Marketing Strategy Blog

How to troubleshoot your Facebook ads for better results

On one of the world’s top social networks, Facebook ads can be both an appealing and intimidating marketing option for business owners.

The tool itself is free, but there are limitless ways to create, execute, and of course, mess up your Facebook ad.

But even with the potential for missteps, business owners are drawn to Facebook ads because organic reach just isn’t what it used to be. Plus, Facebook ads help you reach a new, targeted audience.

In a large, 18-month study by Buzzsumo and Buffer, in which 43 million Facebook posts by the top 20,000 brands were analyzed leading up to August 2018, Facebook engagement sharply dropped 50 percent. However, during that same time, Facebook posts from top brands were up 25 percent over the past year, from 6.5 million posts to 8.1 million.

In other words, more posts and less engagement.

Knowing that Facebook ads are the way through this organic decline, what should you do when your ad is denied or (worse yet) not performing to your expectations?

We’ll walk through Facebook’s ad guidelines, then dive into common mistakes and best practices to help you succeed with your Facebook ad.

Warning: Facebook ad guidelines update regularly

While some general guidelines hold true over time, it’s no secret that Facebook updates its ad guidelines regularly. 

The Facebook ad policy itself includes information, such as the ad review process, steps to take if disapproved, what is prohibited content and what is restricted content.

Data use restrictions, data security, misleading ads and politics are a few reasons Facebook’s ad policy continues to change. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to review the latest version.

What not to do on your Facebook ad

Poor visuals can doom any Facebook ad. These are photos that don’t grab your audience’s attention or aren’t relevant to your business. Example? Don’t post photos of cats unless you’re in the cat business. Seriously.

Images account for 75 percent to 90 percent of your Facebook ad performance.

The opportunity to stop someone from scrolling is short, and a bad image isn’t going to work. 

Check out free tools, like Canva, to level up your graphic skills.

Is your message just all wrong? The tone of voice in your Facebook ad can be a reflection of your business’s personality. Is it funny? Adventurous? Just off?

Facebook users can sense when something isn’t authentic, and authenticity is a form of currency on social media platforms. It matters more than you might think.

The copy also can easily be too long, causing skimmers to keep on scrolling through their news feeds. Shorter is simply better in most cases. Remember, you’re trying to grab their attention quickly and inspire them to take an action based on your Facebook ad.

Make sure your link aligns with your Facebook ad because when it doesn’t, your ad could be a no-go. This means sending people to a webpage that doesn’t align with the message of your ad. 

Also, including copy that doesn’t align with the rest of the ad can cause a lack of engagement, so keep your copy short and relevant to give people a reason to click.

Facebook ad best practices

Go beyond simply boosting posts. If that’s all you’re doing on your Facebook page, you’re missing out. 

With Facebook’s Attribution Dashboard, you can understand the performance of your Facebook ads better. So, take advantage!

There are at least 10 different basic types of ads you can run on Facebook, including images, video, links and lead generation. Facebook outlines requirements for each format, such as dimensions, character limits and more.

Don’t be afraid to use the Facebook Pixel, which is a piece of code for your website that helps measure conversion traffic from your Facebook ad. This means you’ll better be able to understand the actions people take because of your ad. Always a good thing.

Whether you as a business owner or your IT professional has access to the backend of your website, Facebook provides simple directions and code to quickly install the Facebook Pixel.

Embrace experimentation. If at first your Facebook ad doesn’t work, try something else.

There is no such thing as “failure,” just lessons learned that you can grow from. Try different ideas! You can stop them anytime if they aren’t working.

Not only can you learn from your ads with tools like the Attribution Dashboard, but you can pivot in real-time and save money along the way.

Check out these eight examples of Facebook ads that convert foot traffic.

And since your Facebook ad should be connected to a strong Facebook page, get tips on your overall Facebook strategy as well.

Want more? Download our "10 Facebook Best Practices for Businesses" guide or contact one of our marketing specialists to discuss how you can succeed on Facebook.

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