Category: Social Media

Facebook Advertising Mistakes Beginners Make

Facebook advertising is still one of the best ways to bring new customers to your business. But, there are a handful of really common mistakes we see all the time.

They basically ruin it for many small business owners, and they end up wasting money, and then they walk away thinking Facebook ads don’t work. 

So, what happens is they never end up getting the really powerful benefits that the right Facebook advertising campaign can bring to their business.

But in this post, We are going to show you how to turn it around and show you how to avoid all these mistakes so that you can confidently start running the campaign that’s going to work for your business


Overcomplicating Ads Setup


First one is overcomplicating your ads set up. The simpler your set up is, the more you let Facebook’s algorithm get you the results that you want

What you want to do is simplify the number of ad sets that you are creating. We generally recommend one campaign and two ad sets.

One for your warm audiences and one for your cold audiences and a few different ad creatives to test each ad sets.

You want to try for over 1 million people per audience rather than narrowing it down too much, and I know that’s not always possible if you’re in a smaller area like if you’re targeting a smaller town. Still, we suggest that you don’t want to layer too many other targeting options on top of that because it’s just going to give you too few people in your pool.

Then let your ads run for 3 to 5 days and see what audiences and what ads are working and which aren’t and adjust accordingly.

When you over-complicate your campaign with too many ad sets, you’re blocking the Facebook algorithm from being able to optimise itself based on what it knows about its users. And if you have a smaller budget for your Facebook Advertising campaign and you really can’t afford to test too many ads within a campaign anyway because there’s not enough money per ad to test it properly so going simple is always the way to go.


Not Targeting Strategically


Second, we have is not targeting strategically. Before starting any campaign need to do the research and use what you already know about your ideal customers going into it.

We recommend selecting specific audiences through Facebook’s built-in targeting features that’s going to allow you to reach the right type of people.

Different targeting options you have includes:

  • Purchasing behaviour
  • Life events
  • Existing contacts like your email list 
  • Look-alike audiences
  • Layered targeting using location, demographics and overall behaviours 

Facebook’s got some great research tools built-in through audience insights that are going to give you similar recommendations of different audiences you can try based on what you think you already know about your audience.

You can include interests you believe your target audience has to see what other kinds of demographics they then have in common such as education level, pages they like, frequency of their Facebook activity. 


Not Testing Enough Ad Creatives


Number three is not trying enough different hooks or ad creatives. When most people think of testing different ads, their mind goes to thinking about testing different images and different headlines to go with the ads. Still, the problem with that is then they generally rewrite the same headline in a few different ways and call it a day.

What if the problem isn’t how your wording the headline but that the messaging behind the headline just isn’t resonating and moving the needle with your target audience?

What we like to do here in Shoutout Digital for our clients is come up with three to five different creatives or hooks, and by hook, I mean various aspects or benefits of what your product or services.

For example, you’re offering a coupon for a kid’s birthday party space. One ad you’re talking about how much fun the kids are going to have and the other ad would be the convenience of taking the planning off the parent’s plate, or a third ad creative might be the variety of party themes they can choose.

The bottom line is, you never know which ads are going to be the most compelling until you test them. You can start implementing this, and you may find that one works best across the board or some don’t work at all.

This is a great way to scale your ads because you’re appealing to different people through all these different creatives that your ads are touching on.


Selling To Cold Audience


Number four we have is selling your service to a cold audience.

You wouldn’t want to run a marathon or even a 5k or 10k without warming up first. Facebook ads are the same. We don’t want to run direct sale ads too cold audiences who have not warmed up yet either.

There area few exceptions to this. For example, if you’re running ads to a small local area with a specific offer. 

But if you plan to go bigger, you need to take these cold audiences on a journey with you where they get to know you or your business, and they ultimately come to trust you. Otherwise, you’re just going to come across a sleazy used-car salesman.

