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10 Common Paid Facebook Advertising Mistakes Companies Make

Facebook has dominated the social network scene worldwide, which makes it no surprise that the platform has become a rich source for advertising. In a span of just four years, Facebook ad revenue jumped from under $2 billion in 2010 to $26.8 billion in 2016, according to Statista.

What makes advertising through Facebook so effective is the unique ability to target incredibly specific demographics. This specificity allows businesses to get their message to the right audiences, by pinpointing specific data ranging from their location and age to their coinciding interests.

While Facebook is undoubtedly a powerful resource for targeting demographics, advertising on the platform isn’t very welcoming to newcomers. The plethora of ad options can make it difficult for first timers to make their paid advertisement as effective as possible. The following are 10 common mistakes newcomers make when advertising on Facebook to avoid for your campaign:

1. Ads without specific goals.

Tracking metrics is crucial to determine if your Facebook ad is working or not. There are a number of different areas you can focus on, but what’s most important are the metrics that coincide with your individual business goals.

A new business looking to increase their brand awareness may focus on new likes and page visits while the more established may focus on lead generations. These goals will help you understand if your advertisement is doing what you set out for it to do.

2. Using the wrong ad format

Facebook is constantly updating their ad formats, which can make it tricky for newcomers to know which will be the best match for their audience. It’s important to keep tabs on long-running ads to make sure they still adhere to the most effective format.

Different ad types can be effective for different reasons. It’s important to research each format to guarantee you’ve chosen one that’s optimal for your intended audience. With the continually changing nature of ad types, maintenance is required to ensure you're getting the most out of your advertisement. Facebook’s Ads Guide is the best place to find this information. Take a few minutes to review it before placing your ads and you’ll find that it’s worth the time.

3. Having only one ad set

Facebook uses ad sets, which enables you to group ads according to specific criteria. These ads share the same “daily or lifetime budget, schedule, bid type, bid info, and targeting data.” Having everything in one set is convenient, but will affect the reach of each ad.

While you can put a ton of ads in one group, Facebook is most likely to only give one the most reach. This won’t give you proper insight to which ad is working best. To get the most out your ad set, you have to keep the individual ads somewhat separated. It’s best to limit your ad sets by grouping together no more than five ads.

4. Targeting too broad of an audience

Trying to be too all inclusive with your ad can end up tarnishing your brand image when people who don’t care are continually being subject to it. Facebook’s targeting features are key tools to making sure your ad is being seen by an audience that will respond favorably.

If low engagement is a problem you seem to keep facing, one way to solve this is to become more specific with your targeting criteria. This will help you better understand which audience is responding positively to your ads and which are not.

5. Your ad copy isn’t selling click-through

Call-to-action in an ad copy is crucial to galvanize your audience to take the action you’ve specified. It’s best to keep your ad copy simple and attention-grabbing rather than trying to cram in too much about the product or service.

There’s a lot to look at on Facebook, which means that your audience has a limited attention for your ad. That’s why it’s best to make sure your ad copy is simple and straightforward, focusing on the click-through rather than overbearing the audience with too much.

6. Too much text

If you tend to opt for text-heavy ads, you’ve probably faced rejection from Facebook’s ad rule. It’s important to keep the text in your ad copy to a minimum to make sure that it gets maximum distribution.

Facebook’s advertising policies states, “Our policies previously prohibited ads with text that covered more than 20% of an ad’s image. We’ve recently implemented a new solution that allows ads with greater than 20% text to run, but with less or no delivery.”

7. Images not optimized for Facebook

To guarantee that your ad is eligible to show in all of the different formats, it’s important to use Facebook’s recommended ad image size for your objective. If you’re inputting images that aren't the right size, the resulting ad won’t display as intended.

Images that aren’t optimized for Facebook can end up lowering your engagement rates. Facebook offers an ad guide to ensure that your images are appearing how you want them to. Make use of this feature so there are no surprises when your ad is displayed.

8. Your images aren’t garnering enough attention

The ad's objective should be to attract the audience's eye-line immediately. To do this, the images used have to be visually striking. Many advertisers will use vibrant images with the sole purpose of grabbing attention, despite whether it’s relevant to the actual product or service or not.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be manipulative with your advertising, but understanding which graphics generate the most clicks will help you understand how to engage your audience more effectively. For example, take the color scheme your ad is being presented on into consideration. Ideally, you want your ad to contrast with the blue and white color so you may be more inclined to choose an opposing hue.

9. Not testing your ads

Testing is one of the most important parts of marketing. If you aren’t perpetually testing your ad, you won’t be up to date on what is working and what isn’t. To ensure that you’re getting the most value out of your paid Facebook ad, you want to actively test every aspect of it.

10. Saturating your audience

Facebook users aren’t logging in to view ads, which it makes it important that you aren’t saturating your audience with an influx of messages. If your ad starts to pop up too many times, your audience will naturally start to tune it out and become significantly less effective.

It’s not easy to determine whether or not you’re saturating your audience, but one sign is dwindling engagement. If engagement continues to diminish even when you narrow your target criteria, it may be time to give your campaign a break.

When investing in ads, there are many things to consider. It’s always a good idea to do your research beforehand to ensure that your ads are optimized for the distribution platforms in order to gain the maximum value for your ad dollars. Hasty ads may lead to lost revenue, PR problems, or in the worst case scenario, customers tuning out of your brand and its messaging.


For help with optimizing and running your Facebook and social media ads please reach out to me by email at info@socialpulsemarketing.com and I'll be happy to help.

Steven Tulman is the CEO of Social Pulse Marketing Inc., a leading influencer marketing agency. He is a social media marketing and sales expert, and an entrepreneur with a passion for helping companies grow through effective online marketing strategies, improved sales performance, and overall customer experience.

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