▷ Facebook advertising: 11 beginner mistakes to avoid 2020 -

When I started using Facebook Ads in 2014, I was groping and spending very little money, which “allowed” me to make mistakes. I put 5 € to boost a post and I had some interactions on my Facebook page. It was nice, it flattered my ego … but it didn’t help me develop my business?

Certainly, when you invest small sums, you can afford to make mistakes. But if we could avoid wasting money from the start, it would be even better, right?

Training & Co'm

So if you have recently launched into Facebook advertising or if you intend to do so in the near future (if you are in the latter case, I invite you to read to the end because I have a surprise for you), here are 11 beginners’ mistakes to avoid when it comes to Facebook Ads.

There is obviously nothing derogatory when I speak of beginner errors. I was a beginner myself, I trained myself, I made ALL these mistakes, and my goal with this article is to save you time so that you get good results as soon as possible .

  1. Do not have a clear objective (s)
  2. Not choosing the right type of campaign
  3. Do not differentiate the content according to the target
  4. Incorrectly configure your Facebook pixel (and therefore poorly measure its performance)
  5. Advertise a product that doesn’t interest anyone
  6. Expect results too quickly
  7. Micro-manage your Facebook Ads
  8. Do not exclude your fans / prospects / customers
  9. Focus on secondary KPIs
  10. Make a stupid and nasty retargeting
  11. Believe that there are secrets that will multiply your results by 2 (or 3, or 5, or 10 …)

Good reading !

Mistake # 1: Not having a clear objective (s)

Before you go headlong into Facebook advertising, start by asking yourself what is (or are) your (or your) goal (s). Why do you want to advertise Facebook? What do you want to accomplish precisely ?

Do you want your brand to gain notoriety?

Do you want to recruit fans to your Facebook page?

Do you want to present and explain one of your products?

Do you want to generate sales?

Do you want to promote content on your site (blog articles, for example) or videos on your Facebook page?

Do you want to acquire subscribers to your newsletter?

There are a multitude of possible goals and it is essential before you start creating Facebook Ads campaigns to determine which goal (s) you want to achieve for two reasons.

First of all, it’s the Facebook Ads tool that wants it: the first thing you will have to do when you go to create a new campaign in the ad manager (yes, I do not recommend you simply boost a Facebook post to do your ads) will answer the question “What is your marketing goal?” “.

Second, it will allow you to measure the right things: if your goal is blurry or multiple, you will not necessarily be looking at the right performance indicator (s) and you will not even be able to say if your campaign is effective or not (see error 9).

Mistake # 2: Not choosing the right campaign goal

The second beginner’s error is related to the first. To tell the Facebook advertising tool what your goal is, you need to choose a campaign type. And each type of campaign corresponds to a goal.

If you choose the wrong Facebook Ads campaign goal, it is almost certain that your campaign will not work. Or rather that it is not going to produce the expected results. Here’s why.

First, the Facebook ad delivery algorithm works with a multitude of criteria that will determine which user sees which ads. And one of the criteria that makes an average user see an ad over another is the advertiser’s purpose and the user’s behavior.

Simply put, thanks to all the data Facebook has on its users, the advertising algorithm can estimate the probability that a person will perform an action.

For example, if I want to generate installations for a mobile app by targeting an audience of one million people in England and Belgium, I will create a campaign like “Installation of mobile applications”. Not everyone I target will see my ad because Facebook will show my ad first of all to people who are most likely to install my mobile app. As Facebook knows everyone’s behavior very well, if Mr. Dupont who lives in Belgium never installs a new app on his phone, even if he is in my target audience, he is not the first person to which Facebook will show my advertisement.

Second, each campaign type has its own optimization options, so choosing the wrong campaign type will deprive you of those options. For example, in a traffic campaign you will be able to detail the “Traffic” objective using the following optimization options:

  • Landing page views;
  • Clicks on a link;
  • Daily single coverage.

Mistake # 3: Not differentiating content by target

Imagine that I decide to boost a publication of my page. I’m going to want to target my fans first, but also people who work in startups and Social Media managers in companies or agencies.

I have here two very different types of audience: one knows me a little (the fans of my page) and two do not know me a priori at all (people who work in startups and those who work in Social Media) .

When I target the fans of my page, I can speak in the first person because they liked my page, they see my content passing by so they know me a little.

