5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Advertising On Facebook

Facebook ads are incredibly powerful, but they aren’t magic. Many people have unrealistic expectations that ads will or should always work —or that they should be easy. And while Facebook does give us ALL of the tools we need to be successful, there are several reasons why your ad campaign may not be getting you the results you’re looking for.

Mistake #1 – Targeting the wrong audience

This is by far one of the most common mistakes that we see.

Many times, people only scratch the surface of targeting on Facebook. There are so many options that it’s hard to know which targeting area to focus on.

What we’ve seen with many of our clients was that they were focusing only on interest-based targeting, which is usually far less accurate than demographic, behavior, or retargeting strategies. What we mean by interest-based targeting is targeting someone who is interested in “entrepreneurship” rather than say, someone who is a Facebook Page Admin, which a good behavioral indicator that they run a business or brand.

Another example would be to target someone who is interested in “Marriage” instead of targeting a demographic such as engaged. For all of our wedding industry professionals out there – this is even more important in your industry 😉. You have people self reporting to Facebook that they are engaged – so they are pretty much saying, “Yes, please send me all content related to weddings and help me find relevant vendors!”

What’s great about these strategies is that most people are doing it the wrong way – so even implementing a few of these lessons can have a significant impact on your marketing success.

So how do you learn from mistake #1?

Test different TYPES of audiences – not just interests OR demographics. And before you can start targeting them, you need to define who they are.

So, step #1 for you here is to know your ideal customer.

Write it out, create a customer avatar. Know who you want to work with and who you are speaking to with your brand and business. It might feel petty at first, but it can make a difference in the long run to help you stay on brand and generate content that appeals to your audience!

Pro Tip 💡: Once you have a clear idea of your ideal customer, use audience insights to do a little research. To get to your Audience Insights, you will need to get to Facebook’s Business Manager. You can click on the drop down on the right hand side of your screen and click “Manage Ads” or visit business.facebook.com. On the top left-hand-side of your Business Manager, you will click on the dropdown menu and click Audience Insights under the Plan section.

Once you’re in Audience Insights, you can start to learn more about your page’s audience, a custom audience, or do some research on your ideal audience. These tabs at the top will help you gain a better understanding about your audience and give you some ideas when you go to build the targeting for your ads.

5 day challenge

Mistake #2 – Using the wrong objective

This is so important that we have an entire blog post dedicated to choosing the RIGHT objectives.

Facebook has a wide array of campaign objectives for you to choose from – and they have those range options for a reason.

The different types of campaigns have different purposes and should be created, analyzed, and optimized in different ways. Before you ever run Facebook ads, you should know your purpose for running the ads.

facebook campaign options

So, to avoid this mistake, you need to let your business goal determine your campaign objective. Before running your campaign, or even working on the targeting or ad copy, you should ask yourself: What is my business goal?

You may have a few different goals – and that’s totally okay! Just know that each campaign you run should have one primary goal, which will determine the objective you choose.

So for example, if you want to send people to a new blog post, you would choose the traffic objective.

If you want to increase sales of your e-commerce product, you may choose the website conversion objective.

If you are looking for more email subscribers or for people to easily inquire about your services you may want to choose the lead generation objective.

There are quite a lot of options to choose from for your objectives, and you will have to decide which one you want to use when you set up a new campaign.

Mistake #3 – Not using your Facebook pixel

Guys – this is a HUGE mistake! Probably the biggest mistake you could make if you’re advertising on Facebook. I’m actually surprised that Facebook doesn’t charge to use their pixel. Yes, it is THAT important!

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If you take anything away from this post let it be this: you NEED to use your Facebook pixel. It’s Facebook’s free gift to you – and it’s immensely valuable.

Think of it as your secret weapon to Facebook success. The lesson here is pretty straight-forward: use your Facebook pixel.

We have a super easy-to-follow mini-course where we walk you through the step by step instructions for how to install your Facebook pixel on your website for only $17!

