If you would like to start using Facebook Ads, congratulations, you’ve made a great choice. But be aware of the many Facebook Ad beginner mistakes!
Give yourself a pat on the back though, because you will probably save yourself some money by reading this article!
If you have already looked around a bit in the Facebook business manager, you have probably noticed that the platform can be a bit daunting at first.
There are lots and lots of settings, and therefore, it’s pretty easy to make a mistake that can cost you money if you’re a beginner.
Don’t worry though, because you’ve found this article, remember?
Just keep on reading, and I will tell you about the 13 most important Facebook Ads mistakes to avoid.
But, before we dive into the list of mistakes, I’m going to give you a quick overview of how Facebook Ads work. That way, you will know where I’m talking about.
How do Facebook Ads work? (Quick Overview)
Facebook Ads make use of a campaign structure that is divided into three levels: a campaign, ad set, and ad.
It works like this.
At the Campaign level, you define the marketing objective for all the ad sets which are under the campaign level.
In the Ad Sets, which belong to your campaign, you can specify which audience, placement, budget, and schedule the ads under that ad set will have.
At last, you can create multiple ads that belong to one ad set. In the Ad section, you select the format for your ad and upload the required media and creative.
If you’re interested in learning more about using Facebook Ads for ecommerce, then don’t forget to check out our complete beginner’s guide here.
13 common Facebook Ad beginner mistakes that will kill your marketing budget
Now that you have a basic understanding of how Facebook Ads work and are structured, here are the 13 most common Facebook Ad beginner mistakes that you should avoid!
Pro Tip: Save this article in your bookmarks. That way, when you are making your own Facebook Ads, you can come back and check if you aren’t making any important mistakes!
Avoid this Facebook Ad beginner mistake!
If you only advertise on Facebook by hitting this button, you can not call yourself a Facebook advertiser.
I hope that none of you uses this button since you are basically throwing away money.
Even though Facebook tells you that you could reach thousands of people by boosting your post, you should not use it.
By making an ad of your post in Facebook’s ad manager, you will have many more options to specify exactly to what audience Facebook should show your ad to, as well as other important settings such as budget, call-to-action, marketing objective, and many others!
Therefore, chances are high that you will get more value for money by utilizing Facebook’s ad manager!
2. Not using & double-checking your Meta Pixel
The ability to use the Meta Pixel is one of the biggest reasons why Facebook Ads are so amazing, and not utilizing it is one of the biggest Facebook Ad beginner mistakes!
The Meta Pixel is a snippet of code that you have to install on your website. If it works, then it will track the behavior and actions (like content views, add to carts, and purchases) of visitors on your website.
You can use the Meta Pixel to make sure your ads are shown to the right people, drive more sales, and measure the results of your ads!
You can install a Meta Pixel in the Facebook business manager here. But, it’s very important to test if it works first before you start making your ads!
You can do this by using Facebook’s own tool and entering your website’s URL in the “Test Event” section.
And those aren’t all Facebook Ad beginner mistakes about the Meta Pixel I got for you; here’s another pro-tip.
Go to your Meta Pixel settings, and make sure that your first-party cookies are on and Automatic Advanced Matching is on.
By turning on first-party cookies, your Pixel will be implemented on your website and read by browsers as the main code, which will make sure that your Pixel can function as it should on most browsers.
With Automatic Advanced Matching on, your Meta Pixel can match more data like phone numbers and email addresses to people on Facebook, which can help you get more conversions and reach more people!
3. Forgetting that you pay per impression, not click like on Google Ads
Sometimes, people just assume that you pay per click on Facebook Ads, especially if they’ve previously used Google Ads and now want to experiment a bit with Facebook Ads.
But they are wrong!
With Facebook Ads, you will pay per impression. So whenever someone sees your ad, Facebook will charge you some money.
This can mean that there is a bigger chance of losing money if your ad is so bad that no one clicks on it.
With Google Ads, if no one clicks on your ad, you won’t be charged anything since you pay per click. But with Facebook Ads, your ad may be shown to thousands of people, and if only a few click on your ad, you will still be charged for all those impressions!
