Over the years of running Facebook ads, I’ve seen (and made) a lot of mistakes along the way.

This article covers the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Lack of strategy

If you’re running a single ad campaign hoping to convert customers, you’re out of luck.

The market is getting more competitive. Each potential customer requires many interactions with your brand before they buy.

You will need 2 advertising campaigns at the most basic level.

The first is to drive traffic to your website.

The second is to re-engage with those people who have visited your website. This is a remarketing campaign.  

For example, you run an E-commerce store. You can use a Traffic campaign to drive people to your home page, product category page, or even your top-selling product page.

My personal experience is that most customers do not buy something in the first visit. Unless your product is a low-cost item (for example less than $20).

Potential customers could go all the way to the checkout stage and yet not buy. Because life happens.

Thus you’ll need a second campaign. This is to remind them of what they have seen at your website before.

When you get more advanced, you can set up many remarketing loops based on user behaviour.

For example, a customer has visited your home page but not your product page. You could run a campaign to provide them with more value first through your blog posts.

Eventually you can dissect it down to each step of the customer buying journey.

2. Poor targeting

You may have the best offer, but if you put it in front of the wrong people, your campaign will fail.

The best way to start avoiding this mistake is to have more control over who you are targeting.

There are a lot of ways you can target potential customers on Facebook. You can do it based on what they are interested in, their demographic profile such as age and gender, and behaviour.

You can even target people who are like your current customers (a “Lookalike Audience”).

This also means not using “Boost Post”, and other options such as “Audience Expansion”.

You lose more visibility whenever you give up certain control of your ads.

3. Spending money on getting Page Likes

Back in 2016, businesses spent advertising money to get Page Likes. The goal is to increase organic reach and not pay more for ads.

But it is now 2021. Organic reach had declined.

Based on my experience, each Facebook post would now have an organic reach of about 1% - 5% of the people who liked your page.

Assuming you spend $2 to get each Page Like, you will need to spend $2,000 to get 1,000 Page Likes. Then, when you publish a post on your Facebook Page, you’d reach about 1% - 5% of your audience. That’s 50 of them at best (at 5%). Realistically, it’s closer to 10 (at 1%).

The Return on Investment sucks. All the time spent to design the posts is not put to good use.

You could easily run an ad with $5 a day and reach more people that way. You’d also have more control over your targeting.

4. Using the wrong campaign objective

There are 11 campaign objectives that you can select in Facebook Ads Manager. When you’re new to Facebook Ads, you may be overwhelmed choosing a campaign objective.

I usually see advertisers on either end of the spectrum.

On one hand, they select the simplest option. They see this button under their Facebook Posts that says “Boost Post” and do exactly that.

While it allows them to reach more Facebook users, it does not tap into Facebook’s powerful advertising system. They do not have full control over the target audience, bid strategy, frequency etc.  

On the other hand, they select one of the more advanced options. They use the Conversion campaign objective without understanding how it works.

I’ve even seen other advertisers and agencies get this wrong.

The success of this campaign objective depends on multiple factors. Such as your advertising budget, type of product or service, how long it takes to convert a customer etc. It also requires an understanding of the Facebook Pixel.

Generally if you’re new and unsure of which objective to use, you can go with these:

  1. Page Post Engagement. It creates engagement (Likes, Shares, Comments etc) for your Facebook post. It works for any type of business. You can use this for most of your posts, especially if you’re running a giveaway or contest campaign. This is already better than using the “Boost Post” option.
  2. Traffic objective. It drives more traffic to your website. It works for both product- and service-based businesses. You can use this for your website, blog articles, or E-commerce store.
  3. Lead Generation objective. It collects user’s contact information which allows you to contact them. It works for service-based businesses. You can use this even if you do not have a website (but I recommend that you have one).

5. Setting the incorrect budget

Set a budget too small and your ads can’t get out of the initial learning phase and optimise for performance.

Set a budget too large and you will see your Cost Per Click and other costs to skyrocket.

Most of the time, I’d recommend my clients to start small.

Starting at $5 or $10 a day is a good start. You can always scale your campaigns when you know that it’s performing well.

6. Constantly making changes to your ads

Making changes to your live ads can be detrimental if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Your ads will go through a learning phase when you first run it. It learns who best to show your ads to, and get you the optimal results based on your campaign settings.  

If the changes are considered as “significant edits” by Facebook, it resets the prior learning and optimisation, and starts all over again.

Significant edits include:

  • Huge change in the budgets (regardless of increasing or decreasing them). A good rule of thumb is that a 10% - 20% change is safe.
  • Change to bid strategy (for example, from Lowest Cost to Cost Cap)
  • Change to campaign optimisation event (for example, from Link Clicks to Landing Page Views)
  • Change to audience targeting
  • Change to ad creatives

The more changes you make to the same campaign, the more you’ll mess with its learning and optimisation.

You want to plan your campaigns properly before running them. This way, you give the campaigns enough time to gather data, learn, optimise, and perform.


Over to you:

Which strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?

Or maybe there’s something you would like me to cover.

Either way, let me know by dropping an email. I read and reply to every one of them.