For the other two hearings, I’m going to have to phrase my message differently because these people have never heard of me, so talking to them in the first person may not be a good idea.

When I talk about the error of not differentiating content according to its target, at least in each campaign you must distinguish your “hot” and “lukewarm” audiences who know you, “cold” audiences who don’t know you at all .

What content to use for which target?

It’s simple: put yourself in the place of your target audience!

If I were a 35 year old man who lives in Marseille, would I like to see exactly the same image as if I were a woman over 55 who lives in Paris?

It’s often common sense and you’ll definitely improve your ad performance if you tailor your content to the people you’re targeting.

If you’d like to know how other advertisers are doing, you can check out the ads they’re currently serving by visiting the Facebook Ad Library. For very active advertisers, you will most likely see multiple advertisements promoting the same product. You will therefore see that the same product can be offered to different audiences provided you modify the message (and visuals) of the advertisements.

Mistake n ° 4: Incorrectly setting up your Facebook pixel (and therefore poorly measuring its performance)

The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that Facebook provides you and that you have to install on all the pages of your site. Without a pixel installed, Facebook doesn’t know what’s going on on your website. So the pixel is a way to link your website to your Facebook advertiser activity.

There are two main reasons for doing this.

  • Facebook will be able to record visits to your website and know which users go to which pages;
  • Facebook will be able tracker conversions on your website: who adds to the basket, who buys, who subscribes to the newsletter, etc.

Properly setting up your Facebook pixel will allow you to know that a given conversion was generated by X advertising in the Y audience of the Z campaign.

If you configure your Facebook pixel correctly, you will also have the possibility of creating personalized audiences from your website traffic. For example, you can create an audience of people who have visited your blog 3 times in the last 60 days. Or an audience of the 10% of your visitors who spent the most time on your site.

There are many other things that a properly configured Facebook pixel lets you do, such as optimizing your conversion campaigns and creating dynamic product catalog sales ads.

Mistake # 5: Advertising a product that doesn’t interest anyone

Some people believe that Facebook Ads are the key to success.

Sorry to tell you the bad news: Facebook advertising is not a magic wand.

If you spend a little time in forums or in Facebook groups of entrepreneurs, startups, “growth hackers”, you surely come across people who are very good at selling dreams by sharing screenshots that seem too good. to be true. In most cases, it is that they are not true.

Facebook advertising, as powerful as it is, does not allow you to ignore a good product or service. Or on a sales page that converts well.

Your product or service must meet a need. He has to solve a problem, help people do something, make them happy, save them money, etc. It takes a good reason for strangers to give you money and buy what you offer.

Facebook Ads are an amazing tool that will help you reach precisely the audience you want to target, which is already huge. You can also test different messages and different visuals to find what works best. Most importantly, Facebook advertising will help you speed up your marketing efforts once you’ve validated your product.

On the other hand, Facebook advertising is not going to allow you to build a viable business and will certainly not turn a bad idea into a goose that lays golden eggs.

Also, keep in mind that the price of Facebook Ads is constantly increasing and that it is unlikely to stop. So if your offer does not convert well enough or if your average basket is too low, your ads will hardly be profitable today (and even less in the future!).

I often say that advertising Facebook is just adding fuel to the fire. If you don’t already have a fire at the start, you can add as much oil as you want … it won’t take!

So if your offer or your product doesn’t interest anyone, you can spend as much money as you want on Facebook Ads … but you’ll just put water in a pierced basket.

Mistake # 6: Hoping for results too quickly

I am often contacted by people who want me to take care of their Facebook Ads campaigns. These people have just started or are about to start an online business (often an e-commerce site). And they want to be profitable from the first month.

When I ask them, “What budget are you ready to invest in Facebook advertising?” “, They answer me” Oh, the first month I want to invest 1000 euros, but with the profits generated if we manage to make X2 or X3 in turnover, we will invest more the following month. ”


It would be beautiful if it was that simple, right?

Anyone could start an online business, be at a standstill from the start of the business, be profitable after one or two months, and become a millionaire in 12 months.

Alas, it doesn’t work like that.

When we start Facebook Ads, especially when we make Facebook Ads for a business that has just started and that has not yet found its market, we will have to test a lot of things: different targeting, different visuals, different catchphrases, etc ..

