Facebook Ads – these days it sounds like the holy grail. Advertising on Facebook will solve all your problems and make you big money. There are so many schemes, programs and funnels out there that claim to be fool proof. Everyone these days calls themselves a social media expert.
But beware: mastering social media advertising is not a quick scheme at all. Things change frequently in this world and you need to be on top of your game and keep learning and testing.
Advertising on Facebook should always only be just one of many things you’re doing. I tell you now, it’s not the holy grail at all. It can work for you, but it might also not. You need to get your head around it and be patient. Yes, you might see great results straight away, but often this isn’t the case. Have some patience and persevere. Make sure that Facebook (including Instagram) fits into your overall marketing plan and strategy and that you’re looking at this channel the right way.
So, what are the 6 major mistakes people make when they’re new to Facebook Ads?
1. Boosting a Post
Please repeat after me: “I will never ever succumb to Facebook asking me to boost a post”.
Don’t do it. It’s a waste of money.
If you have a well performing post that you want to amplify, go and create an ad account and set up a proper ad campaign with the right targeting.
“But it’s so easy and I get likes”. Easy and comfort should never guide your marketing and advertising. And post likes don’t have much value. Wouldn’t you rather want to reach an audience that is really interested in your product or service and willing to buy it rather than someone who is liking posts just because they have the time to do so?
Running Facebook Ads through Facebook Ads Manager gives you a lot more control over how and where Facebook is spending your money.
When you boost a post, you don’t have any visibility over your audience, where they are located – you’re flying blind. Facebook Ads give you a lot more data to play with and you’ll be able to understand what is working and what is not.
So please, repeat after me: “I will only ever run Facebook Ads and never ever boost a post!” :)
2. No Facebook Pixel in Place
What the heck is a Facebook Pixel? Why do I need to track? What is tracking anyway?
If you paid money for something, wouldn’t you want to know what you’re getting and if the investment was a good one?
Imagine you’re hiring a sales person, pay them good money, but you’re not getting any updates from them, you don’t even know what they’re doing all day. Would you keep doing that?
No, you would put measures in place to understand their approach, track how many calls they’re making each day, how many of those turn into leads and so on. You’d have a good view of what’s working and what is not.
Now transfer this to Facebook Advertising. You wouldn’t want to give Facebook your money and then not know what is actually happening and if you were actually getting leads, would you?
No, and that’s why you need to install the Facebook tracking Pixel.
Another big benefit of the Facebook Pixel is that you’ll be able to target those people who have been to your site but did not purchase. They already know your brand but weren’t ready to buy. You can now build a specific audience with just these visitors and show them an ad with an extra incentive to purchase, for example free shipping or a discount. This will make them more likely buy from you and is called retargeting.
See, having the Pixel installed will make a big difference and ensure you’re not wasting money and are getting the best possible results out of your campaign.
3. Not Having a Clear Objective
Why do I need an objective? What does this even mean?
As a business owner, you have goals for your business. These could be revenue goals, growth goals or the goal to sell your business at some point.
In marketing it’s similar, you need a goal or objective. What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Is it growing your brand? Or maximizing your revenue online? Or just driving relevant traffic to your blog?
Your ultimate goal is specific to you, your business and the stage your business is in. Social advertising can help you with all of these goals and more.
Your campaign can only be successful though if you decide on one specific objective to start with (your primary objective) and focus on this one throughout the campaign as your objective will also define how you’re going to measure success.
If you’re selling online, I recommend to go with Conversion as a campaign goal (you have to select an objective as one of the first steps when setting up a Facebook campaign). A conversion can be whatever you have set up on your website, i.e. a purchase of a physical product or a digital offering, someone filling out your contact or email subscription form (a lead), a download, …
Side note: Do not run Like or Engagement campaigns. Don’t spend money on getting followers, you will build your following organically as you build your brand. You want followers you are genuinely interested in what you offer and engage with your content. You’re not going to find them when you’re paying for likes.
4. Not Having a Clear Target Audience
Do I need to know my target audience before starting or can I just give it a go?
The more you know about your ideal customer (including existing customers) the better, so
yes, you need to know your audience before starting.
If you’re selling eco friendly cleaning products, your customers are likely heavily female skewed, 25-45 years old, living in capital cities and interested in living more sustainably.
So, which audience would you set up in Facebook?
Number 1 it is. You start with the audience that is as close to your actual customer as possible. The Facebook Pixel lets you also target your website visitors who haven’t purchased yet / only added to cart. You can now target these separately with a messaging that will encourage them to make the purchase. Remember Retargeting?
Thanks to the Facebook Pixel you also know which group has purchased from you. Facebook allows you to build a lookalike audience of consumers who act like your purchasers. These audiences tend to perform really well as they have similar traits and interests like your customers. You can also build lookalikes based on your Instagram and/or Facebook followers.
Test your audiences and give them enough room to perform. When you start with a small budget start as relevant as possible and then build from there and test broader audiences.
5. Only Spending $5 per Day
I understand you. You’re cautious with your money on and your funds are limited, so you need to start slow.
Starting too small though severely limits your ability to test, optimize and scale.
$5 a day targeting an Australian wide audience is not going to deliver much and it will take a long time for you to get dependable results.
If your product has a value of $200 and you think you can afford to pay $50 for each sale (a return on investment of 4:1 or 400%), spending $5 a day will take a long time for you to see results.
It will take you at least 10 days before you make your first sale. During those 10 days you’ll have very limited data to understand what is working and what isn’t. Then after 10 days you get 1 sale. Facebook’s optimization isn’t really kicking in until you have at least 50 conversion events since the last major change (Facebook calls this learning phase and with a budget this low you’re likely going to stay in this phase for a long time which means less than optimum results).
From my experience, I recommend starting with a daily budget of at least $50 if you’re targeting an Australian wide audience. Run several audiences (retargeting, lookalike and maybe one interest based audience for at least a week before making any changes.
If your campaign is delivering for you, you should not cap your budget to a fixed amount. If you’re getting $4 for every $1 spent, then why not keep going and see if you can get even better results by increasing your daily spend.
6. Making Changes All the Time as Nothing's Working
Mistake 5 and 6 go hand in hand. Sure, with a limited budget you want to see results fast and make changes quickly. BUT, and this is a big but, you need to give Facebook the opportunity to do its job. That means collecting data and testing, sometimes making mistakes along the way in order to get to the best possible outcome for you.
Data is key and it needs to be a robust data set. The more data, the better.
Let’s assume you had your ads running for one day and spent $50 but haven’t seen a conversion yet.
Do NOT go in and pause all ads thinking it’s not working. Give it another few days. Yes, monitor closely, but don’t pull the plug too early.
Things take time in all aspects of life and digital advertising is no exception. Let your campaigns run and once there is enough data, then analyze the data and decide what to do next.
These are the most common mistakes when running Facebook Ads for the first time. As with everything in life you need to make mistakes to learn, so don’t despair if your campaigns are not delivering great results from the first day. So many different factors can play a role, take it one step at a time.
Hopefully this article will give you a head start and you won’t make those mistakes in the first place, saving you money and pain.
Have some patience and trust, keep it simple for your own sake and watch your campaigns closely. Social advertising can work for you, give it a go and let me in the comments below how you go.
Please get in touch with questions anytime!