How costly can Facebook Ad mistakes be? The answer: "Detrimental".

Though the answer may be simple. The sneaky revelation is that many people rarely discover these blunders and if they do it's usually after losing a bunch of ad dollars. Let’s avoid wasting precious advertising dollars by unpacking these 5 costly fb ad mistakes.

Top 5 Facebook Ads Mistakes

Mistake #1: Unclear Strategy

Lack of clarity in this regard is the number one Facebook advertising mistake that many people make. Based on my observations, there is a common reason for that.

The low barrier to entry.

Yes, with a credit card and a free Facebook page, you can start creating Ads within minutes. Who doesn't want to get attention?

Over the years, the Facebook advertising platform has become very complex. This makes navigating through the myriad of features hard for everyone. In other words, complexity is another factor that leads some marketers away from the path of profitability.

Let's look at how an unclear Facebook Ad strategy might be limiting profitability.

  • Mismatched Ad Objectives – in a perfect Ad strategy, the Facebook advertising objective you choose should be a match with the goal you want to achieve. But, when your goal is conversion and you are choosing objectives related to brand awareness, you'll miss the mark.
  • Core Value Propositions – Facebook advertising platform boasts over 10 million active advertisers. That means you are bound to find some businesses like your own targeting the same audience. When your value propositions are vague, it will be harder to differentiate your brand from other competitors.
  • Sales Funnel Alignment – from the first point of contact to checkout, you need to align your sales funnel with the campaign strategy, goals, and objectives. Any form of misalignment in this regard often leads to costly mistakes.

Mistake #2: Targeting Wrong Audiences

To a large extent, the profitability of your Facebook advertising campaigns depends on the people you spend money to reach. Interestingly, if you spend a part of your budget on outstanding creatives but the audience is mismatched, you'll end up wasting time and money. It doesn't matter how many leads you bring into your sales funnel.

In case you are running lead generation Ad campaigns, lead quality will also be affected by audience targeting. Below are some of the major mistakes that waste resources.

  • No Split Testing – regardless of what you are selling, there is a chance that different segments abound within your target audience. For example, if are selling heat mapping software, your target market may have segments like ecommerce business owners, advertising agencies, and subscription box businesses.

You may want to split the same target audience into company size, industry, and location. Without proper split testing, spending your limited resources becomes inevitable.

  • Unmatched Lookalike Audiences – Facebook Lookalike Audience is a targeting feature created to help advertisers scale their campaign reach and ROI. Using this feature, you'll be able to create a distinct advertising audience segment. That segment may share similar characteristics with your existing customers, email subscribers, website visitors, and app users.

Characteristics for Lookalike Audience matching may include behavioral and demographic data sets.

  • Behavioral Data Types
  1. Page likes
  2. Past and recent purchases
  3. Operating system used
  4. Video engagement
  • Demographic Data Types
  1. Location
  2. Age
  3. Marital Status
  4. Sex
  5. Industry

Depending on your selected audience size, when the Lookalike Audience is not matched based on some specific characteristics, you'll end up attracting the wrong Ad viewers. Unfortunately, the wrong audience will always waste your campaign budget.

Mistake #3: Reckless Campaign Management

Like I have said before, creating Facebook Ads is easy. Managing it to deliver profit is a different challenge. This is something you don't have to leave to chance. But some people still make this Facebook Ads mistake of setting and forgetting it.

Yes, the platform promises automatic delivery of quality leads and customers, even while you are sleeping. But forgetting to check your Ad campaign might keep you stuck below average results.

Wondering how this could happen?

When you fail to track and manage your adverts, one or some of the following usually happens.

You will not be able to stop poor-performing Ads and campaigns early enough. Whether you are running Facebook Ads A/B testing or not, some campaigns, ads, and audience segments are bound to perform better than others.

Hence, some of your Ad campaigns will be dependent on guesswork, not real data. When this is the case, identifying the top-performing Ad creatives and audience segments will be impossible.

You won't have the ability to reallocate your campaign budget to high-performers. You'll lose the opportunity to attract in-market audiences with an immediate need for your products or services. These are people who might be ready to convert into paying customers within 1 – 30 days.

When your ads are not watched, these things are likely to happen.

