Common Mistakes While Advertising on Facebook and How you Can Avoid Them

Common Mistakes While Advertising on Facebook and How you Can Avoid Them

Most people know Facebook as one of the world’s largest social media platforms but Facebook is not only that but it’s also one of the world’s most sophisticated and efficient advertising platforms as well. It offers in-depth tools that allow you to fine-tune and find the precise audience to whom you want to display your ads so that your conversion rate can soar. 

However, with the amount of depth that is present within Facebook’s advertising platform, it’s easy to make mistakes and overlook things that may cost you dearly. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing some common mistakes that many advertisers make when they’re first starting to advertise on Facebook.

Not Being Specific Enough While Targeting

A lot of advertisers think that targeting a large number of people will result in higher conversion rates as there’ll be a higher chance of the relevant people coming across your ad. This, however, is not true. When you have a large number of people, most of them will be irrelevant to your product and they will not respond favorably to your ad and as a result, your conversion rates will plummet. 

We have come across Facebook ad campaigns that target as many as 20 million people. This is ridiculous and we highly urge that when you’re setting up your ad campaign that you be realistic about how many people you want to reach with your brand or product. If you notice that your conversion rate is low or getting lower day by day then it’s a good idea to narrow down your target audience and aim at more niche groups of people that you think will respond favorably to your product ad. You can determine how to narrow your audience by observing different demographics with whom your product resonates. Some common demographics to observe include age, region, gender, etc. 

Inadequate Monitoring of Ads 

Monitoring your ads after they go online is absolutely essential for your ad campaign’s success. Facebook offers very useful automation tools that can handle the monitoring of your ads to a certain extent but there are many advertisers that rely a little too heavily on these tools. As a result, you may find that your ad campaign shows great results when it’s first set up and launched but over the course of a few weeks, the results start to plummet and become disappointing.

This is because you’re not paying attention to what your audience wants and you’re not modifying your ad campaign accordingly. A great way to identify your audience’s sentiments is through reading their comments on your Facebook ads. This gives you an accurate measurement of whether your ad campaign is effective or if it’s just a source of annoyance for them. It’s also very important that you don’t target the same people with the same ads over and over again as all this will do is make them think about your brand in a negative light. 

Testing Multiple Interests in a Single Ad Set 

Have you ever run an ad that performed extremely well but you had no idea how to repeat that same success in future ad campaigns? This often happens when you’ve tested multiple interests in a single ad set and as a result, it makes it difficult or even impossible to identify which specific interest was the one that played the biggest role in the ad’s success. It is essential that the testing of an ad be done in fairly adequate isolation so that you are able to effectively identify the interest that has the highest impact on viewer interactivity. The same goes for variables as well; Many advertisers do not isolate one variable to test and this makes it nearly impossible to identify which factor had a hand in a more positive reaction among your audience. 

When you are unable to identify the interest that has had a huge impact on audience engagement, it makes your ad impossible to scale. What you can do instead is create a list of all the interests that you want to target and group all of these interests into several different categories. After doing this, you can create multiple ad sets and target each one using a single set of interests that you’ve made. With this approach, you will easily be able to identify which interests resonate the most with which types of audiences. 

Running Too Many Facebook Ads with an Inadequate Budget 

We’ve been talking about complex mistakes that are fairly easy to make when you’re just first starting out with advertising on Facebook but one fairly simple mistake that many advertisers tend to make is running too many Facebook ads without an ample budget. As you can probably imagine, this will lead to a lack of efficiency and reduced profit margins. If this problem is not addressed, it can ultimately drive your online business to the ground. Here’s what you can do to bring your ad campaigns back on track if they have become overly complex and too big for your allocated budget to handle:

Consolidate different target audiences into ad sets that have larger budgets. Not only does this allow Facebook to feed more data but it also allows it to scale the ad campaign up more rapidly. Combine lookalike audiences as well. A great way to do this is to combine the 1% lookalike of your buyers audience and the lookalike audience of your landing page visitors into a single audience. Similarly, you can also combine your digital marketers, small business owners and Facebook admins to a single audience as well. 

Once you’re done combining audiences to make fewer, bigger audiences, you can then start running your best ad campaigns for these newly made audiences. Having fewer audiences means they will be easier to monitor and you will be able to easily see which ad campaigns are effective and which ones are not. 

Facebook’s algorithm needs about 50 – 100 conversions per ad set per week in order for the ad campaign to be fully successful so you need an ample budget to make your ads happen. For example, for a $5 lead, you should set your ad budget to a minimum of $35 – $50 per day. 