If you make the mistake of just selling to cold audiences who really should be learning more about who you are and how you’ve helped others in the past, you’ll quickly lose their trust, and you’re going to risk turning them off.

Warm audiences first by running a video campaign where you are offering tips or advice about what your product or service can solve.

You can then run a direct sales ad to people who watched a certain percentage of that video.

The second strategy that we use and probably my favourite is to run a lead magnet campaign such as a free ebook, 30-minute consultation, free check-up in exchange for their email address or contact details. 

Once you have their email, you can start a strategic email campaign where you deliver value-packed emails with more tips and more advice, followed by a promotional email by the fourth or 5th email.


Too Hands-on or Too Hands-Off On Your Facebook Campaign


Number five mistakes we often see is being two hands-on or too hands-off on their Facebook campaign. 

What we noticed is way too many Facebook advertisers go to either one of these extremes when they’re running ads. Some want just to set it and forget it while some are so nervous about it that they keep checking on it every hour and they end up pulling the plug on the whole thing before the first day is even over. While it’s easy and very tempting to set up your Facebook ad and then walk away only to check out at two weeks later, you really should be looking and analysing its performance every single day.

If you’ve set up a proper Facebook Ads audience, you don’t want to show them the same ads every day for months because it’s only going to turn off your audience and it’s going to increase your cost per conversion.

Checking your ads daily allows you to turn off poor performing ads and increase the budgets of the ones that are working best.

Avoid micro-managing your ads in the first 72 hours of the ads going live because it takes about three days for that algorithm to start learning.

There can be times the ads seem not to be working well out of the gate, which is entirely typical but what happens is after 24 hours through that 72-hour mark is when they start to find that sweet spot. If the algorithm fails to find the right audience after three days, that’s when you want to consider turning some ads off or changing budgets but not before 72 hours.


Objective Confusion


What you need to do is tell Facebook exactly what you want to accomplish with the campaign. For example: if you want people to opt-in for your lead magnet, you want a conversion goal, not traffic or video views campaign. But if you’re going to use video views to build engagement audiences to retarget them then might want to go with video views.

Facebook’s algorithm needs about 50 instances of any objective being met per week so the algorithm can learn from it. If you have a smaller budget and you’re not spending enough to reach enough people to opt-in to your list 50 times or buy from you 50 times in that week you probably need to back out a step and go for the next best objective that does get you 50 instances or more, in most cases, this is perhaps a traffic objective.

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Facebook Advertising Tips for Small Business Owners

It’s no secret that Facebook can be a fantastic place to reach new audiences and grow your business. We hear about crazy awesome success stories all the time: “I just put stuff on Facebook, and I don’t know what happened, but six months later I quit my job and my side hustle became my full-time gig!”

That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s definitely not the most common use case. I’ve heard more people, especially small businesses, have a completely different story: “We tried Facebook, but it just didn’t work for us.”

The first story is an uncommon case, and I actually believe the second one is, too.

There are quite a few ways Facebook can be leveraged for small businesses, but you have to set yourself up for success and have realistic goals given some of the limitations of the Facebook platform.

Here are my seven tips for how your small business can leverage Facebook Advertising Tips and see success.


1. Match campaign objectives to your goals


What is it that you’re trying to get out of Facebook Advertising? Additional sales, larger newsletter readership, increased awareness? This is a big factor in determining how your Facebook Ads account will be set up. Luckily, Facebook Advertising has objectives outlined for nearly every goal you could have for your campaigns to choose from.

Facebook advertising campaign objectives options

There’s not really a way for me to prescribe the right campaign objective for everyone.

Facebook advertising consideration options

If you’re interested in multiple, I encourage you to hover over each name and click the “i” icon next to each and read a little about their best use cases. There’s a link for you to learn more about each as well, or you could read this post to get a rundown on each campaign type.


2. Find your target audience in Audience Insights


One of my favorite places to start with any new account is to understand the target audience. Facebook Advertising makes this very easy with its Audience Insights tool.