The Facebook pixel installed on your site will also have to accumulate enough data to be able to harness the power of Facebook’s advertising algorithm. For example, to create effective lookalike audiences, you need to have sufficiently large qualified sources. In the same way, to have a successful retargeting campaign, you need a volume of initial traffic large enough to be able to retarget it.

However, to do all this, you will have to invest a little money without guarantee to quickly find what works.

Therefore, to say “I’m starting Facebook advertising today and in a few weeks, I’m already going to pay off my investment and be profitable” is not very realistic.

What I recommend is to define a test period (2-3 months is reasonable) and a budget that we are ready to invest … and lose. If at the end of this test period, we managed to find even a targeting and content that generate good performance, it is worth it to continue and see if the performance remains good as we increase the budget invested.

Otherwise, we can also conclude that Facebook advertising is not the right channel for our product or service.

Mistake 7: Micro-managing your Facebook Ads

You MUST NOT approach Facebook Ads with a day-trading mentality.

Day-trading, for those who don’t know, is buying a stock on the stock market in the morning and reselling it in the afternoon with a small profit. If we do this several times a day with sufficiently large amounts, this may be enough to earn several hundred, or several thousand euros (or much more if we manage millions) each day.

Investing in the stock market in this way is not really investing. It’s speculating.

To invest is to buy a stock to keep it for a long time and possibly sell it after several years, or not to sell it at all in spite of it and keep it because it produces regular dividends.

Facebook advertising is a little bit the same thing. Anyway, that’s how I see it. I approach Facebook Ads as an investment over time.

However, the error that many beginners make is to launch an ad in the morning and, once the ad is launched, it is to refresh the screen of the ad manager every half hour to see how many people have clicked / converted. Then, if the performances are not at the level they hoped for, it is to change the text of the advertisement the same evening. Then change the targeting the next morning. Then change the ad placements the next afternoon. And so on….

It’s a very bad idea to manage your Facebook Ads this way.

Why ?

Because the algorithm needs data to optimize the delivery of your ads.

When you launch an advertisement, the algorithm will have to broadcast the advertisement to several thousand people to understand who clicks or who converts:

This period is called the learning phase. Each time you launch a new set of ads, Facebook tells you that it needs 50 events before it can optimize that set (the nature of the event depends on your campaign goal: if you’re doing a traffic campaign, Facebook needs 50 clicks; if you do a video view campaign, Facebook needs 50 video views; if you do a conversion campaign, Facebook needs 50 conversions; etc.)

When the learning phase is over, your performance will tend to stabilize.

So starting to do optimizations (changes to your advertising, targeting or placements) before you finish this learning phase, it’s not a very good idea, because you don’t leave it to the algorithm advertise the opportunity to do so.

Mistake 8: Do not exclude your fans / prospects / customers

Whenever you create a set of ads, you usually start by thinking about who you want to target, so who you are going to include in your audience.

That’s great, but it’s just as important to think about who you don’t want to target, so who you should exclude from your audience.

I will give you some examples.

Imagine that you are campaigning to drive traffic to page X of your website. You target a certain audience with criteria that you have determined. OK, but also consider excluding from your targeting all the people who have already visited page X. If this page has been online for a while, all the people who have seen it will not be exposed to the advertisement. In addition, every time someone sees the ad and clicks on it, that person will automatically opt out of the campaign and no longer see the ad.

The advantages of setting up this exclusion?

  • You are not going to annoy people who have already clicked on your ad by continuing to show them the same ad several times;
  • You are not going to waste your money by showing your ad to people who have already done what you wanted them to do.

So if you’re doing a mobile app installation campaign, exclude people who have already installed the app.

If you’re doing a conversion campaign to buy a product, exclude everyone who has already purchased the product.

Wondering how to do that?

You need to use custom audiences. Either you create a personalized audience based on your Facebook pixel (so you exclude a pixel event), or you exclude a file (by uploading to your ad manager, for example, the file of all your buyers of the product you want to promote ).

Mistake # 9: Focusing on Secondary KPIs

KPI = Key Performance Indicators, i.e. the statistics of your campaigns.

You may think that once your campaign is launched, you have done the hard part.

Think again: this is just the beginning.

Now, you will have to manage and manage your campaign for it to generate good results.

How? ‘Or’ What ?

By analyzing performance and optimizing targeting, bidding, placement, content, etc.

