Posted on Jun 6, 2017

The Top 10 Biggest Mistakes New Facebook Advertisers Make

Facebook advertising wasn’t always a hot investment, but the landscape has certainly changed in the last few years. With more eyes on Facebook than ever before (1.94 billion monthly active users, as of the first quarter of 2017), better tools for advertising than ever before, and significant impediments to the old strategy of gaming news feeds for free advertising, it’s never made more sense to advertise with Facebook.

Which brings us to our main point: getting it right. Far too many companies jumping into advertising on Facebook go about it all wrong, throw away a significant chunk of marketing capital, and then give up on the endeavor entirely.

We’re here to help you avoid that path – and to find the success that’s lurking just out of reach – with this guide to the 10 biggest mistakes new Facebook advertisers make.


Advertising on Facebook or any other social media network brings as much risk as it does potential – and much of that risk is tied to the issue of authenticity. Even with paid advertising, you need to consider the question of community on Facebook.

How will your content read to your existing community? How will they react to your ads and content? How will they discuss them?

It’s important that you have at least one person on your team who cares about Facebook enough to understand both the platform and the prospects using it, as this can save you from a huge number of problems over time.

It’s hard to make positive inroads with a community and build a reputation you can turn into profits if you aren’t already part of that network, but it’s incredibly easy to embarrass yourself and spark a wildfire of criticism if you’re careless.

Reused Content

Reused content is a mistake that nearly every company new to Facebook indulges in.

social actionsBut think about it. Your audience looking at ads on Facebook isn’t your audience looking at ads on Google or your audience looking at ads on LinkedIn, so why would you reuse the same content across these different venues?

Unfortunately, many Facebook advertisers jump in and repost the same ads and content they’ve used on every other network, alongside organic posts that are pared down or rephrased versions of articles on their blog. Basically, they add nothing unique to their communities.

Original content doesn’t just help distinguish your site from others in your industry, it’s something you should pursue for every channel you’re a part of. After all, even if customers do overlap, you want them to get a fresh experience from each advertisement and each landing page they reach. That means investing in consistent, yet distinct content that’s tailored to the nature of the service you’re publishing on.

Lack of Targeting

Advertising on Facebook without using the targeting tools is, simply put, a complete waste of every dime you spend advertising.

Facebook offers truly robust prospect targeting options for paid advertisements, yet many businesses put entirely too little effort into leveraging the full potential of the format. With minimal effort, you can target each individual ad in a campaign based on demographics, behaviors, lifestyle, location, and more.

Each ad you develop and launch through Facebook should be tested and calibrated to appeal to a fairly narrow niche of your prospect base, approaching each customer in the most appropriate way. It’s basic market segmentation and personalization, made easier than ever before with the tools Facebook provides.

Of course, this brings us to another dimension of this mistake – not leveraging your Facebook ads as a research tool. Even if you don’t jump into Facebook with an exhaustive understanding of your customers, careful analysis of the results from your advertising can build that knowledge up quickly.

Weak Calls to Action

An advertisement is only as good as the action it convinces your prospects to take. This isn’t unique to Facebook advertising, of course, but it deserves a mention here, nonetheless. If your CTA doesn’t make some promise of value or offer some intriguing proposition, no one isn’t going to click through.

If no one clicks through, you may not lose money – but you certainly won’t make any inroads, either. This can lead to bad decisions, as many newbie Facebook advertisers respond to low click-throughs by broadening their targeting or increasing bids, when better value propositions would make all the difference.

Copy alone can’t cover this, if you don’t have anything valuable to offer. So think carefully about who you’re trying to grab and what makes them act. Give your copywriter something to work with and success will follow. If you’re asking them to convince people to click-through with a handful of words and nothing more, you shouldn’t expect miracles.

Lack of Focus

Your marketing and sales teams should have concrete goals in mind for your Facebook ads, preferably goals that align with the overarching goals of the company at large.

A company looking to build its place as a voice in its industry, for example, needs to be taking different steps from a company looking to turn immediate profits. Only by nailing down hard goals for traffic, conversion rates, customer experience, and other factors can you succeed.

Once you have those goals in place, everything will make a lot more sense. It’s much easier to make the myriad small decisions that shape a Facebook advertising campaign if you have a singular focus. It also makes it easier to coordinate with sales, other marketing channels, and other aspects of your business to ensure campaign consistency.

Generating Weak Leads

typing on laptop

It doesn’t matter how much traffic you generate if no one takes the next step. In fact, paid advertising makes every weak lead a pure loss; you pay for the click and get nothing in return.

That’s why it’s crucial that you consider who will click a particular ad and what sort of actions they’ll be looking to take. If you know you’re going to be generating lackluster leads, that moves the onus of closing to your landing pages and your sales team.

Good Facebook ads bring prospects that you can convert to good leads in, period. What that means for your company will vary with the robustness of your sales funnel, the quality of your sales team, your business model, etc. Make sure you understand your business and how your leads engage before you start throwing money at ads.

Bad Landing Pages

Don’t create spectacular ads and then send prospects through to a lackluster landing page. Your landing pages should be well-written, tailored to match the type of prospect coming in from a particular ad, and built to guide those incoming prospects towards become high-value leads.

This all comes down to understanding your market: do you know what sort of prospects your ads will appeal to? Do you know what stage of the buying process, what understanding of the product or service they have, or what they expect from you?

If you don’t know what they want and who they are, you can’t put the right message in front of them. And if you’re not even trying to – and you’re instead delivering them to a generic landing page or your home page – you’re just wasting money.

Inconsistent Messaging

If a potential customer sees two messages from your company that don’t seem to fit together, one of two things will happen: your brand will lose some of its credibility and authenticity, or the prospect will fail to connect the two messages as belonging to the same company. Either way, you’ve undermined your own endeavors.

This extends beyond Facebook advertisements, of course. You want your Facebook posts to be on message with your ads, along with every other piece of content your company puts out, marketing materials and otherwise. Inconsistency is a huge weakness.

Unprofessional Copy

It should go without saying, but we’ll say it nonetheless: invest in good copy for your marketing materials.

Your ads, landing pages, follow up emails, and newsletters; all of them should be written by professionals. Ideally, professionals with experience relevant to each format. There’s a huge difference in the skills necessary to write a catchy piece of ad copy, the skills necessary to parse marketing data to identify market segments, and the skills necessary to develop an infographic that can go viral.

Make sure you’re using the right people for the right jobs, or the entire system falls apart.

Lack of Agility

One of the greatest advantages any company using paid ads has lies in the agility of paid advertising compared to organic marketing approaches.

Rather than waiting months to get ranked in the natural search results, for example, a paid ad on Facebook can be produced and put in front of prospects in mere hours. That means you need to pay attention to what’s happening in your industry and the wider world in order capitalize on opportunities as they arise.

On a site like Facebook, where many people hear news first, discuss it with friends, and pass along additional perspectives, being one of the first voices to speak up on a subject – even in advertisements – can be immensely valuable. You’ll generate more leads and help shape the discussion on matters related to your business. It’s a major win-win opportunity.

Get Started with Facebook Ads

Ultimately, success through Facebook advertising comes down to information. Take advantage of all the hard data at your disposal to understand who your prospects are, what interests them, and what makes them buy. Combine that with a thorough understanding of the Facebook platform, and your campaigns are sure to succeed.


Are you using Facebook Ads to promote your business? Share any other mistakes you’ve seen made – or made yourself – by leaving us a note in the comments:


Image Sources: MaxPixel, Pexels, Pexels