Note: You have to have your Facebook page tied to your Business Manager account to see this data.

Facebook advertising's Audience Insights tool

In the main navigation in Facebook Business Manager, head over to the planning section and choose “Audience Insights.”

Facebook advertising's new audience options

You’ll then have a pop-up over the tool that asks if you want to start with all Facebook users (“Everyone on Facebook”) or only users who are connected to your business’s page (“People connected to your Page”). Once you choose “People connected to your Page,” it will highlight the area in the left-hand navigation where you can choose which Facebook page you want to see data for. Find your page, and you’re off to the races!

Facebook advertising for small business demographics

You’ll be able to see demographic info, activity on Facebook, device data, etc., all from this tool.

If the report comes back blank, then that means you likely don’t have a large enough audience for Facebook to provide insights. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean all is lost.

Facebook advertising interest-based targeting options

More than likely, there are larger brands who are similar to yours you can leverage. Let’s say you’re a modern furniture store. Similar brands might be West Elm and Crate and Barrel. You can type those brand names into the “Interests” section, just slightly above the Facebook page selector on the left side, and gain insights from their brands instead.

All told, this data can be super helpful when you’re trying to decide what demographics to target, what interests people have, and potentially what devices you want to include.

In the end, you don’t have to only use this target audience, (hell, you don’t have to use it at all if you don’t want to), but it’s certainly a great place to start when it comes to understanding how your ideal customer translates to Facebook targeting.

If you’d like a further rundown on the Audience Insights Tool, check out this video for more.

3. Understand targeting layers


When setting up target audiences in Facebook Ads, it’s important to understand the difference between AND and OR targeting logic. Knowing the difference here can be the difference between targeting 15,000 and 15,000,000.

There’s a pretty simple way to remember it by the way Facebook formats it: all targeting listed in a box is OR targeting while multiple boxes means AND targeting. Let’s jump into an example to illustrate.

Facebook advertising for small business detailed targeting options

In the image above, all targeted interests are considered OR targeting. This means that someone can be interested in Crate & Barrel OR AllModern to be included in our target audience. Each time you add another interest in this box, your target audience size will go up.

But let’s say you want to target people who like these brands, but only those who like this brand AND have a certain level of income. Here’s where the Narrow Audience function comes in.

Facebook advertising's narrow audience option

When we narrow our audience, we’re effectively choosing the overlapping portion of the Venn diagram of the two groups as the image above shows.

So for our campaigns, we’ll choose to narrow the audience and layer in the income levels.

Facebook advertising for small business detailed targeting options based on financial income

Our targeting section now looks like this with the two segments being in separate boxes. This shows that users have to fit any single criteria from the first box AND any single criteria from the second box to be included in our target audience. By adding the income segment in the second box, we’ve narrowed our target audience by quite a bit.

When you’re setting up your target audience and you have layers included like this, make sure you’re keeping the AND and OR targeting logic in mind and not being too narrow or too broad simply by not paying attention to the boxes.


4. Make sure your geotargeting is on point


There’s no prescribed target geography for a small business. Some SMBs are purely local and serve only their immediate community. Others are nationwide with wide appeal, and other might serve a very niche community worldwide.

No matter which category your business falls into, be sure you’re leveraging the proper geotargeting to reach your audience. All geotargeting settings for Facebook live at the ad set level.

Facebook advertising geotargeting options

The first thing to check is that you’re targeting people who are in a location with the right intent. This setting defaults to People living in or recently in this location, which is likely fine for most advertisers, but if you have more restrictions, you might want to adjust.

Let’s say you’re that local furniture store and you don’t ship outside of your immediate community. It might make sense to adjust to target only users living in this location, as you’ll be removing people who are either traveling in or were recently in that location. Either of these parties could easily be halfway across the globe by next week, and that would be a waste of your precious ad spend.