If you focus on the wrong performance indicators, you are not going to make the right decisions.

I’ll give you a simple example.

Let’s say you’re doing a mobile app installation campaign. Let’s say you have two targeting and, to put it simply, you run the same ad for each of these targeting. Your audience A generated 10 installations and your audience B generated 50 installations. If you’re just starting out, you might say, “I’m going to increase the budget for audience B since it’s the one that generates the most installations.” OK, but is the volume of installations the only thing that matters to you? Or should we not also be looking at how much each installation costs you on average? If audience A generates 10 installations at 0.50 € / installation and audience B generates 50 installations at 1 € / installation, you might be better off stopping broadcasting your ad to audience B and putting all your budget on audience A.

It is therefore important to determine well before launching a campaign what are the important indicators. These indicators (1 or 2 per campaign, no more) must be aligned with your objective (cf. errors 1 and 2).

Mistake # 10: Doing a stupid and nasty retargeting

I imagine that you have already experienced this situation: you go to an e-commerce site, you look at an article (a pair of blue sneakers, for example), you add it to the cart you do not buy it. Then you will be retargeté (= retargeted) by this site for several weeks with the same Facebook ad.

You are not alone. Unfortunately, a lot of e-commerce sites do this kind of retargeting … and that makes no sense.

If you were really interested in this pair of sneakers and for some reason X you did not buy it (maybe because you were looking at the commerce site while waiting for the metro and the metro arrived; may – maybe your phone rang; maybe your baby started screaming … there are a thousand possible reasons), seeing the retargeting ad once or twice for a few days should be enough to trigger the purchase. This ad will remind you of the product you are interested in and give you the opportunity to complete the purchase.

On the other hand, if you don’t buy it after having seen a retargeting ad once, twice or five times for several days, it may be because you are not completely convinced that this product is worth the price. hardly take out your credit card.

In this case, I’m not saying we should stop retargeting, but I don’t see the point in continuing to show you the same advertisement and hammer the same message during weeks.

The approach I favor is what I call sequenced retargeting. I explained this technique in a blog article by my colleague Danilo Duchesnes, but I will summarize it for you here.

The idea is to retarget, but by varying the content of the advertisements over time. For a week after the user’s action (in my example: adding to the cart not resulting in a purchase), I’ll run an advertisement that simply shows a photo of the product, just to remind him that this product is still available.

If the targeted person does not buy after these few days, I will broadcast another advertisement for a 2nd week, for example a different visual of the same product or a video which shows the product in action.

If the targeted person still does not buy, I can then post a testimonial from a customer who is very satisfied with this product. Etc.

If after a month, the person has still not bought the product, it may be that he was not so interested as that and that it is better to redo it this time with an advertisement that presents another pair of cheaper sneakers. Do you understand the idea?

The principle is to find other angles and above all not to hammer the same message for too long.

This improves the user experience (your prospects won’t hate you for these repetitive and annoying ads) and increases the ROI of your ads.

Mistake # 11: Believe that there are secrets that will multiply your results by 2 (or 3, or 5, or 10 …)

In error 5, I warned you against forums and Facebook groups of entrepreneurs, startuppers and “growth hackers”.

I repeat: beware of people trying to sell you the dream!

I often see advertisements or articles with almost nothing passing:

  • The secret to increasing your turnover by 540% in a few days;
  • 5 hacks to increase your click through rates by 78%;
  • The proven technique to multiply your number of fans by 3 in a week.

Sorry to tell you again, but contrary to what these perlimpinpin powder merchants make you believe, there are no secret techniques or hidden tricks to explode your performance in the blink of an eye. . It would be too easy.

However, there are good practices and things to put in place that will certainly help you improve your results over time. This is what I’m looking to share in No Pay No Play, a podcast that I host and which is entirely devoted to Facebook advertising.

So don’t fall for the trap and be wary of dream sellers who are going to make you believe that there is a trick or little secret that will get you incredible results very quickly. Unfortunately it does not exist.

Facebook Ads is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

P.S.: I promised you a surprise in the introduction. If you want to get into Facebook advertising but you feel lost when you open the ad manager, I invite you to subscribe to my free mini-training “Create your first Facebook ad in 45 minutes”, a series of 4 videos where I explain step by step how to create a simple Facebook Ads campaign to drive traffic to your site web.