Facebook Ads: What Not To Do

5 min read

By Donna Gross

21 August 2020

Four things to steer clear of when setting up your Facebook Ads


Don’t Click That Boost Button

It’s tempting to click that Boost Post button – but whatever you do, don’t get sucked in! It’s an easy way for Facebook to entice you to spend cold hard cash on Facebook Ads yet often gives you the least return. Why? The audience targeting and insights on an ad that has been set up via the Boost Post are very limiting. If you are wanting broad brush brand awareness and reach, then clicking Boost Post may be worthwhile (so long as you target the audience at every opportunity) but you will still be better off setting up a Facebook Ads campaign via Ads Manager and/or Business Facebook.

Hot Tip: If you don’t feel confident to set up Facebook Ads through Ads Manager or Business Facebook then my recommendation is to either not advertise on Facebook or, engage an expert to either set up your Facebook Ads for you or teach you how to do it yourself.

Is not advertising at all better than clicking the Boost Post button? Yes! And no… If you are going to spend on digital marketing, make sure you do it in a way that will yield the best results for your business.


Don’t Float Around in the Facebook Audience Minestrone

Be careful not to make your Facebook Ads audience target too broad. Imagine a giant pot of minestrone soup – it’s difficult to see everything that’s in it. Now imagine you serve it up into a shallow bowl – much easier to see.

My point here? If you are another piece of content vying for attention in the Facebook soup…you are less likely to be seen, noticed and savoured.

Refine your audience targeting until the arm on the Audience dial is at vertical or a little left of vertical.

Consider creating audiences (and lookalike audiences) based on your website traffic, your mailing lists, your Facebook page, and people’s previous engagement with your content.

Facebook Business Help Centre is your friend.
Hot Tip: Facebook Business Help Centre is your friend. If it all feels too hard, there are experts you can call on to help you set up your audiences. Then you can just focus on your Facebook Ads.

Demographic Targeting Only – Don’t Be Shallow, But Do!

When you set up your audience targeting on your Facebook Ads, don’t focus on gender, age and location alone. Know your audience. You want to make sure you are paying to get in front of the people that need you and your products/services the most.

How? Rash generalisations of course! But also really knowing your audience, then growing your audience based on what you know.

Hot Tip: Utilise the Facebook Ads targeting options available to you including Interests and Connection to Page.

Ask yourself these questions (and more) about your audience and refine your audience based on your answers.

  • What do they love to do in their spare time?
  • What type of music do they listen to?
  • What causes are they passionate about?
  • What type of exercise do they do?

For example, if you are marketing take-away coffee in cups designed by local artists and your audience is based in Northcote, your customers’ answer to these questions might be:

“In my spare time I do yoga and attend music festivals. I listen to electronic music and am passionate about the environment.”

Sound cliched? It is! I warned you – rash generalisations. The more you know your audience, the more you can market directly to them.


Just Keep Trying – Don’t Throw Pasta at Wall and Hope It Sticks

Whatever you do, don’t keep trying! Well, not without analysing and measuring what’s working. If you are going to spend the time, energy and money on Facebook Ads then you must spend time understanding the results. This will ensure continuous improvement and, in the long-run, better bang for your buck.

How to measure the success of your Facebook Ads:

Firstly, you need to know your goal for your Facebook Ads so you can measure against it.

And you may need to combine the intel available via Facebook Insights with your Google Analytics on your website.

E.g. are you looking for increased brand awareness (impressions, reach, more direct traffic to your website) or are you looking for conversions to sale - and on which platform.

Exactly how you will measure the success of each Facebook Ads campaign will be dependent on your goal.

Some key things to examine:

1. Content (e.g. images, videos)

2. Copy (e.g. Headline, Description)

3. Button/s (e.g. Learn more, Buy Now)

4. Ad Type (e.g. single image, carousel, video)

5. Audience

There are a couple of different ways to “split test” in order to get this information. If you are not familiar with the various options you may need a Facebook Ads expert to either set it up for you OR train you in how to do it yourself.

Hot Tip: When you split test something it is important to only test one element at a time
Photo of Donna Gross

Donna Gross

Donna is a strategic business development, operations and marketing professional, coach and trainer with a strong ethics base and a creative, collaborative approach. Donna has 15+ years in the community sector, 10+ years in fundraising and marketing, 3+ years in executive management and 7+ years as a freelance strategic business and marketing consultant.

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