Mistake #4: Overlook The Facebook Pixel Settings

Let's say you have never looked into a detailed Facebook advertising guide for beginners.

There is a chance you'll overlook the Pixel settings. That's one of the most common Facebook advertising mistakes I see many beginners make. Assuming you run adverts without the pixel setup, this is a costly mistake you are making. But what exactly is it?

What is Facebook Pixel?

Facebook Pixel is a piece of digital code that you can place on your website to improve marketing and advertising performance. Performance, in this case, can be measured in the form of engagement, website visitors, lead generation, and ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).

With the Facebook pixel setting in place, you'll able to do the following.

  • Track Conversion – it is not enough to send prospective leads or customers from Facebook to your website and hope they convert. Without proper conversion tracking, it is hard to tell whether your lead generation Ads are wasting money or not.
  • Optimize Ads – earning good profits from Facebook advertising requires constant monitoring and optimization. From the audience targeting to Ad creatives, this is one of the benefits of using the Facebook advertising pixel.
  • Build Custom Audiences –the data from the Facebook pixel setup can help you build targeted custom audience segments. For example, you can build Lookalike audiences using your existing customer database and use that to scale your reach and ROI.
  • Retarget Prospective Customers – the prospective customers who viewed your product pages or lead generation landing pages will not convert on their first visit. Without the pixel setup, you'll not have the opportunity to retarget them as your competitors do.

Besides the few ones mentioned above, it's possible to find some pixel use cases. But, you have to take your business model into account and decide the best approach to follow. For example, the way an ecommerce company uses the pixel might be different if compared with local business lead generation.

Mistake #5: Focusing The Ads Only on Sales

Depending on the preferred targeting strategy, your prospective customers are likely to be total strangers.

Don't forget that Facebook is not a platform where people go when they need certain products or services. Based on these facts, the majority of your website visitors who come from Facebook Ads will not convert into paying customers.

In most cases, taking the direct sales approach is another mistake that many people make.

When you are making this particular Facebook Ad mistake, these things are likely to happen.

  • A big percentage of your advertising budget will be spent on prospects who are not ready to buy as soon as you want. It doesn't matter whether they belong to the right demographic or not. These people hardly trust you enough to put their money on the line.
  • Your conversion rates and ROI will be very low. Imagine you are on a tight budget already. Without building a relationship through brand awareness, low conversion rates will always lead to poor ROI.

As you can see, focusing only on sales as the singular end goal is not the best approach to follow. Though it is possible to generate some sales through this approach, you'll be better off by building up brand awareness and trust.

How to Fix These Facebook Ads Mistakes?

1. Set Clear Campaign Goals

Whether you are making the mistake mentioned earlier or not, you may find yourself asking questions like this one. How do I choose a campaign objective for a Facebook Ad?

To some extent, the answer to this question will influence the success or failure of your advertising campaigns. To clarify things, the Ad objective defines what you want your prospects to do when your Ad is seen. On the other hand, a goal is what you want to achieve through your campaign.

For you to achieve good results, you have to plan for a tight alignment between your Facebook Ad objectives and business goals. Hence, what suits company A might not be the best option for company B. Let's look at how you can go about it.

  • Step #1: Clarify Your Business Needs

What exactly do you want to achieve with your Facebook advertising campaigns? Here is the decision that will guide most of the other choices you have to make. In this case, you may decide to build brand awareness, generate leads or sales.

  • Step #2: Choose Your Target Audience

Without getting the technical details of building custom audiences, you have to decide whom you want to target. At this stage, it is also important to consider whether the people you want to attract are at the top, middle, or bottom of your sales funnel.

  • Step #3: Select A Matching Facebook Ad Objective

Facebook Ad objectives are divided into stages like awareness, consideration, and conversion. These stages also have some subcategories under them. As noted earlier, the exact business goals you want to achieve should be the core determinant of the objective you should choose.

For example, if your advertising goal is to generate B2B sales leads, your best option is to go for the consideration Ad objective. Furthermore, this objective has some subcategories like traffic, engagement, video views, lead generation, and message Ads.

On the other hand, if your business goal is to generate ecommerce sales, your best option is to choose a conversion Ad objective.

