10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertising represents the biggest opportunity in marketing history.

On average it costs .25 cents to reach 1000 people.

The amount of data that Facebook has on all of us is a marketer’s wet dream.

In 2016, Facebook will continue to be a mammoth marketing channel.

One of the biggest challenges with Facebook is the constant changes.

Facebook advertising changes almost on a weekly basis.

What worked one week might not work the next.

The average American spends 40 minutes on Facebook by far the highest of any social network:

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads


Social Media advertising continues to grow every year.

By 2017, it’s expected to reach 17 billion. 

There are now more than 1 million businesses advertising on Facebook.

And, despite all these stats, there are a lot of businesses that still don’t believe that Facebook advertising will work for them.

It’s obvious that they don’t know what they are doing.

They think that trying a Facebook campaign once that did not yield results should be written off forever.

I wrote this post to help you avoid mistakes in your Facebook Advertising campaigns.

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads

1 – No Defined Target- Who’s Your Customer Avatar?

Your Facebook campaign will fall flat without having a defined customer/prospect.

Your targeting and positioning have to make sense.

The best way to create a successful campaign is to first define your target.

If you are starting out the best way to do this is to target by interest.

You can also look at your Google Analytics to get a better understanding of the behavior of your prospects.

This comes down to two things: Demographics and Psycho-graphics

The demographics are things like:

  • Age.
  • Sex.
  • Location.
  • Profession.
  • Ethnicity.

Psycho-graphics breaks down with the following:

  • Personality.
  • Value.
  • Attitudes.
  • Opinions.
  • Lifestyles.

Once you have this information you can create a campaign on Facebook that will be much more effective.

For a lot of businesses, you would have to create multiple customer avatars to yield the best possible results.

2 – Not Being Relevant

This is marketing 101. 

If your advertising is not relevant, you’ll fail in your campaigns.

A good example of being relevant is actually calling out the people you’re targeting in your ad.

For example, Startup Active addresses their target in the first line of each ad:

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads

In the ad above they are targeting fitness professionals and studio owners with a specific offer.

Like Google Adwords, Facebook Advertising also has a relevance score.

This means that Facebook will try to show ads that are most pertinent to them.

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads

Facebook has an algorithm that determines how relevant your ad based on the expected positive and negative feedback the ad is supposed to receive from the audience.

Facebook has improved the accuracy of their relevance score.

When it was first introduced, the relevance score had sometimes little effect on how well the campaign was performing.

Why Relevance Score Matters

Facebook gives you three reasons why:

  • It can lower the cost of reaching people.
  • It can help advertisers test ad creative options before running a campaign.
  • It can help optimize campaigns already in progress.

3 – No Custom Audience

It’s amazing how many businesses don’t take advantage of Facebook’s custom audience feature.

It’s the most powerful strategy you can use on Facebook.

Creating a custom audience on Facebook is almost as powerful as building your email list.

You can use this custom audience to create:

  • Re-targeting Campaigns.
  • Lookalike Audiences.

To start creating your custom audience, you need to insert a Facebook pixel into all your web properties.

Jon Loomer gives a good breakdown on how to use Facebook’s new Facebook pixel here.

You only need to do this once.

You’ll use the same pixel across all your web properties and within Facebook, you can separate different audiences.

Here’s a good video showing how to insert a Facebook pixel on a WordPress site:

To check if you installed the Facebook pixel correctly make sure to install Facebook’s Pixel Helper.

(It’s only available on Chrome): 

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook AdsYou can create the following custom audiences:

  • Anyone who visits your website.
  • People who visit specific web pages.
  • People visiting specific web pages but not others.
  • People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time.
  • Custom Combination.

4 – No Compelling Image

The image is the most important part of your ad on Facebook.

Make sure the image you choose is compelling.

Facebook provides a guide to best practices for using images:

  • Choose an image that is directly relevant to your product or service.
  • Use an image that is bright and eye-catching, even when viewed at a small size.
  • Avoid images that have many small details or text and opt for something simple instead.

Images that are known to work well include:

  • Smiling Women in Fitness.
  • Hand-Drawings.
  • High-quality landscapes.

Here’s an example from Tough Mudder:

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads

Images that have text and call to actions are known to increase click-through rates. 

You can create these images easily on Canva.

What works better than images are videos.

Video advertising on Facebook is a very cheap way to get in front of your target audience.

Consumers are consuming video more than ever before.

5 – Not Creating At Least 3 Different Versions of the Same Ad

One of the biggest mistakes is creating a single version of an ad.

Even if we have a gut feeling on what’s going to work, it’s much better to test different versions and make sure.

We should test 3 different versions of the following:

  • Image.
  • Headline.
  • Copy.
  • Call to Action.

Start with the image first and test which image works best.