That’s why it’s very important to create an amazing ad! It’s often the first thing people see from your brand, and not focussing on improving your ad is one of the big Facebook Ad beginner mistakes.
If you’re struggling with making amazing Facebook ads or if you’re seeking for more information, check out our list of 14 Awesome Facebook Ad Examples!
Are you doubting whether or not to use Google Ads, check out our article here, which covers all the pros and cons of Google Ads!
4. Not researching how your target audience looks like
The first step of setting up your Facebook ad, defining your market objective, is easy.
Do you want purchases? Select the conversion goal.
Or do you want as many people to reach your website as possible? Then you can select traffic.
The second step isn’t so easy though. You will have to define your audience, but to do this correctly, you will first have to do research! This is one of the Facebook Ad beginner mistakes that is often overlooked.
If you know what kind of people would buy your product, and tailor your ads to that audience, you will have to most chance of succeeding with Facebook Ads.
For your audience, find out:
- Where they live
- Their age, gender, marital status, work, education level, financial status, etc.
- Their interest
- Their behaviors
Now, you might be asking yourself, “Well, how do I get to know all these things for my audience?”
Don’t worry, I will tell you.
Let’s say that you are selling fishing equipment and are looking to research your target audience.
With just a few simple Google searches, I was able to find:
- An age distribution graph of recreational fishing participants.
- A gender distribution graph of recreational fishing participants
- The income distribution of fishing participants.
- And a list of reasons why people are going fishing!
So, you will now know which age range, genders, income level, interests, and behaviors to target!
If you have difficulties with choosing interests, you can also use Facebook’s suggestion tool to show you relevant interests! For example, you could test the obvious “fishing” interest, but also the suggested “outdoor recreation” interest.
If you’re interested in learning more about this, then I suggest reading the article I linked to below:
Facebook Ads Interest Targeting for Ecommerce: An Easy Guide
5. Making your audience too broad or narrow
When setting up the target audience for your Facebook ad, one of the common Facebook Ad beginner mistakes is not paying attention to your audience size.
First of all, I should note that the right audience size is different for everyone. It depends on your budget, industry, and marketing objective.
Luckily, Facebook includes a dial that shows you if your audience is broad or narrow.
But, your audience size can definitely be too big or small, and here’s what will happen in both scenarios:
Your audience size is too big
Facebook Ads work with a machine-learning algorithm to pick to which people your ad will be shown to. If you have an audience size of 1 million, not everyone will see your ad. Instead, Facebook will segment this audience automatically into smaller pieces and will show your ad to the segment that is most likely to fulfill your marketing objective.
If your audience size is too big, Facebook will need to test many segments of your audience before it decides which is the best one, which can eat through your budget really quickly with inconsistent and often insufficient results.
The testing of these segments is called the “learning phase”, which is why your ad sets will be in this phase when you’ve just started your campaign.
Your audience size is too small
When your audience size is too small, Facebook can have difficulties in the learning phase as they can’t test your ad’s response to different audience segments.
Also, if your audience size is extremely small (for example, if you’re retargeting your initiate checkouts), Facebook may even have trouble delivering your ads to your audience.
Also, ad fatigue will occur much more quickly for smaller audiences. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, I will cover it later in this list. But in short, it’s the point where people have already seen your ad a lot and become “blind” for it, which basically causes your ad’s performance to decline.
6. Copying ads from others
Never copy ads from others.
Some beginners exactly copy the ad video/photo and description and make their own ad out of it.
This will not work, especially if the copied ad already has a lot of views.
Facebook can detect that your content is copied, and will therefore penalize your ad delivery.
This is why the CPM (Cost Per 1000 Impressions) will rise, causing all other costs to rise as well. The chances of being profitable with this strategy are very slim.
While you shouldn’t copy someone else’s ad, you can use them as examples to get some inspiration for your own ad.
We’ve made a list of 14 Awesome Facebook Ad Examples, which you can take a look at if you’re hungry for some ideas!
Here’s an example that we will cover in that article:
7. Using too many words in your ad copy or images
One of the more common Facebook Ad beginner mistakes is using too many words in either your ad copy or your images.