2. Select A Perfect Target Audience

Facebook advertising platform has lots of deep targeting options. Whether you prefer behavioral or demographic targeting, you are sure of finding a good number of options. Yet, that same depth of granular targeting is a source of confusion for some advertisers.

Without any iota of doubt, you already know that the people you spend your campaign budget to attract will affect its profitability. Below are the major things to keep in mind when choosing your target audience.

  • Embrace A/B Testing

This is the best way to find out which audience segments will deliver the highest conversion rates and ROI. Done very well, planned testing will give you the data to make better decisions.

  • Focus on Building Trust First

Facebook will allow you to choose from existing audience segments on its platform. But, you need to leverage the available tools to build trust that may help you beat your competitors.

  • Use Behavioral and Demographic Targeting

You don't have to depend on demographic data sets only. Use behavioral data to uncover the perfect audience segments. See this guide on Facebook behavioral targeting strategies.

  • Do Not Ignore Small Audience Segments

Your goldmine might be in smaller audience segments. This is another way of saying that it is not the size of your audience that guarantees profitability.

3. Monitor and Optimize Campaigns Regularly

For a good number of advertisers, it is possible to run some simple Ads, break even, and earn profit. However, setting your Ads and forgetting about them often limits the potential for sizable ROI.

This is something you may not be able to find out until you have wasted a significant amount of money on the social media advertising platform.

Let's look into some ways that regular monitoring and optimization will help to achieve your business goals.

  • Get Powerful Insights

Data is the lifeblood of profitable Facebook Advertising. When you set and forget your campaigns, you'll not be able to use the data sets already available within your account.

  • Identify Poor Performers

Whether you are doing planned A/B testing or not, all your campaigns and Ads can hardly perform equally. Regular monitoring will help you identify and cut poor performers that will always waste a big part of your budget.

  • Budget Reallocation

Taking prompt actions to divide your budget towards the best performers will increase the potential for higher conversion rates. You may want to use some tools for getting prompt notifications when certain performance thresholds are reached.

Now you know better, will you continue making the mistake of setting and forgetting your campaigns?

4. Make Sure that Facebook Pixel is Installed and Setup

In the previous sections, I explained what Facebook pixel is and the use cases. Many advertisers still ignore using it.

Though it is possible to create live Ads without the pixel, your campaigns will always perform below the level of what is possible.

The reason is very clear. With the Facebook advertising pixel, you'll continue to miss out on the data sets that aids improvement of conversion rates and ROI. How then can you go about this?

  • Use The Pixel Helper Chrome Extension

This is an official Chrome extension created to help advertisers inspect the installation of Facebook Ads pixel. Find and install the Pixel Helper extension. Hover to the extension icon on the top right side of your browser. Then you'll see the installation status as shown in this image.

  • Install New Pixel

In case it is not yet installed, you need to do a new installation. Consider following this guide to do the complete installation.

5. Create Awareness and Engagement Campaign

Even without realizing it, your target customers usually belong to different stages of a purchase. While some are at the top of the funnel, some others are likely to be at the middle or bottom of the sales funnel.

Here is one reason why different stages of the customer journey need different advertising approaches. In other words, one size never fits all.

Instead of making the mistake of using a direct sales approach, here are some of the ways that growing brand awareness and engagement could help you.

  • Traffic Generation

Bringing people to visit your website is part of what you can do to increase brand awareness. We all know that people buy from people they know, like, and trust. You may want to send the traffic to your blog posts or other pages on your website.

  • Use Video Content

According to a study by Wyzowl, around 79% of participants confirmed that video content influenced their purchase decision. Beyond growing brand awareness, you can use video content to increase engagement and conversion rates.

  • Lead Generation

Now you know that a sizable percentage of your prospective customers will not convert on their first visit. It is important you invest in a lead generation campaign. When your prospects are engaged, you'll then have the opportunity to convert some of them into quality leads.

From there, it becomes easier to nurture the leads and convert some of them into paying customers. This is better than using the direct sales approach.


Besides the ones discussed here, you are likely making some other Facebook advertising mistakes. Based on what I have found, these are the most common mistakes that are costly. Remember, it is either the mistakes that are costing you time, money, or both. But now, you don't have to keep making the same costly mistakes again.
Probably, your recent Facebook advertising outcomes are a good indicator of the need to do something differently. With this post, you now have a guide to get you started.