “I am not doing Facebook ads because my friend tried them and said they don’t work”.

Or: “I don’t have the budget for advertising yet. I’m going to wait for more sales to come in and invest in Ads afterward”.

What I can say after investing efforts into multiple digital marketing tactics is that: there’s nothing as efficient and cost-effective in driving traffic at scale to your website than Facebook ads.

And not any traffic: Facebook is still the best tool to target a very specific audience!

The greatest thing with Faceook Ads is that you can start with as little as $5 or $10 or $1.000 if you want to. You can as small as you want.

Read more: How to measure your Digital Marketing results: metrics and KPIs

I become very suspicious when I hear someone say: “Facebook Ads don’t work”. And when I ask what exactly didn’t work for them, most of the time I find out there was a problem with the expectation and not the result.

Which leads me to number 2.


Facebook Ads Mistake #2: No planning

The starting point of your advertising strategy should be a solid understanding of your target audience (or customer avatar) and a well-defined goal.

Invest time and thought in audience research upfront. A good way to target is to put yourself in the shoes of whoever you think your customer is:

  • What’s the demographic? Gender, age, location, marital status, job, education
  • What pages would they “like” on Facebook?
  • What influencers or celebrities would they follow?
  • What apps would they use?
  • What publications/blogs do they read?
  • What competitors are they already buying from?

Then, ask yourself “What do I want to achieve?” “What is my KPI?” “How will I measure it?”.

Here are some examples of how you can measure your efforts.

Facebook Ads Mistake #3: No patience

With any kind of paid advertising, it can feel like you’re losing money if you’re not getting any results right away. But with Facebook ads, it’s all about testing, which means you need to be patient and gather data to figure out what gets you the best results.

If you get into Facebook ads thinking that you’ll simply throw a few ads and then have money magically start appearing in your bank account, you are going to be disappointed. This is not realistic. It takes time.

First, don’t make any decisions about your ads, like pausing or tweaking them, until you’ve reached 1000 people. At that point you’ve got enough data to at least learn something from your ads’ performance, even if they don’t get any sales.

Then, you have to try many things: offers, copywriting, images, targeting, ads, landing page setup, etc, until you strike gold and start getting great results with low costs.

It can take a few months of testing-testing-testing to find the right combination of things that work.

And that’s perfectly ok!

Be kind to yourself and to your marketing efforts. Be ok with the thought that you have to test, be patient, and test some more.


Facebook Ads Mistake #4: Broad targeting

I already mentioned and you probably knew that Facebook has (probably) the best options when it comes to targeting. You can define your audience to a very granular focus, but too often starting-out entrepreneurs target audiences as broad as “women, 18-65”.

Here are a few of the targeting options you can take advantage of on Facebook:

  • Gender
  • Exact Age
  • Country / City
  • Device
  • Interest
  • Job
  • Education
  • Behavior (online shoppers)
  • Family status (parents)
  • Website actions
  • Purchase history
  • App actions

For example: if you are in the wedding business, you can target Women aged 23 to 40 in a specific town, that have an Engaged relationship status and are interested in wedding-related pages. Set up your campaign to run in specific days and hours. And even optimize it to only get charged when people click on your link.

But how to find the best audience for you? Testing again! Set up a few different campaigns, each targeting a different audience and monitor which one works best


Facebook Ads Mistake #5: Using only one creative

Figuring out the best performing creative with a super-converting copy from the first try is close to impossible. Really!

However, figuring out the super-converting copy out of a few options through testing is highly achievable. Especially when you are asking yourself questions like “Should I use this picture or that one?” “Shouldn’t I use another headline?”.

From now on, create ad sets with multiple creatives. What can you test? Post text, headline, description text, call to action buttons, images.


Facebook Ads Mistake #6: Not getting all the value out of your Ad spend

Even if your primary goal is to get sales, that’s not the only possible return you can get on your ads.

You can:

  • Invite people who have liked or reacted to your post to also like your Facebook Page (simply click on the reactions of the post itself).

how to find facebook interests to target

  • Engage directly with people who comment.
  • Collect emails from visitors to your site.
  • Retarget visitors to your site in the future.
  • Set up an email sequence to recover any abandoned carts.


Facebook Ads Mistake #7: Not analyzing your campaign results

The Facebook Ad Manager platform is quite complex and offers a lot of insight to help you analyze performance.

Customize your columns in Ad Manager to show all the data that’s actually useful to you.

Here are some of the insights you can get:

  • CTR: Click-through rate is the percentage of people who clicked on your ad after seeing it.
  • Cost-per-click: How much you’re paying for each click on your ad.
  • Website Purchases: The number of purchases the ad brought in.
  • Website Purchase Conversion Value: The total value of purchases made attributed to the ad.
  • Frequency: How many times on average each person you’re reaching has seen an ad. Sometimes you’ll see your ad performance significantly dip, and it’s because Facebook is simply showing the ad to the same people multiple times.
  • Reach: How many unique (not repeat) people you’ve reached.
  • Relevance Score: How relevant your ad is to the audience you’re targeting, based on your first 500 impressions (this has a big impact on your costs).
  • Budget: How much money you’ve dedicated daily or in total to the advert set.
  • Cost per Result: How much it cost to get your campaign objective.
  • CPM: How much you’re paying for 1000 impressions.


Facebook Ads are a very powerful tool. If you are just getting started with them I recommend you go through the official information about advertising on Facebook and through the basic trainings Facebook created about advertising

But if you want expert guidance or to have this done for you, then send me a note. I would love to help!


And before you go: if you have a friend who is building a digital business or using Facebook Ads already, please share this post with them. It may help more than you think.

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