Facebook advertising geotargeting location view

Once you’ve chosen that setting, the rest is fairly straightforward. Simply choose “Include” or “Exclude” from the dropdown, then start typing the location you want in the box to find the location you need. We’re able to target the following types of locations on Facebook:

  • Countries
  • States/Regions
  • DMAs
  • Congressional Districts
  • Cities
  • Postal/Zip Codes
  • Addresses
Facebook advertising geotargeting location view based on zip code

Lastly, you can also choose the “Drop Pin” option in the lower right, and Facebook will give you a cursor to literally drop a pin wherever you like on the map. You’ll then be able to adjust the range around that pin to the mileage of your choice.

All told, the main goal with geotargeting is to be sure you’re not reaching users who are irrelevant to you because they’re too far away. Make sure you’re only focusing your ad spend in the areas that can reasonably drive potential business your way.


5. Keep retargeting and prospecting separated


This really goes for all businesses, not only SMBs, but I find that many SMB accounts often overlook the differences between retargeting and prospecting.

With retargeting, we’re reaching people who have already engaged with our brand in one way or another. These users could have visited your website, followed you on Facebook, or engaged with a post. They’re familiar with your brand to some extent already.

Prospecting is purely a game to extend reach and find new target customers. It’s the antithesis of retargeting.

When these audience types are combined into a single campaign, it can be harder to determine what is working best and who the more valuable audience is. Now that campaign budget optimization is in place, it’ll also be a bit harder to control the budget allocation between these groups.

I suggest keeping prospecting and retargeting in separate campaigns for easier management and optimization no matter what your objectives are.


6. Monitor your ad frequency


Frequency is the average number of impressions a user in any given audience has seen your ad in a given time frame (this time frame is dynamic based on the date range you’re viewing).

Whether you’re targeting a small, local community or a national niche, it’s important to make sure you’re not oversaturating your audience and bombarding them with your message.

Facebook ad frequency

This will be one of the easiest things to check in on as ad frequency is a column you can add to your campaign manager tab.

As a basic rule of thumb, your frequency should be half the number of days you have selected in your date range, e.g., if you have seven days selected, your frequency should be no more than three and a half days for any given audience.


7. Control your budgets effectively


The last tip I want to give is solely about managing your spend in Facebook Ads. This platform is unlike many others when it comes to budgeting. There are two key things to keep in mind:




Starting in February of 2020, all accounts will have all campaigns updated to campaign budget optimization, or CBO. This might not sound like a big deal, but it could be if your account isn’t set up for success.

In a nutshell, what CBO does is moves your budget management from the ad set level to the campaign level. Facebook then divvies up the budget based on which ad set is performing best.

The problem is that the ad set Facebook thinks is performing best isn’t always the same one you think is performing best. There have been many posts written about CBO and I encourage you to do your research on this topic as it will undoubtedly have an effect on your account.




In a previous post, I wrote about how lifetime and daily budgets impact your ad set/campaign settings and how you control when your ads show. Check out this article to learn more and be sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to ad scheduling and budgeting.


Follow these Facebook advertising tips for small business marketers!


There’s no single, perfect strategy that works for Facebook Advertising Perth, but small businesses should take extra consideration when diving into the platform to be sure you’re not overextending yourself too quickly. This is nearly always the source of the “I tried Facebook and it didn’t work” refrain. Here are the fundamental tips to follow to make sure  you’re avoiding that:

  1. Match campaign objectives to your goals
  2. Find your target audience in Audience Insights
  3. Understand targeting layers
  4. Make sure your geotargeting is on point
  5. Keep retargeting and prospecting separated
  6. Monitor your ad frequency
  7. Control your budgets effectively

Hopefully, these tips will give you the confidence to test Facebook in a controlled way—and help make sure you’ll see returns for your efforts!

If you want to start your facebook campaign but don’t know where to start. Speak to our Facebook advertising Perth experts to discuss your business goals.


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