Once you’ve found out, you can move onto test the headline, the copy, and the call to action.

Ad Expresso tested different image for this campaign:

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads

The image of the person outperformed their mascot by almost 2 to 1.

They would have never known unless they tested the images against each other.

6 – Not Separating Ad Sets

When testing different versions of the same ad you have to make sure to separate them into different ad sets.

If you don’t separate the ad sets, Facebook will cannibalize your ads and only show the best performing one on each ad set.

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads

Test your ads with different ad sets.

You can organize your ad sets however you want.

Here are some examples:

  • Targeting.
  • Goals.
  • Video.
  • Image.

If you are only testing elements of each ad make sure to keep the targeting the same for each ad set.

This will make your test consistent.

7 – Crappy Landing Pages

A crappy landing page can torpedo your campaign. 

It’s important that your landing page follows conversion rate optimization best practices.

10 Mistakes To Avoid With Facebook Ads

Make sure your there’s only one thing to do on a landing page.

The more focused your landing page is, the higher conversion rate will be.

One thing to keep in mind is Facebook can reject your ad based on your landing page.

Some reasons why Facebook can reject your landing page are if:

  • Your landing page is not relevant to the ad.
  • Your landing page does not have a link to a privacy policy or a terms and conditions page.

I’ve seen lots of Facebook advertising accounts banned because they didn’t have a link to a privacy policy page.

8 – Not using Power Editor

If you have one of marketing most powerful tools available to use for free why wouldn’t you take advantage?

Facebook’s Power Editor is a tool that every Facebook marketer should take advantage of.

Facebook defines the Power Editor with the following:

“Power Editor is an advanced tool that helps businesses efficiently manage multiple campaigns and ads on Facebook. You can create, edit, manage and optimize ads, campaigns, and Page posts in bulk, across a large number of different ad accounts and Pages.”

The Power Editor only works with Google Chrome.

I highly recommend downloading and using Google Chrome to take advantage of the Power Editor.

Facebook recently redesigned their Power Editor, last year, to make it more user-friendly.

It can take some time to learn how to navigate the system.

Here is a good video breaking down the difference between the Power Editor and Ads Manager:

If you are serious about Facebook advertising, then using the Power Editor is a requirement.

To learn more about how to use the Power editor check out the following posts below:

9 – Not Testing Different Targeting

Let’s say you have a great understanding of your customer.

You wrote a detailed customer avatar and understand their problems and challenges.

You have the right target audience on Facebook and your ads are performing well.

It would be a mistake not to test different target audiences even if they might not fit your ideal customer.

You never know if your ads can be performing better unless you run tests.

The solution is simple.

You should test the same creative things (headline, images, and copy) with different target audiences.

Create multiple ads and see which ones perform the best. 

For example, if you are targeting dentists you can create the following target audiences:

  • Dentist Associations.
  • Dental Schools.
  • Dental Trade Shows.

10 – No Nurturing Campaign

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of businesses make is not having a nurturing or follow-up system for their leads.

Over 80% of sales are made after 5 follow ups.

What does your follow-up look like?

Facebook has an advantage over all marketing channels because of the targeting.

Facebook has the best targeting around.

However, your campaign will fall flat if you don’t have a proper nurturing system in place.

Facebook is a great way to generate local leads.

Most internet leads are not ready to buy from you.

They have to know, like, and trust you.

I always recommend getting Facebook leads onto your email list.

Facebook can shut down your ad account at any time.

You own your email list.

Email is the best way to nurture your leads.

You can follow up with an autoresponder series designed to speak to the core desires of your prospects.

Pardot provides 11 examples of different lead nurturing campaigns you can try:


1. Welcome Campaign.
2. Top-of-Mind Campaign.
3. Re-engagement Campaign.


4. Product-Focused Campaign.
5. Competitive Drips.
6. Industry Expertise Drips.
7. Promotional Drips.


8. On-boarding Campaign.
9. Upsell Drip.
10. Renewal Campaign.


11. Sales Enablement Drip

Decide for yourself which nurturing campaign will work best with your Facebook advertising campaign.

But remember that the vast majority of your sales will come with the follow-up.


It can be easy to make any of these mistakes on Facebook.

When first learning to use Facebook, a lot of companies dive headfirst without taking the time to learn how Facebook advertising works.

If you avoid these 10 Facebook advertising mistakes your business will be ahead of the game.

About the Author

My name is Mauricio and I'm the founder The Cardenal Group. I write about online marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.

Leave a Reply 1 comment

birgit - June 3, 2016 Reply

Hi Mauricio, thanks for your blog.

You say that when you test different ad variations, it’s best to do this in different adsets. But that’s not what the campaign structure (also the image you show below that particular text).
Can you elaborate a bit more on how and what, curious to know.


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