5 things NOT to do when running Facebook Ads

By Joe Fitzpatrick, Search Specialist

Wondering if Facebook is the right channel for your business? Trying to figure out why you aren’t seeing the results you expected?

Whether you manage a Facebook account or work with an agency who manages it for your company, this article will cover 5 of the most common mistakes or pitfalls all advertisers using Facebook’s platform need to be aware of.

1) Not testing your Tracking/Tagging

In the world of direct response, measurement is key.  Without measurement, you can’t optimize, and without optimization you can’t improve. A common mistake in digital marketing is inaccurate tracking, which can have a profound impact on the performance on any Facebook PPC campaign, as you may be making optimizations or decisions based on flawed data.

How to solve this:

The easiest way to insure success is to plan ahead – once you know what conversions you want to track, decide how that conversion is best represented on your website.

Double check your Pixel setup – whether it was you or your developer that has placed the Facebook pixel on your site, Murphy’s Law states “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”, so double checking this installation is key to success. The easiest way to do this is using Facebooks Free Pixel Helper tool, simply install it in your Brower and easily see if your Pixel is firing and where.

URL Parameters – you have just duplicated your top performing ads in Facebook to use in another campaign, only you aren’t seeing any results? This is probably one of the simplest mistakes to make, which means it’s usually one of the most common. When duplicating any ads always update the URL parameters to insure you are tracking campaign performance across platforms.

Once you have your tracking in place; test, test and test again. Once you are sure you’ve got it, maybe try one more test just to be sure!

2) Ad copy is Not one size fits all

So you have written great ad copy and you want to show the world, guess it’s time to deploy that ad copy on Google AdWords, Bing Ads and Facebook right? Wrong. Facebook is at the end of the day a social platform, where a classic lead gen ad will just seem out of place, and come across as pushy or tone deaf to the audience you are trying to woo.  Copy for Facebook (and any social channel for that matter) should be more akin to display ads.

How to solve this

Given your audience is more passively interacting with your ads, your ad needs to draw their attention, spark their interest and motivate the audience to engage, which can be easier said than done. The solution… test, test and test. Every ad is made up of different components, e.g. image, Headline, Description, and CTA; each one of these can make the difference between an ad with a great ROI or a tumbleweed rolling out across Facebook and into a digital abyss.

How each ad component of your ad will work holistically within an ad is completely theoretical until deployed. So testing multiple variations of these components systematically, to see which combinations work is the best way to prove ad copy is effectiveness. Once deployed, theory becomes reality, and now you can start optimising against that.

3) Ad Serving (and embrace Darwinism)

Once you crack the secret of a good ad it can be tempting to increase spend, kick back and watch the conversions roll in, right? If you have read this article up to this point you can probably guess what the answer is going to be.

Advertisers over saturating audiences with the same ad copy that is no longer generating engagement is the easiest way to hike up advertising costs and reduce the impact of your campaign. Monitoring ad frequency and consistently refreshing ad copy and introducing new tests will help to avoid ad fatigue. A dip in ad performance is a key indicator that it’s time to re-evaluate your frequency to conversion ratio.

From the moment new ad copy is launched, its survival of the fittest; so if ad variation 221 isn’t working, it is time to cut it loose and move on to ad variation 222.

4) Ignore User Comments (what’s the worst that could happen)

If your company is ready to add Facebook advertising to its marketing strategy, then it’s a good idea to remember the User comments. People and bots will post on your ads, which can have a major impact on the overall impact of your ads, both positively and negatively.

How to solve this:

Regularly checking the ads through Facebook manager is the only way to address this. Social media managers should be engaged prior to any Facebook advertising to insure that comments on your ads are moderated appropriately and in a timely manner.

5) Not adopting New Features and Ad Types

Facebook (like every platform) is constantly trying to find new ways to help advertisers engage its audience (for completely philanthropic proposes) and to do this it releases new features and ad types. Some of these may not be applicable to your audience or for your goals, but others may turn out to be the perfect conveyer of your message. Being the first to adopt these new tools and test the impact they can have on your audience has minimal risk, but could give your ads a competitive advantage on a platform where every advertiser is competing for the same eyeballs.

How to solve this:

It’s simple, every month or so Facebook releases a list of its newest features on its website, a five minute check-in could make the difference in being the first to test and perfect a new tool or seeing your ad performance dip as a competitor takes the upper hand. You can see the list of new Facebook platform releases here.


When working in Facebook on a daily basis, you can quickly take for granted that it’s sometimes the simplest tactics and tips that give the greatest return. Hopefully these tips will help all first time Facebook ad managers avoid a few of the pitfalls many fall into.

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