I will cover both cases here.
Too many words in your ad copy
Your ad copy should be simple and straightforward.
It should have 2 functions, to grab attention, and to intrigue them to click through—nothing more, nothing less.
Often, you will get the best results when your ad copy doesn’t get cut off (see image below).
Disclaimer: there are successful ads with a very long ad copy, but often, these don’t try to sell a product. (Yes, I’m talking about these ‘buy my course to know everything ads‘)
Too many words in your image or thumbnail
Generally, Facebook prefers images or thumbnails with little or no text. They believe that images or thumbnails with a lot of text may create a lower quality experience for people on Facebook.
Previously, if your image or thumbnail contained too much text, your ad’s reach may be lower, or your ad may not deliver at all. With a recent Facebook update, this isn’t the case anymore.
Update: On September 23rd, Facebook removed the 20% text limit on Ad images! Your Ad images will no longer be penalized if they have a lot of text on them. For more information, check out this article.
8. Not double-checking if your landing page is working correctly
If you make this mistake, you’re pretty much throwing money in the drain.
Always make sure that the URL of your landing page is working correctly. If something went wrong with copy-pasting and there is only one wrong character in your URL, the whole link often won’t work anymore, and your customers will see a page like this:
To check whether or not the links on your ad are correct, just use this simple method.
Once your ad is finished, simply go to the “Preview on Device” button and click on “Send Notification to Facebook”.
After clicking on the button, you will get a notification on Facebook saying that your preview is ready.
Just click on the button, and you will see your ad in the Facebook Feed!
At last, you can click on all your links and test if they are working correctly!
9. Not using a call to action
A call to action (CTA) is a critical element in your Facebook Ad. It lets your viewer know what to do next and can, in some cases, be the determining factor between an impression and a purchase.
Without a clear call to action, the viewer may not know what steps to take next and might continue scrolling further.
Remember, potential customers are lazy, and you have to make your purchase process as frictionless and easy as possible. Therefore, it’s important to always tell your customers what steps they have to do next. That way, they won’t have to think about it themselves!
In Facebook Ads, you can include a call to action button. But to make it more clear for your customer, you can also add a call to action to your ad description or headline (just like in the image below)!
10. Not realizing that more expensive products need a larger budget
When starting out with ecommerce and picking a product to sell, most people don’t think about whether to choose a more expensive product or a cheaper one.
Since most beginners have a limited budget, this is definitely an important point to consider!
There is a positive relation between Cost Per Purchase (CPP) and Product Price. The higher your product’s price, the more you will have to pay Facebook for one purchase.
For example, here, I was selling a $25 product, and my CPP was $12.65.
But here, I was selling a €50 product, and therefore my CPP was higher (€22.32).
The reason is simple; people buy a $10 product much quicker than a $50 product. The more expensive your product is, the more people will think about their purchase, and the less likely they are to make an impulse purchase.
For example, if you are just starting out with ecommerce and have a limited budget, I recommend picking a product that you can buy for under $10. That way, you will be able to sell it on your store for $15-30, and your Cost Per Purchase will be lower!
Your Meta Pixel will collect more data, your learning phase will be shorter, and you will be able to utilize the amazing power of Lookalike Audiences (LAAs) much quicker!
11. Turning your ads off after just a few dollars spent
When running Facebook Ads, it’s common to be a bit nervous about losing your money. But be aware that you don’t make this Facebook Ad beginner mistake!
Once your ad starts running for the first time, the Cost Per Result will generally be pretty high for the first few hours. Some beginners make the mistake of turning the ad off after it has spent just a few dollars.
Don’t do that! It’s normal that you may not get the Cost Per Result that you’ve hoped for in the first few hours.
Like I’ve mentioned before, when you start running your Facebook Ads, they first go into a learning phase. This means that your audience will be segmented, and Facebook’s machine learning algorithm will try and test your ad on different parts of your audience to find the best segment.
In other words, Facebook doesn’t have any data yet on which people respond well to your ad and which people don’t. Once they gather this data, they will be able to “learn” from it, and your ad’s performance will increase over time.