Before you start running ads, you need to install your pixel on your website – on every single page. If you’re already running ads – do yourself a huge favor and install it. Installing the basic code only takes a few minutes but it will make an enormous difference for your ads and your ability to measure and optimize them.

Pro Tip 💡 : Once you have the pixel installed – we recommend downloading the Facebook Pixel Helper extension on Google Chrome to make sure everything’s working correctly! Want to learn more about the Facebook Pixel and why we think it is SO important? Save your seat for our Happily Ever Growth – Signature Program!

Mistake #4 – Only targeting cold traffic (and forgetting about the warm traffic)

Cold traffic is an audience of people who have never heard of you. Warm traffic, on the other hand, is an audience of people you are retargeting, so they already know about you in some way.

An example of warm traffic could include your email list, people that have engaged with your Facebook page, or someone who visited your website.

Obviously, we can’t always target warm traffic, especially if you’re a new business or you don’t have a large email list or a ton of website traffic. But once you start running ads and driving traffic, you have the ability to retarget your ads.

If you already have website visitors, prior customers, or interested leads – are you continuing to target them?

If you’re not retargeting these people, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Often times, these ads cost less and result in more conversions, because you have already built up the Like, Know, and Trust factors.

Think about it – if you saw a photographer advertising her services but knew nothing about her, what are the chances that you would book her from that first ad? Probably close to zero.

However, if instead you continuously saw this same photographer across your feeds, you would start to get more familiar with her work. Once you became familiar, you would be more likely to click on her ad and check some more of her work out. From here you may even inquire about the services offered! 

Pro Tip 💡: To start retargeting, you will need to create a custom audience. This can be done by uploading your email list or capturing traffic from your website using your Facebook pixel. We have an week dedicated to targeting + custom audiences in our Signature Course!

Signature Course

Mistake #5 – Not analyzing your data

More often than not, we’ve seen our clients hit the “boost” button without much thought into planning. They don’t test any copy, images, objectives, or targeting. Then, once the ad is done running, the only metrics they look at to determine whether their campaign was successful or not is the total cost and how many people they reached.

We’re going to guess that there’s a few of you reading this that may fall into this boat – and that’s totally fine! This is unfortunately the norm of what we come across when working with our clients, and it’s what started us thinking about how to make this learning process easier for Facebook Ads.

The truth is that there is SO much information on Facebook. And while you may not need to get into the nitty gritty for all of your campaigns, it’s important to make sure you are testing and analyzing your results.

The final lesson here is to analyze, analyze, analyze.

One important thing we always mention about looking at your results is to pay attention to the metrics that matter. This is a biggie. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that more likes or a larger reach means more success, that is not always the case. We want to look at the measurable impact that your ads can have on your business, not just the reach of your ads or the total cost or likes of your campaigns.

So which metrics matter?

We’d like to suggest a few to pay attention to and share one insight that you may be completely unaware of. The metrics that are going to matter for you are going to relate to your goals and objectives. For example, if you are running a campaign to increase engagement, then you will care more about how many people are interacting with your ad; as opposed to if you are looking for people to sign up for your lead magnet, then you care more about your cost per lead, click through rate, and so on.

A few key metrics that you should pay attention to are your click-through-rate (or CTR), your cost per action or lead, and your cost-per-link-click.

Pro Tip 💡: Don’t be fooled by the “cost-per-click” column. It reflects ANY click that took place on your ad (which is why it is always lower). Make sure you are looking at the cost-per-link-click.

These 5 avoidable mistakes will make a huge impact when running Facebook ads. As we say with everything Facebook related, “Always Be Testing!”

Running Better Ads on Facebook

Again, we want to reiterate that Facebook ads are NOT magic. They take a lot of nurturing and time to analyze what copy, audience and visuals are working in helping you reach the right kind of clients. Want to dive deeper into Facebook ads and the power behind them? Save your seat for our Happily Ever Growth – Signature Course NOW!

So now we’d love to hear from you: Have you made these mistakes in the past? What are some things you can take away in order to help you produce more purposeful ads for your business?

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