The Do’s & Don’ts of Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is huge. Just this week the social giant announced that more than 5 million businesses advertise on its platform each and every month. Facebook advertising is a powerful and effective way to market your business – but only when you do it right. Here’s a quick rundown of the do’s and don’ts of Facebook Advertising.

Do… Consider Facebook as part of your wider marketing strategy

Despite the increase in advertisers on the plaftorm, many businesses still fail to see Facebook as a vital part of their marketing strategies. However, they could not be more wrong. Facebook offers such a wide range of advert types that whatever you want your customers to do, be that visit your website, download an app, make a purchase etc, there’s sure to be an ad for it. By implementing a strong, well-rounded Facebook strategy as part of your overall marketing, you’re adding an incredibly powerful tool to your arsenal.


Don’t… Put all your eggs in one basket

It’s never a good idea to just run one creative – it’s a very all or nothing approach that could be costly if the advert doesn’t work. We recommend running at least three creatives per ad set – this allows you to test different approaches and see what works best. A good example of this would be trialling a carousel advert alongside a single image advert – it’s difficult to predict which ad type would work best for your target audience before you set it live and start spending some money.


Do… Use eyecatching media

This is crucial. It’s your advert’s image – or video – that will grab your audience’s attention, so you need to get it right. We all scroll mindlessly through our newsfeeds, waiting for the right piece of content to catch our eye, and the most successful adverts are the ones which make you stop and look. Make sure you’re using bright, attractive colours, and avoid using too much text (Facebook will ‘punish’ any ads which use over 20% text, decreasing your potential reach). Using techniques such as directional lines or the rule of thirds will help you create strong images that work. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure you’re using the correct dimensions for your advert type – there’s nothing worse than a stretched or badly cropped image.


Don’t… Forget about retargeting

One great feature of Facebook advertising is the ability to retarget. You might have seen this in action – ever visited a brand’s website only to be immediately targeted with their advert as soon as you go back on Facebook? That’s a perfect example of retargeting – and just how effective it can be. (Author can confirm, tricked into buying a £300 jacket by a powerful retargeting campaign…) Retargeting allows you to advertise to anyone who has visited your site or interacted with your page, allowing you to reach a warm audience more likely to make a purchase in the future. You could use retargeting campaigns to build brand awareness or to chase conversions – your advert type will depend on the goal you have in mind.


Do… Utilise Facebook’s powerful targeting

One of the best thing about advertising on Facebook is just how accurate you can get your demographics. When creating an audience for your advert, you can select the area you want to target, age and gender, language, and the detailed targeting allows you to target a vast array of interests and behaviours. For example if you were advertising for a Runcorn estate agent with the intention of producing leads for home valuations, you might want to target local homeowners between aged 25-55. The secret behind successful advertising is nailing your demographics – if you have a great ad but you’re showing it to the wrong people, it simply won’t work. Figure out your target audience and use Facebook to get it right. Have a play around with the targeting feature and you’ll soon get the hang of it. Pro tip: You can also exclude certain interests and behaviours, helping you narrow your audience further.


Don’t… Set an advert live and leave it

It’s vital that you monitor your ad campaigns closely whilst they are running. Facebook Ads Manager is a really useful tool when it comes to tracking your ads, allowing you to keep an eye on CTR, clicks, CPM, CPC, reach, impressions and many other factors. However, it’s easy to get bogged down with these metrics without keeping an eye on your key goal. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve, so whatever action you are trying to get your users to do, you should focus on getting as many of those actions as possible for the least amount of money. Premium tools such as AdEspresso let you go deeper and create rules to turn certain ad sets off if costs get too high, but we only recommend this for experienced advertisers.


Do… Use a clear call to action

People need to be told what to do, so using a clear, concise call to action will help motivate users to make the right moves after seeing your ad. You can attach a variety of different call to actions to your ad, so have a think about what best suits your objective and pick wisely. There are many different type of Facebook ads, allowing you to achieve all sorts of goals, so you should be spoilt for choice! Sometimes there may be different call to actions which work for your goal, so this could be something that you A/B test (we’ll get onto that soon…).


Don’t… Use the audience network

When creating an advert, you’ll be able to pick the placements where you want your ad to be shown. One of these options is the audience network, which basically means that your ad will be shown on various external websites. However, the problem with using the audience network is that you have no way of tracking the traffic, and people have often reported problems with the figures shown when using this placement. What’s more, many of the clicks made to ads on the audience network are from bots rather than real humans, which – it goes without saying – is no good when you’re looking for results.

Do… A/B test and switch up your ads periodically


A/B testing is where you create multiple variations of your advert with small changes to either your headline, body copy and image/video to find the right combination for your target audience. Remember to only change one of these factors at a time, allowing you to figure out the best performing elements. Remember, even a great advert doesn’t have an infinite shelf-life – switch up your ads every few months or so to avoid burn out.

Don’t… Overlap your targeting

When you’re running multiple ad campaigns at once, it’s important that your targeting doesn’t overlap. If there’s an overlap, it means that your ads will be competing with one another, which will push costs up and damage your results. Facebook’s useful Audience Overlap Tool can provide valuable insights into your target audience, allowing you to compare multiple audiences and see which users overlap between them. By checking how your audiences are overlapping, you can gain a greater insight into your campaigns and their results, increasing your likelihood for success.

The world of Facebook Advertising is evolving all the time – and we’ve only just scraped the surface! If you’d like to put your advertising in the hands of the experts, give Digital Media Team a call today on 0800 808 9980 or email us at

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