10 Mistakes You’re Making with Facebook Ads and How to Fix Them

Facebook offers some of the best advertising opportunities around, but if you’re just getting started with Facebook ads and you’re not seeing the results you expected, it’s possible that you may be making some errors. It’s important that you are able to prove a return on your Facebook ad efforts, so being aware of these Facebook ad mistakes can help you turn your strategy around.

Here are the most common Facebook ad mistakes that you may be making and how you can overcome them.

  1. Comparing your Facebook ads to your PPC campaigns

It’s great that you’ve got PPC nailed down, but expecting Facebook ads to perform and convert like your AdWords campaigns isn’t effective. There are many differences between the two, but the major difference between the two is intent.

Bear in mind that your PPC campaigns are hitting people who are already showing intent and are much further down the sales funnel, ready to convert. Facebook ads are designed to target people that you think are likely to engage and eventually convert. With this in mind, it’s not productive to compare their results. Facebook advertising is a longer game, so don’t get impatient if you’re not seeing results as quickly as you did when kick-starting your PPC strategy.

How can I fix it? Have completely separate strategies for your Facebook and PPC advertising campaigns and don’t directly compare their results.    

  1. Only focusing on conversions

Direct value from social media doesn’t just come from sales. Although they’re clearly important to any business, if you’re only measuring sales from your paid social efforts then you’re really missing the broader benefits that social ads have to offer. Social media advertising offers the widest breadth of opportunity for achieving your business goals, so you may as well use it to its full potential.

How can I fix it? Start utilising different objectives for your Facebook ads (like awareness and reach) and take your audience throughout the whole sales funnel.

  1. Not utilising custom audiences  

If you’re running your conversion adverts to brand new audiences, then you’re not optimising your campaign correctly and you won’t see the results you want. Most importantly, your Facebook ads are going to be really expensive. The beauty of Facebook advertising is that it can be used to take your audience through the whole sales funnel, from brand awareness and engagement through to acquisition and conversion.

Custom audiences can open up a goldmine of people for you to target, who have already shown interest in your brand by visiting your website, viewing a particular product or landing page or abandoning the checkout. Custom audiences convert the most, because most of the time it’s this pool of people who only need the gentle nudge of a conversion ad to push them down to the final stage of the funnel. Using your custom audiences and retargeting your ads is a really quick win that is guaranteed to reduce your cost per conversion.  

How can I fix it? Start creating custom audiences using your Facebook data, email subscriber lists and Facebook pixel data.

  1. Not running any A/B testing

Testing and learning is a huge part of Facebook advertising and will help you to consistently improve your ads. You’re only ever going to know what’s really making your audience tick (and click) by testing out your options. Not taking the time to perfect the ultimate ad is a costly mistake, so running a few simple A/B tests could save you some serious cash.

What style of copy do they respond to best? What CTA’s are making them click through? What types of imagery are they likely to engage with? Directly compare your options and when your campaigns have finished, simply assess which ads have outperformed, take your learnings and put them all into action next time round to craft the perfect advert.

How can I fix it? Start A/B testing different elements of your ads & track the performance to take forward in future campaigns.  

  1. Not targeting the right people

It can sometimes be difficult knowing where to start when it comes to who to target your ads to, but it’s essential to get your targeting right to get the best results. This all starts with defining who you want to target and creating their personas. Think about how old they’re likely to be, what their interests are and what other brands they’re likely to buy.

Don’t forget to also exclude the right people if necessary – this feature is often forgotten. If you’re running a like acquisition campaign, then exclude people who already like your page as there’s no action they can take and this quickly waste your budget. For conversion ads, you may also want to exclude people who have recently purchased already, as it’s unlikely they will purchase again so quickly.

How can I fix it? Define your audience personas and use these to target your Facebook ads

  1. Your audience is too big or too small

Facebook audience targeting is something of an art and it can be tricky to get it just right. If your audience is too broad, then you could be wasting your budget by showing your ad to people who aren’t interested and therefore aren’t likely to engage, click or convert. Too small, and Facebook will quickly run out of people to show your ad to, resulting in high frequency or Facebook will simply stop spending your money.

To hit the targeting sweet spot, layer your interest options to build up your audience, or narrow your options to bring it down and ensure your audience is relevant. If your audience is still too big, then try segmenting your ad sets out by each of your personas.

Custom audiences are likely to be smaller, so consider adding a lookalike audience on top of your custom audience to hit the ideal potential audience size.

How can I fix it? Experiment with interest targeting and narrowing audiences in order to get your audience to an optimum size.  

  1. Your ads aren’t optimised

Did you know that Facebook users share 3.2 billion pieces of content every day? Your ad is just one piece of content that’s trying cut through this noise, so it needs to stand out and be readily optimised. Your image or video is likely to be the first thing that people notice, so it needs to be eye-catching, high quality and relevant. If it’s uninspiring, then it will be missed amongst the crowd and you budget will be wasted.

People want to digest content quickly, so if your ad has a load of text it’s likely that people will just scroll straight past. Make sure your content is short, snappy and gets to the point.

Facebook would also prefer if you keep text in your ad copy rather than on your image or video. If your asset is covered by more than 20% with text, then Facebook will start reducing the reach of your ad (the more text, the more reach is cut).

How can I fix it? Use engaging content, keep your copy short and don’t cover more than 20% of your image/video with text.

  1. Not including a clear CTA

Being clear with what you want your audience to do after seeing your ad is imperative to getting great results. Make it clear in your ad copy exactly what you want them to do, and also tell them what the benefits are to them from taking this action. If you’re running a like acquisition campaign for example, think about why they should follow you? If you want someone to sign up to your mailing list, consider what the incentive is?

Consider what your overall objectives are and constantly link your ad back to this. Also make sure you include a relevant CTA button on your ad that makes sense.

How can I fix it? Be clear with your audience about what action you want them to take and make sure you include a relevant CTA button in your ads.

  1. Not innovating

Not being innovative with your ads could result in your audience getting bored of what they see from you –  they will quickly switch off and you’ll start seeing your results take a dip. Make sure you diversify your content and offer them something a bit different to catch their eye and hold their interest in your brand. Utilising different ad formats like videos, collections or canvases is not only great for keeping your audience engaged, but also keeps you ahead of your competitors.

Use different formats for different objectives and different parts of the user journey. Video content for example is great for building awareness, whilst collection ads are great for driving conversion and purchases.

How can I fix it? Don’t just use the same ad formats, mix it up and utilise different options Facebook and Instagram have to offer.  

  1. Not having an objective

Ultimately, if you don’t have a clear objective or defined strategy for your Facebook advertising and just go in blind, then they’re simply not going to perform. You wouldn’t start any other piece of marketing activity without an objective and social media advertising shouldn’t be any different. Think about what you want to achieve out of running your Facebook ads and then pinpoint the attributing metrics that will help to prove your ROAS (return on ad spend).

How can I fix it? Take a step back and consider your objectives. What are your overarching business objectives and how can social media help you achieve these?

If you need help with your Facebook advertising, then get in touch with our social media experts to see how we can help bring life to your social ad strategy.