Monitoring Cost per Lead Instead of Earnings per Lead 

This problem can be generalized by saying that advertisers tend to look at the wrong factor or variable when judging the success of their ad campaigns. One of the most common factors that advertisers tend to look at when judging their ad campaigns is the cost per lead. Judging your ad campaign’s effectiveness by monitoring your cost per lead can often paint a very inaccurate picture because the cost per lead can only be reduced to a certain point and it’s also subjective to your earnings per lead. Your earnings per lead refer to how much you earn for every person that goes through your sales process. 

Here’s an example: Let’s say you have an ad that’s generating earnings per lead of $100 at a cost per lead of $4. This is a highly profitable ad as the earnings per lead are 25 times the investment. However, if you’re only monitoring the cost per lead and not the earnings per lead, you may want to shut down this ad in favor of an ad that has a lower cost per lead, say, $2. While this new ad may have a lower cost per lead, there’s a high chance that it may not be as profitable as your former ad. 

Selecting an Inappropriate Facebook Ad Campaign Goal

Selecting the wrong campaign objective in your ad campaign structure can be catastrophic as it can lead to skewed and inaccurate results that won’t give you an accurate picture of how well or badly your ad is doing. Many advertisers that are looking for leads tend to select lead ads, engagements or clicks as their Facebook ad campaign goal whereas they should be selecting goals such as conversions and making optimizations for leads. 

A great way of choosing your Facebook ad campaign goal is to first identify what you’re trying to achieve with your Facebook ad. What do you want the Facebook user to do when they stumble across your ad? Do you want them to learn more about your brand, visit your website or to convert and buy a product from you? These are all questions you should ask yourself every time you set up an ad campaign.

First determining what you want your ad to do will help you identify what you want your ad campaign goal to be. Choosing the wrong Facebook ad campaign goal will not only send you down the wrong path in Facebook’s ad manager but it will also result in you spending a large sum of money on ads that won’t be effective at all. 

Producing New Facebook Ads Instead of Improving Already Running Ads 

Oftentimes, when an advertiser first starts setting up ads on Facebook, it’s common for them to set up too many ads. You will find many new Facebook ad accounts that are just littered with an overwhelming number of ad sets. This ultimately hurts the effectiveness of your ad campaigns because as we mentioned earlier, Facebook’s optimization algorithm needs a minimum of 50 conversions per ad set per week in order to do its job effectively. Thus, if you have an overwhelming number of ad sets all of which have only a few number of conversions, then you are actively preventing Facebook’s algorithm from optimizing your ad campaigns and thus, limiting your reach. 

Another important thing that’s related to creating too many campaigns is that often, many advertisers tend to create new ads instead of going back to their old ads that have proven to be successful and improving upon them. This is understandable as many Facebook advertisers think they have to churn out content continuously in order to maximize their reach but the truth of the matter is that you are not a newspaper. Many successful advertisers on Facebook have ads that have been running for years. They are able to sustain these ads for years because they keep making regular improvements to them. Spending money and improving your already successful ads can increase their longevity and help maintain a constant stream of an audience to your brand and product page. 

Relying on Automatic Placement for your Facebook Ads

Automatic placement can be a very useful tool as it can help you save time and speed up the creation of your ads, it’s easy and convenient and if you’re not too familiar with Facebook’s advertising system, then it can also help you by stopping you from making the wrong placements for your ads. 

However, you should know that the placement of your ads has a huge impact not only on its cost but also on its effectiveness. While we realize that automatic placement is easy, it’s definitely worth it to study up on how ad placements work and affect the performance of your ad so you are able to make manual changes and adjustments that will help boost your ad and extend your reach. 

Secondly, an over-reliance on Facebook’s automatic placement can also cost you a lot of money without yielding a fruitful result. An example of this is Facebook’s Audience Network Placement; This placement is often the cheapest of placements but it can be great for reach. However, let’s say that your Audience Network Placement is doing great and reaching a lot of people. In this case, if you have automatic placement on, then Facebook will automatically allocate more budget into that placement. As a result, this placement will eat through your budget without offering an adequate return. 


Due to the amount of depth and layers that Facebook’s advertising tools have to offer, they can be tricky to get the hang of. It only makes sense for you to make mistakes when you’re first starting out because there are just so many moving parts and aspects where you can mess up when it comes to running an ad campaign on Facebook.

We advise that you take your time to get acquainted with every aspect of Facebook’s advertising platform before you start creating ad campaigns. It may seem complex and tricky at first but once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly rewarding too. 

If you are someone who advertises on various platforms, also be sure to check Top Ten Amazon Sponsored Ads Mistakes to Avoid.

About the Author

Anthony Bui-Tran – From his home in Houston, Anthony built his first 7 figure Amazon business at the age of 23, and has since empowered thousands of others to learn from his journey through Seller Tradecraft. Anthony is an expert at driving paid traffic, leveraging social influencers, online arbitrage, private label, and more. He is also one of the partners at Pixelfy.

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