Top 3 Facebook Ad Mistakes

Cookies are good. Fact. White chocolate and raspberry in particular.

No two platforms are the same. So, no two strategies will work the same, either.

Facebook doesn’t convert visitors the same way as Google Ads (formerly AdWords). So, you can’t create ads the same way on both platforms. Running Facebook ads without confronting this difference can backfire. It will look fine on the surface, but in reality sabotages your own efforts in a channel where customers behave completely different. Because their expectations are completely different, too.

3 Mistakes (and how to fix them)

1. Expecting Facebook to Convert like Google Ads

Conversions are starting to flow on Google Ads, it’s looking good. So, you copy that strategy onto Facebook, buuuuuuuut it’s costing extra money, and not proving the extra returns you’d hoped for.

People go to Google to deliberately search for things they want or need, be that information or consumable goods. Unfortunately, you don’t have that intent on Facebook. In fact, you typically have the opposite. People are going to Facebook in order to NOT make any decisions for the next ten minutes (except procrastinate a little longer).

The difference is, on Google, people are at the end of the sales funnel ready to spend some coin. On Facebook we have to start at the beginning.

The Fix: Top of the funnel campaigns to help you build new audiences. We’re talking content campaigns, so you can bring people back to your site and track them with a pixel for retargeting. In doing so, you’ve got an engaged audience to send targeted offers for eBooks, webinars, checklists, free trials, and all of the other classic middle of the funnel offers.

Targeting is the single biggest factor in Facebook ad success (or lack thereof). So, you have to lay the groundwork, first, building up custom audiences that you can later come back to, to eventually promote your products and services.


2. Audience Mismatches Your Offer

The new audiences you’re building in Facebook add complexity (as if it wasn’t already difficult enough).

You’re now working with three levels of the sales funnel 1) trying to generate new attention, 2) nurture existing people, and 3) converting those who are ready… which creates even more problems for you. Offering users who haven’t heard of your company before a “Buy Now!” ad would be inappropriate at this stage in the game, it would even seem threatening and scare them off. It’s like that joke about meeting someone new in a bar and asking them to marry you straightaway, which, naturally, would send the other person running for cover.

The Fix:

  • Top of the sales funnel. Give them a chance to get to know you first by showing them content-based offers such as blog posts, white papers, videos, or podcasts.
  • Middle of the funnel. These are the people who’ve been to your website or interacted with you on Facebook. They know who you are, but may not be sure of what you do. Or, they’re not yet convinced that you’re the right person for the job. At this stage, they’re ready for low-ticket items such as software trials, consultations, low-cost purchases, and webinars.
  • Ready to buy. These are users who have either bought from you before or have ‘raised their hand’ by opting-in for a consultation or promotion. They’re ready to go. And are finally ready for those fancy, new “Buy Now!” graphics you’ve been itching to promote.


3. Audience is Too Big or Too Small

The trick is that you’ll need a big enough audience for Facebook to help self-correct or optimize campaigns automatically. Too small and you miss out on that added bonus.

Facebook ad audience size is a catch-22.

  • Too big? And you’re sure to waste most of your budget on unqualified prospects.
  • Too small? And custom audiences of less than 1,000 won’t work, either.

The Fix: Instead, look for the ‘sweet spots’ for campaigns at each stage of the funnel to make sure you’re getting (enough) cost-effective results.

So, for example, if you’re creating a brand-new, top-of-funnel audience using interest targeting, shoot for potential reach that’s somewhere between 500,000 and a million. Got a bigger budget? Feel free to move into the 1-2 million range.


Find out more about the work Sapphire Mountain does and who we’ve worked with.


Article Based on findings from the AdEspresso Blog.