12. Not continuously testing new ads (Forgetting about ad fatigue)
Once you have your ads up and running, this is one of the biggest mistakes beginners make when using Facebook Ads.
After a few weeks of running, Facebook Ads will start declining in performance.
This phenomenon is called “ad fatigue“, and you should never forget about it!
How to recognize ad fatigue?
If you’ve been running a winning ad for a few weeks now and it’s suddenly not performing that well anymore, that’s the first sign of ad fatigue occurring.
To recognize ad fatigue, go to your Facebook ad manager and make sure to have the delivery metric column selected.
If the frequency has increased and the reach isn’t rising that fast as it used to, it’s safe to say that your ad is experiencing fatigue.
Here’s a graph of a study that researched the increased Cost Per Click when the frequency of your ad increases:
What to do against ad fatigue?
You can combat ad fatigue by testing new Facebook ads. You can test completely redesigned Facebook ads, but you can also take your winning ads and make small changes to them to keep them fresh for your audience.
That might mean keeping the same basic offer and layout but varying the colors, background, headline, or description.
Here’s an example:
If you’re intereseting in learning more about ad fatigue and how to combat it, then check out the article I linked to below:
13 Tips to Combat Facebook Ad Fatigue for Ecommerce Stores
13. Using URL’s that are way too long and messy
We are almost there! This is the last mistake in the list of Facebook Ad beginner mistakes, and it’s about ad space and URLs.
Space on Facebook Ads is extremely precious. So whenever you add a link to your ad description or as your website URL, make sure that it is clean and that the area it takes up isn’t too big.
You can shorten your product URL with two methods.
First of all, you can use Shopify’s built-in tool. Just go to your product, and you will find the “Search Engine Listing Preview” settings at the bottom of the page.
Simply click on edit, and you will be able to change and shorten your product URL!
You can also use a free third-party solution, like bitly.com.
There you have it! The 13 most important Facebook Ad beginner mistakes which you should always avoid!
As you can see, Facebook isn’t a plug and play platform. It requires a thorough understanding and a constant eye looking over it to make sure your ads will perform over time.
Especially if you’re a beginner, the chances of you making one of these mistakes are higher because you won’t have any experience with Facebook Ads.
I recommend bookmarking this article, as you can always come back and scan through it when launching a new Facebook ad campaign to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes.
Plus, don’t forget to check out this article here, which contains 11 tips for if your Facebook Ads are not converting.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, and I will reply as soon as possible.
Thks this article came just when I am about to comprehend Facebook Mgr usage. Furthermore, I have read so much negativity about it. Especially being banned plus their ever changing T&C.
Your blog has helped relief my fear of advertising on Facebook. Great job, on the article and thanks again for your unselfish share of your experiences.
Great to see that you’ve left a comment, thank you for that! It’s fantastic to hear that you lost your fear of advertising on Facebook.
Once you start, you should let us know how you are doing! Also, if you have any questions, don’t forget that we can always help.
Good luck with everything!
Hello there, great article by the way.
My friends and I have started an online store, we are working on it but are coming to the final stages of finilsing it before actually starting making ads. We are trying to learn slowly but carefully, we run into a problem with facebook recently, this is what it tells us on shopify,
‘Your Facebook Commerce Account wasn’t approved
Facebook has flagged your account because it doesn’t comply with their Commerce Eligibility Requirements
. Your shop won’t be visible to customers on Instagram or Facebook until your Commerce Account is approved.’
Now the problem is that we have no idea what the problem might possibly be. It is not mentioned, we have requested a review multiple times but it seems like we hare missing something, how can we get facebook to tell us what the specific propblem is?
Thanks for your help.
I’m sorry to hear about your problem. Unfortunately, there is also no way for me to know what the issue is here as well.
I would recommend checking Facebook’s Commerce Eligibility Requirements to see if your store matches all of them. Besides that, you should be able to contact Facebook about this problem through this link. Lastly, did you already try Googling this problem to see if any proposed solutions from others could solve it?