Facebook Ads, the worst mistakes to avoid

facebook ads worst mistakes

Yes, Facebook offers not only one of the most powerful advertising platforms in the world, but also one of the most “democratic” on earth.

It only takes 1 Euro a day to start, and the system offers really hyper-simplified methods to advertise, not to mention the constant reminders that reach anyone who open a page:
from “this post has 85% better performance than the others, what are you going to do about it? Don’t you promote it?” to “reach people nearby with 5 bucks”.

If then we add that the Organic Reach – the number of people reached “for free” through the contents generated by the page – has been swooping for years and it shows no sign of going back up, it goes without saying that investing in Facebook Ads is not a choice, it’s an obligation.

Every day I offer consultancy and coaching to companies that spend from a few tens to thousands of Euros a day on Facebook and I can safely say that this very low “entry level” can lead to disastrous results.

Indeed, it’s really very simple to turn what appears to be an investment into a waste of money, telling yourself that maybe it’s still “visibility that comes”…not to mention that for a small company even just 200 bucks per month “wasted” on Facebook are still money, good money.

What are the most frequent mistakes in Facebook Ads that must be avoided?

What are those mistakes that make you waste more money, unfortunately without even realizing it?

.1. Don’t use the Ads Manager and do advertising only directly from the page (aka “Boost the post”).

facebook boost post

If you want to make the Social real business resources, you need to learn how to look at the numbers that really count.
Yes, I know, it’s easy, quick and it appears to be effective: with only two clicks you can promote the post you like, in no time you can reach anybody nearby and have a look at all those “small numbers” (likes, comments, shares, people reached) going up gives a boost of self-esteem.

The point is that the functions of these tools, designed to offer those who have zero skills an easy way to promote themselves, are truly limited and hyper-simplified.

Moreover, they offer far less targeting options – unless you work on personalized and saved audiences – and, in general, they are constantly used by those who really have poor knowledge of the system, limiting themselves to analyse the few numbers of the performances of their campaign that Facebook offers, that often have little or nothing to do with the actual Key Performance Indicators (Conversion Rate, Cost per Lead, Cost per Acquisition, etc).

Take some advice from me: just start to explore the Ads Manager, that at first will seem really complex, but over time it will allow you to understand what the true potential of this Social Network are.

.2. Don’t do Tests because “There’s no budget”…or do a few of them and badly.

Sometimes I have heard “we don’t have enough money/time to do tests” or “there’s no need. We already know what works”. Well, these statements, almost certainly, lead to waste money for a simple reason.
If you don’t test what works (picture A or B? Audience X or Y? Instagram or Facebook?) you are likely to pay much more than what you could per action, so if with a hundred dollars you could collect, for instance, 40 contacts, you’re actually collecting 15 spending the same amount, only because you didn’t try a picture, an audience, an offer that would give more results with the same cost.

However, what’s essential to understand to avoid wasting money is that you should, always, leave some of your budget to figure out what performs best before “taking the plunge”, without relying on the experience of a friend who “knows that Carousels work best” or that tries to convince you to “use the Lead Ads and play it safe”.

Each sector, situation, campaigns, but even period of time, is a reality unto itself; you should test to figure out what works best for your Facebook Ads, from time to time.
In this sense, a good method is to allocate always at least 20% of the budget to tests, so as to invest the remaining budget wisely.

.3. Don’t use the Facebook Pixel… or use it a little and badly

“Do you know that, according to a test conducted by Facebook on over 20.000 advertisers, optimizing through Link Clicks when the real goal are conversions, can lead to a cost per conversion (contact, request for information, purchase…) 150% higher?”

I think there’s no worse mistake than not to track the actual results of our Facebook Campaigns, beyond the reactions, comments, shares, people reached, etc.
Another fatal error: if your goal is to lead conversions, whether they be contacts, additions to shopping cart, purchases, registrations, or whatnot, there’s nothing worse than take the Cost per Click as a Key Performance Indicator because “We didn’t use the Facebook Pixel”…do you know how many Ads groups that had a CPC higher than others but a Cost per Conversion significantly lower I have seen?

Not only is it essential to use Facebook Pixel, to implement the Conversion API and Aggregated Event Measurement, but also, obviously, to track the Conversions that it leads to our website, in a proper and as effective as possible way, so as to be able to determine the ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend), if possible…which is then what really matters.

ROAS Facebook ads

As you can see up here, by adding the Pixel correctly, by tracking the conversions and their value, I know that I’ve spent around 225 Euro, gaining over 3000 euro.

Beyond the Likes, the Impressions and any other metrics, what is essential to measure is how much you spend and how much you gain; and that’s all you need to know.

.4.1. Putting “all your eggs in one basket”

This is a very common mistake, that is investing all or almost in a single type of campaigns, be they optimized for interaction, traffic or conversion.
All this for a simple reason:

Except for rare cases, the vast majority of people will not buy from you after coming into contact with your brand only once.

They will need to know your products/services, to get to consider the purchase, maybe answering some doubts and questions thereon and only then, eventually, they will decide to buy.

To be able to accompany your potential clients in this process and to optimize the results of your campaigns, in all likelihood you will need to create a Funnel.

You need to create a path to purchase which let you make known what you sell, to stimulate interest and to lead to a request for information and purchase to optimize your expenditure and get the maximum result (obviously by availing yourself of strategies and tools as well, not only Social!), by allocating your budget through the various stages of purchase, especially if you represent a small reality that invest, mainly, in Facebook Ads in its digital strategy.

.5. Don’t Use Custom Audiences and limiting to “Cold Audiences”

custom audience facebook

This is, alas, one of the most common mistakes that I’ve witnessed, even with structured brands that invest thousands of Euro (if not tens) monthly on the platform.
If you just use audiences created through the various targeting options (age, sex, place, interests…), technically called Core Audience, you’re missing the great opportunity to acquire contacts and clients at significantly lower costs with Custom Audiences.

We are dealing with Audiences created from the people who came in contact, in some ways, with your brand or they have shown interest towards your products or services (e.g., those who have interacted with your Facebook Page, Instagram Account, Website, customers acquired, etc.) and therefore are likely to be willing to ask for information or to purchase.

Custom Audiences, together with Facebook Pixel, are one of the most precious tools the platform offers to acquire contacts and clients and to transform the single purchase to repeated purchase.

You cannot absolutely refrain from using them if you want to make Facebook a real business resource, whether you sell offline or online.

Yes I know, it’s not easy to do Facebook Advertising “properly”, but if you can face the platform in a professional way, understanding its true dynamics or tools, it can give really spectacular results. Whether you represent a small, medium or big brand.

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Veronica GentiliFacebook Ads, the worst mistakes to avoid