Facebook is everywhere.
It’s a trusted login credential for sites all over the Internet, businesses use it as a storefront, families use it to stay in touch. The Social Network now reaches virtually every corner of society in some form.
And it’s also the most powerful advertising platform in the world.
You’re smart enough to use Facebook advertising to grow your business - you’re here, reading this, after all - but a tool as powerful as Facebook advertising also comes with just as strong a set of potential mistakes.
Here are five Facebook ad errors that you need to avoid in order to get the most for your marketing dollars.
1. You Keep Showing Your Ad to the Same People
Especially if you’re first starting out with Facebook ads, it’s easy to forget to exclude previous converters. That means that instead of reaching fresh sets of eyes with your message, you’re serving the same message to the same people - in the same way.
No one likes that, and if you keep hitting that audience over the head they’ll eventually tune it out.
Check your ad feedback and comments constantly - every campaign will have a different shelf life. But make sure you don’t overstay your welcome with your target audience.
2. You're Changing Everything too Quickly
Patience is a virtue, and if you change your ad too frequently, it might not even be making it to the people you’re trying to reach.
Having so many metrics at your fingertips, as you do through Facebook, can be both a blessing and a curse. If you’re watching your campaign and it hasn’t done anything since you changed it five hours ago, it’s not necessarily because the campaign is failing. Let that pot boil without watching it.
Leave 24 to 48 hours for Facebook optimize an ad after it’s been edited. It takes time for your changes to take effect, and if you’re constantly adjusting, you might be hobbling yourself.
3. You're Trying to Test Everything (at the Same Time)
A/B testing is important - trying out multiple versions of a campaign and seeing which one performs the best is an obvious and time-honored technique among advertisers. But one mistake some advertisers make is not leaving a baseline to measure from.
For your purposes, you need to establish a foundation, then change only one thing at a time.
Placement. Picture. Headline. Body text. Each element needs to be tested separately.
Don’t, for example, change your art and your headline at the same time - you won’t know which one made the difference.
4. You're Setting and Forgetting - Forever
Facebook has a robust set of automation tools, and once you’ve done the initial legwork, it can be tempting to just sit back and let the campaign run itself while you worry about other aspects of your business.
I touched on this earlier, but monitoring your campaign is key to ensuring its success.
How often is it being seen? How often is it converting?
You have access to all the numbers you need to confirm your ad is running the way it should.
Think of it as maintenance, like checking the oil and tire pressure on your car. Make a routine out of checking it every day - because if something goes awry, you can find yourself pouring a lot of money into very few impressions, very quickly.
Staying aware of how your campaign is going is key to all the rest of this. Be an active participant and run your advertising - don’t let it run you. If you’re not sure where to start, there are a variety of useful guides out there that can help you figure out what’s most important.
5. You're Not Documenting Anything
When you get caught up in the daily grind, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut without reviewing what you’re doing.
Constantly reviewing your processes is a great way to keep that from happening.
Keep a master document that tracks all your campaigns, and during, or after, each, take a little time to sit down and figure out what worked and what didn’t.
What would you change? Then incorporate that into your next ad.
Sit down every few months and look back over your notes, too - sometimes the details fade over time and you might find yourself making the same mistakes you’d thought you’d fixed already. Or with more context, you might find a detail about one of your campaigns leaping out that dovetails with something you’ve learned in the intervening time.
An archive of notes from each campaign you run is a fantastic resource to go back to, and it doesn’t take that long. Invest a few minutes up front and you might reap a dividend of many man-hours down the road.
Facebook advertising is a powerful tool to reach your customer base, but using it effectively requires knowing the pitfalls. With these five tips under your belt, you’ll be better prepared to avoid the mistakes that can derail a campaign.
Maximize your ad dollars. Minimize your mistakes. And make your next campaign your best yet.