5 Common Facebook Advertising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Mar 8, 2021

Social media advertising is one of the best ways to reach your desired target audience for your business. Facebook and Instagram offer great value advertising, and some of the cheapest cost per click rates online.

Yet, it can be easy to spend your budgets without achieving the ROI you had hoped for. In this blog post, we’ll share some of the most common Facebook advertising mistakes we see and tips for how to avoid them.

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Advertising for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp is all controlled within the Facebook Advertising dashboard where there is a vast array of tools available for businesses to optimise their approach. You can also run adverts that appear within a select number of apps, called Audience Network.

We regularly delve into Facebook Ads Manager on behalf of businesses, and these are some of the most common mistakes we spot as to why adverts aren’t performing to their best ability.

1. Boosted Posts are being used to drive conversions

A very common tactic on Facebook and Instagram is to hit the ‘Boost’ or ‘Promote’ button regularly. This is an easy way to advertise and can allow you to quickly set up adverts within the apps rather than using Facebook Ads Manager. But beware! Overusing Boosted Post is one of the biggest Facebook advertising mistakes! The audience targeting is far less sophisticated, with fewer options such as adjusting the schedule of when your adverts show. Boosted posts are also designed to build engagement on your current posts, rather than to drive traffic off-app and onto your website. They work best for boosting likes, comments, and video views, but not for conversions (e.g. sales).

2. The Wrong Objective

The very first option you are asked to select when creating a campaign in Ads Manager is your objective. Your adverts will be optimised based on this objective, so think carefully about what you want the outcome of your ads to be – is it video views, link clicks, mass reach, leads, sales?

We often see businesses trying to sell far too quickly using Facebook Ads. They create an ad that pushes cold audiences directly to a sales page to sell something – and expect it to work.

Concentrate on building awareness and driving initial engagement first. This is a far better approach for targeting cold audiences – and then retarget those that engage with your sales message.

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3. Potential Audience is Too Large

There are so many available audience targeting options within Facebook Ads Manager that it can be tempting to list multiple brands, hobbies, locations, demographics, and behaviours. Within a few clicks you can easily build a target audience of millions. Keep an eye on your potential reach though. We regularly see businesses aiming to target over 10 million users, with a budget of less than £100. This will simply spread your efforts too thinly. If your budget is small, we recommend no larger than 1 million as your potential reach.

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4. Auto-Placements have been left as Default

When setting up your advertising campaign in Facebook Ads Manager, you must select your placements. This means choosing where you want your adverts to show across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. In Ads Manager, the setting ‘Auto-placements’ will be set on as default. This means your ads could show anywhere within the Facebook family, such as Instagram Stories, or within a Facebook Message. If you haven’t optimised your ads for these placements, then they are less likely to perform well. Often, we find businesses don’t even realise their ads are live here. It’s worth checking as you could be wasting precious ad spend on advertising in areas that don’t work.

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5. The Ads are Poor

This is one of the easiest Facebook advertising mistakes to overcome. The success of your advertising campaigns will come down to the relevance of your audience and the quality of your ad creative.

The copy on your advert shouldn’t be too long, there needs to be a clear call to action. If you are using video, it should be shorter than 30 seconds will clear branding right from the beginning.

A poor advert will simply be scrolled or swiped past. Think eye-catching, relevant, thumb-stopping!

Tired of throwing money at Facebook Ads, and not getting the clicks and sales you expected?


We’re hosting a 2-hour masterclass on Facebook & Instagram Advertising; offering an introductory run-through of everything you need to know to run successful campaigns!

Join us on Thursday 1st April, 2-4pm for our online class for just £59 + VAT or free for Avocado Social members.

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