Why is my Facebook ad not working well?

Have you ever launched a Facebook campaign to get new customers, grow your email list or promote an event and then expected it to bring you thousands of fans or leads, but never saw any results?

While some campaigns do succeed wildly while others fail miserably. There are many things that can affect the success of your ad campaign; however, there are certain factors that are common in all unsuccessful campaigns. Here’s why this could be happening to your ads.

When was the last time you updated your audience targeting settings?

Updated audience targeting is one of the most important things for successful ad campaigns on Facebook and other social media sites. So many times advertisers will update their ad copy once or twice and leave it at that. However, when it comes to using social networks as a marketing tool, it’s important to keep an eye on your campaign’s performance and update your targeting settings accordingly.

For example: If you launch a campaign using current fans, they will most likely NOT be the right people you’re trying to reach. Instead, try creating a look-a-like audience based on them

When was the last time you updated your ad copy?

Facebook ads are like any other advertising/marketing tool out there; it takes time to get results with anything. Social media is no different. Facebook allows unlimited updates per day for free so if you’ve launched an ad and it just hasn’t been performing well, test out new creative once or twice each day.

Are your targeting settings too generic?

When it comes to advertising on Facebook, as with any other social network, you will get better results if you narrow down your audience. This especially applies when trying to advertise an event. If the event is one of a kind it can be difficult for people not in attendance (or interested) to figure out what they’re supposed to do or feel about an event such as; “This bluegrass festival looks really cool this year”, versus saying something like, “I’ve never been to the Parawon Bluegrass Festival but I hear they have some great bands playing this year”.

In the second example, the reader knows exactly what he/she should do. He/She should go to the festival. This is a perfect example of telling your audience how they can benefit from attending the event versus just saying “oh you should come by and check it out”.

When was the last time you optimized your ad?

I frequently receive questions from people wondering why their campaign has been turned off by Facebook when in fact it’s their own fault for not checking their ads first. You are only allowed three clicks per day, so if a user accidentally clicks more than that on one of your ads then Facebook shuts them down until it resets at midnight that night. Instead try manually clicking through your creative yourself before spending any money on advertising as this will ensure there are no issues prior to launch!

Are you trying to do too much with your ads?

When it comes to advertising on Facebook, less is more. One of the most common mistakes I see is marketers trying to cram in as many calls to action (CTA) as possible into one post. This doesn’t work and will only make things confusing for your audience!

The reason you should try and keep your creativity simple is that each additional piece can clutter up the page making it harder for people to figure out what they’re supposed to do or feel. A good example of this is an ad that tells the user how they’ll benefit by attending something but then also gives them a discount code that expires right away. Not everyone reads everything so if you give them too much information, they might just skip over it all together.

Are you checking your demographic information?

Once you’ve chosen your target audience(s) by creating custom audiences and look-a-like audiences, make sure it’s the actual group of people you wanted to reach. My biggest pet peeve is when someone asks why their ad isn’t performing well and they have only targeted “interested in soccer moms”. If that’s not who your product or service is for, don’t target them! Also if you’re thinking about targeting small towns in Oklahoma but are trying to sell a product/service on an international level - don’t do it! Make sure the location settings on your ads are set up properly so they’re going out to the right type of people.

You can also check the age and sex of your results to make sure you’re reaching the right demographic(s). For example, I have a client who sells gluten-free products and they were only targeting users in their mid to late 30’s. They later realized that women don’t typically start thinking about getting pregnant until their early to mid '30s, which is outside of their desired target audience. So not only did they change their location settings but they also changed the gender and age ranges for better results.

Were you doing too much advertising?

I know it might be hard to believe but sometimes if you do too much advertising on Facebook it will hurt your ad performance. The reason behind this is because Facebook will start to show your ad less and less in order to maintain a good advertising environment for other businesses.

This is known as the Facebook Ad Fatigue factor, where users begin to unfollow/hide ads because there are too many of them being shown on their newsfeeds. If you’re seeing your engagement or sales coming down and you’ve already tried all of the solutions listed above then it might be time to either reduce or completely stop your advertisements until things get better. When I say “stop”, I don’t mean pause but actually not advertise at all until it’s more beneficial again. Only do this if you have other sources of traffic going into an area otherwise you could just be wasting money!

Did you forget your mobile?

Another big mistake is not having mobile-enabled on your Facebook ads. In fact, I would even go as far as saying that at this point it should be a requirement because mobile traffic is growing too fast to ignore! Although you can create two separate campaigns (one for desktop and one for mobile), if you have the budget it’s best to just create one campaign with both options so you’re spending as much time/money as possible reaching potential users. One other thing to keep in mind is that sometimes when testing ad copy or images, manually disable mobile support until you’ve worked out all the kinks. This will help weed out any issues before they become larger problems.

Do your ads stand out?

This may sound like a dumb question but it’s not. If you’re targeting the right people, your ad copy is well thought out and your images are high quality then you should also make sure that the ads themselves stand out! I know some people who use all black for their ad backgrounds thinking that it will draw attention to their product/service but what they don’t realize is that most of the time those ads just get ignored because they blend in with everything else on the page.

See how this ad uses white and orange? It catches my eye immediately because it doesn’t look like every other ad on Facebook and has little things going on in the background to help separate itself from others ads being shown at that time. All of these factors along with the right targeting makes this ad far more likely to make a sale than a black-background one.

What about the copy?

If you’ve done everything possible on your side then that brings us to the next section - what about how we’re writing our ads? Even though Facebook doesn’t give us very many options for our text, there are still things we can do with it to increase conversions and engagement. Here are some examples:

Put numbers in your call to action! This helps put people into “immediate mode” where they’ll act faster without thinking as much because of all the crazy amounts of stimulus on Facebook. Something like “Buy now before this price is gone!” will catch someone’s attention much quicker than something like “Buy now!” which takes more effort and thought.

This helps put people into “immediate mode” where they’ll act faster without thinking as much because of all the crazy amounts of stimulus on Facebook. Something like this will catch someone’s attention much quicker than something like which takes more effort and thought. Be less specific with your calls to action! Instead of telling a user what to do, try asking a question that requires some thought. This may result in lower conversions but it can help bring you higher quality customers, especially when targeting cold traffic. For instance: Instead of this… Try this… How many desserts have you eaten today? That’s not healthy at all! Have you ever asked yourself if there was an easier way to get desserts? More healthy desserts? Have you heard of Sugar Monster desserts before? Are you scared to try a healthier dessert like us because you think it will taste terrible and take too much effort to make (like all the ones from other companies)? Don’t worry, we’ll teach you how easy our recipes are!

Instead of telling a user what to do, try asking a question that requires some thought. This may result in lower conversions but it can help bring you higher quality customers, For instance: Be creative with your images! People don’t always need to see things exactly as they appear either. By taking an image that’s not 100% realistic or even adding in effects/colors to your product/service can help people relate better to it. That might mean you have to make an extra image and shrink/resize it for Facebook use but the more creativity you can put into your ads - the better off you’ll be.

If all else fails, just remember that there is no single formula for which works best in every trial or even amongst your existing customers. It’s simply a matter of tweaking until something sticks! Each audience is going to respond differently so do not be afraid to have multiple versions of each campaign running at once in order to find out what works best. Always keep track of how things are performing and if one thing starts doing worse than normal then go ahead and trash it before you lose any additional money on worthless traffic!