7 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Facebook Ads Campaign

7 Facebook Ads Rookie Mistakes

Running Facebook ads can get very complex, however when you are just starting out there are a few mistakes you definitely want to avoid.

1. Sending FB Traffic to Your Home Page

The key to running paid traffic is hyper targeting and specificity. If you just send traffic to your homepage your message won’t be clear enough, and the experience of the user will not be stream lined.On your homepage you have way too many links, buttons and general navigation that the user can click. When you are paying for traffic you want to have a clear path to your call to action.

For this you need to send your Facebook ad traffic to a specifically designed landing page that’s built around the action you want the user to make. This could be a lead capture form, sales page, ect.Another option is to send targeted traffic to a relevant piece of content your target audience would find valuable, ie video or blog post.

2. Not using your Facebook pixel

When you send traffic to your specified landing page you need to have the ability to track the user's actions, and non-actions. The Facebook pixel is imperative and no business should be running facebook ads without installing it on their site.

The biggest aspect of installing the pixel on your site is creating custom audiences that you can retarget to at a later time. If you pay to send someone to your website, why just have one bite at the apple?

If the user does not take the desired action (ie: opt-in to your list, request a consultation, or make a purchase), the Facebook pixel will tag them and you will be able to re-market to them using other ads that will actually cost a lot less than advertising to a cold audience.

Using a pixel combined with great content can help build a great lead funnel where you use the pixel to guide cold traffic to your offer by warming them up with free content.

Check out our post on building a simple lead funnel with Facebook ads

3. Always sending ads to cold audiences

Tying into the discussion above you should be using Facebook ads to market to your existing customers and fans, not just new audiences. Using Facebook’s custom audiences feature you can send ads to your Facebook fans, email lists, and customer lists.This allows you to reinforce your in-store ads, and email blasts so you can keep top of mind and get better responses from your internal promotions.

Another benefit to running traffic to your existing customers is you will have better engagement, which will drive the costs of all your Facebook ads down.

The better engagement your ads get the more relevant Facebook deams your ads to be and will actually help lower the cost of your all your ads. Think of it like Google Adwords quality score.

4. Choosing the wrong objective for the ad

We are quite spoiled as business owners by the Facebook ad platform and it seems every week they keep improving it. No where is this noticed more than in the plethora of different ad types Facebook gives advertisers to play with

However you have to make sure you are matching the right ad type to your actual campaign goal or objective.

You might be saying, “there is only 1 objective...make sales” however for every business there are many steps to converting a prospect into a customer, and Facebook as an ad type to help with each one.


local events

lead gen

social engagement

Experimenting with different types of promotions is what businesses have been doing for generations. Now with Facebook ads we have ad types to help with every phase of our marketing.

Local awareness ads and event ads are great for local brick and mortar businesses, while lead ads, and video views are a great vehicle for online service businesses.

5. Not testing and optimizing your ads

Testing your ads is an absolute must, you can’t know what works and what doesn’t if you don’t test. Testing your targeting, is probably the most important part of your ad campaign to test. Test different demographics and interests against each other and find the ones that respond best to your message.

Too often Facebook advertisers group a bunch of interests and demographics into one ad set, and it is hard to gauge what subset of your targeting is actually performing the best.The best way to truly gauge your performance is to create a different adsets for every interest group you want to target. Of course your ad budget will come into play as you will need a big enough budget to test multiple adsets. Each adset must have it’s own budget.

5A. Not testing different ad copy and images

At the ad level you can create multiple ads to test your copy and images. I like to create 2 or 3 ads per ad set, each with a different image, and sometimes different ad copy.

For the copy I will test long copy vs short 1 sentence copy.

6. Not setting an end date to your campaign

One mistake that can really cost you is losing track of your ad spend. Facebook ads can’t be a set it and forget it. Business owners and entrepreneurs can often get wrapped up in running their business and forget they have ads running $50 a day.

The best way around this is setting an end date to every ad set. I usually set every ad set to run for 1 week. This forces me to go back in and edit the ads, check the stats, and reset the ads for another week.

7. Bailing on your ads too early…..let them run for 46-72 hours

When you start running your ads you are eager to get results fast, and when the ad set is not performing well right away a lot of people hit pause, start editing copy and images, when the ad had only been running for 12-24 hours.

Facebook ads work on an algorithm, Facebook tries to show ads to people who are most likely to performed the desired action, (ie: clicks to your website, convert on your offer, ect.). It takes a little while for the algorithm to find these people.

It is a good rule of thumb to let the ad set run for 3 days before you make any changes. This helps the algorithm get going, and also makes sure you have enough data to make more informed decisions about how your ad is performing.

The Key to Facebook Ads Is Constant Attention

What it all comes down to when running successful campaigns is tracking, testing, and optimizing. This can’t be done unless you assign someone to monitor your Facebook ads daily. No one hits a homerun on their first campaign, you not only have to figure how the Facebook ad platform works, you need to figure your out how to match your message to your ideal audience, and find that ideal audience to begin with.

Facebook ads are one of the best marketing tools small businesses have ever had, but they take time to master. If you or someone in your organization does not have the time to do ad campaigns properly you could lose a lot of money.

If the time or personnel is not there it may be a good idea to look into hiring an outside company that specializes in running Facebook Ads. The money spent on the management fees will be more than made up for by not wasting ad spend trying to figure out the platform for yourself.

Jay Broyer

Hi I'm Jay the founder of Sellabletraffic.com , I been involved with small business web design and brick and mortar digital marketing since 2009. I cut my teeth in online marketing promoting my solo music career and brought those skills to my 9-5. Now I want to help other small businesses get ahead using paid traffic strategies.

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