Facebook advertising can do wonderful things for your business. It can enable you to reach a wider audience quickly and it shouldn’t break the bank.

But beware: it’s not always this straightforward. Just look at these two horror stories:

What you should learn from the man who lost $600,000 on Facebook ads

76% Of Ecommerce Stores Lose Money On Facebook Ads And Don’t Know It

There are lots of different ways of making use of Facebook’s ad interface, but there are some pitfalls.

If done incorrectly, Facebook ads can cause you to lose more money than you make, and it’s not always easy to figure out the difference between what’s good for you, and what’s just good for Facebook.

In this article, we’ll look at the 5 biggest ‘black holes’ in Facebook advertising that are eating your budget.

#1 Getting trigger happy with that ‘Boost Post’ button

This ‘handy’ little button appears beneath any post or update that goes on your Facebook wall.

It seems easy enough: pay a small sum of money, and your post will reach more people. Sounds great, right?

But it’s not that simple! Your investment might get you more ‘likes’ but how many of those likes translate to genuine site traffic?

The likes that you are aiming for, that result from organic reach, are not the ones that you achieve via a boost button.

Take a moment to add a more effective, call-to-action link to your post. This will translate to an actual click, rather than a ‘like’ that goes nowhere.

#2 Targeting the wrong crowd

It’s all too easy to waste Facebook ads by targeting the wrong people, and this could be why you’re not getting the response you want. It may sound obvious, but aiming your Facebook ads at your fans is the most effective way to achieve genuine clicks and real conversions for your site.

Why does this work?

Well, think about it: you’re more likely to click on an ad that appeals to you, specifically.

Don’t forget, Facebook fans are also operating within the same world as you: they are most often existing customers or prospective customers of a business.

It’s worth investing in figuring out who your fans are, building your audience and reaching out to them with your ads.

If you don’t have a very large fanbase, some of your competitors surely have. So, why not use it to your advantage?

Find out which competitors have the largest fanbase and target their fans. This method is so simple, but you won’t believe that even professional advertisers don’t use this.

#3 Putting all your eggs in one basket (or ad campaign)


It might seem tempting to put your entire advertising budget into one or two major ads that will supposedly reach a wider audience.

This is, in fact, less effective than opting for smaller, tailored advertising strategies, that target a relevant, specific audience.

Once again, it’s about reaching the right people with the right ad: this will get you the clicks, and the conversion rate that you’re after.

#4 Not having a plan


A plan is essential. By ‘plan,’ I’m talking about the entire process: you need to set goals, track the success or failure of your ads, and record your discoveries.

Many business owners wade into the world of Facebook advertising without having any idea of the metrics that they are going to use to measure how successful their ads are.

  • Are you going to look at the number of new ‘likes’ you receive?
  • Will you measure ROI by the level of email opt-ins?
  • Perhaps you will judge your success by website click-throughs or lead generation?

Whatever your goal, you need to set it from the beginning. Once you can see what’s working, you know where to invest to achieve the best ROI, but it’s essential that you keep tracking and monitoring the success of your ads as trends will inevitably change.

#5 Forgetting to do your research


This mistake is twofold: firstly, you may forget to research the ad types before you start, and secondly, you might fail to check if any changes or updates have been made to the format you are using.

Facebook is constantly releasing new features and methods of advertising, and you need to work out which type works best for your business. Many users will make the mistake of picking the first ad type they come across, without testing it or researching its success as an advertising format.

Whether you choose multi-product ads, the canvas ad type or otherwise, make sure it’s right for your business.

Facebook advertising can be an extremely powerful tool for your business: just keep the pitfalls in mind, and avoid them by following these 5 tips!