Facebook advertising is a platform that provides huge opportunity to drive leads and sales into your business.
You can bring in highly targeted leads, book consultation calls, and build retargeting audiences all with Facebook ads.
We’ve built our business on Facebook ads and fully believe in the power of Facebook ads to grow nearly any kind of company when done strategically and correctly.
Strategically and correctly are the important pieces here…
We’ve seen hundreds of Facebook accounts, 9 times out of 10, things aren’t set-up properly to really maximize success with this powerful paid traffic tool. This means that ad dollars are, at best, costing you more for less, and at worst, being totally wasted.
Most of the time, we see the same mistakes made over and over in Facebook ads accounts that we review. Here are the top 5 mistakes made in almost every Facebook ads account that you can avoid and get more from your ads efforts.
#1: Only Boosting Posts
If you have a Facebook business page, you’ve probably seen something along the lines of this:
This is Facebook prompting you to boost a post to get more likes, comments, and shares. Facebook’s uses these prompts as a gateway to advertising. But we’d wish they’d stop with this approach of encouraging page admins to boost random posts without much other information.
Here is the thing – boosting posts doesn’t help you drive leads or sales from Facebook.
In fact, it barely gets you clicks to a webpage. Boosts help more people see and interact with a specific Facebook post on your page. Many will boost a post to their fans and friends and then wonder why it isn’t driving all their sales. The answer is simple: the ad simply isn’t designed to do that. It is designed to get a single post in front of more eyes on Facebook.
Nearly every ads account I’ve seen before getting to work has been built 95% on boost type of ads. Business owners relying on this approach are frustrated because they think that Facebook ads don’t work. But really, it is not understanding the real purpose of these boosts and only going with these types of ads which is the problem.
Boosts can be effective and go a long way towards awareness and connecting with a fan base, but they are not the start or end of Facebook ads. Use boosts within a strategically crafted and deliberate Facebook ads approach as a part of a whole if you’re hoping to drive leads and sales with your Facebook ads.
#2: Sending people to home page or another random page
Sending people to a home page or random page on your website is a huge mistake in Facebook ads.
When you’ve successfully gotten someone to interact with your ad and leave Facebook – this is a HUGE win. Now, you need to help them understand what they need to do next. Sending someone to a homepage is the equivalent of dropping a potential customer off at the sidewalk near your store and saying “Good luck!”
If a Facebook ad is sending traffic to a blog to build up cold audience retargeting traffic, be sure there is some sort of action for your most interested readers to take when they get there. If you are sending someone to a specific intro offer, make sure they know how to get it. Always think about the next logical step for your prospect, and then make it as EASY as possible for them to take that step.
Ideally, if you are running click or conversion campaigns, you are sending traffic to a unique landing page with only one thing for people to do: opt-in to the offer referenced in the ad. The offer could be a download to solve a specific problem or a landing page where people can book a consultation. As long as the traffic has something specific to do when it gets there, you’ll see your ads perform MUCH better.
#3: Pixel isn’t installed (at all or properly)
Add the Facebook pixel to your site.
Let me say it again: Add the Facebook pixel to your site.
What’s that? You don’t know what the pixel is for?
Doesn’t matter – add the pixel to your site and we’ll figure it out in a bit.
Every ads account has a unique Facebook pixel and you’ve need to have this on your site and landing pages if you want to get any use out of Facebook ads. The Facebook pixel is how you track the success of ads. It is like a cookie, but different, because it follows Facebook accounts across devices. So if someone saw your ad while at their work computer, you can retarget them later while they’re on their mobile phone.
That is just scratching the surface.
Even if you are not 100% sure yet what you will do with the pixel, that is okay. For now, just get it installed on your site.
If you’re using WordPress, you can use a plugin that will install it on every page. Wix and Squarespace will offer similar options. If you have a web developer, they will be able to do this for you. Facebook even lets you email your developer directions directly from Facebook.
To find your pixel, navigate to your ads manager menu. Click Pixels. Like below.
If you see this, it means you don’t have your pixel set up.
Click through to the green button and follow the prompts.
#4: No custom or saved audiences
Part of what makes Facebook advertising so powerful is the countless ways that you can target your audience. There is really no other tool like it – it is very very powerful.
But with great power, comes great responsibility and this is where most ad accounts falter. Facebook audiences are easily misunderstood and mismanaged.
Here is a short go-to guide to get you started:
- Saved audiences – An audience you can build on certain demographic or behavioral data. Good way to build cold traffic based on a set of criteria you know applies to your target market. There are lots of methods to build these. They can get easily out of control, so we recommend making sure they are organized in a way that makes sense to you and Facebook.
- Custom Audiences – An audience built off data files or pixel activity. (See? We told it was powerful!) You can import your email list to find your subscribers on Facebook is one type of custom audience. Building an audience of your website visitors is an example of an audience built from the Facebook pixel. File data audiences are fixed based on the upload. Pixel audiences will keep updating as you gather more data. For example, if you are building an audience of people who have visited your website in the past month, that audience will continue to grow as more people visit your website, whether they came from an ad or not.
- Lookalike Audiences – These are audiences that are built from the data of a custom audience. Let’s say you wanted to target more people like your email subscribers. You could import your subscribers as a custom audience, and then ask Facebook to build a lookalike audience of people that act similarly to that list. This is an excellent way to find new potential fans with less guesswork than a Saved audience.
- Exclusions – Not technically an audience “type”, but something you want to use strategically to make sure you’re not showing your ads to people who’ve already taken advantage of a specific offer. An example where this comes in handy – if you are running a campaign to add brand new email subscribers to your list, you may want to exclude those you know are already on your list so you don’t wear your audience out.
#5: Not having a strategy or plan
If you are serious about making your ad dollars work for you, this is the mistake of all mistakes.
No matter technical details or missed opportunities – if your approach to Facebook ads isn’t planned out, deliberate and methodical, be prepared to spend more and give up faster.
Deciding to leverage Facebook ads for your business is an important decision. It should be approached with the highest level of strategy and decision making as your email campaign calendar or content plan.
Most of the time, we see ads accounts where campaigns were run shooting from the hip. Competing campaigns are running at the same time, tweaks are happening any which way, and nothing is congruent or audience-centric.
The best way to avoid this is to have a professional who has been there, done that guide you through your Facebook strategy. Choose your team member who is most equipped to handle these, or hand it over to a skilled Facebook Ads management agency.